TVA Looks at Closing Coal Ash Impoundments

Jan 6, 2016

Credit Waterkeeper Alliance Inc. / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning to close coal ash storage facilities at several of its coal-fired power plants. Coal ash is waste generated from burning coal and contains contaminants like mercury and arsenic.

TVA’s draft Environmental Impact Statement considers closure-in-place and closure-by-removal methods. A closed impoundment may still contain coal ash but contains no water.

The energy provider is assessing closure of the impoundments to comply with Federal Environmental Protection Agency coal ash disposal regulations established last year. The regulations were prompted by the 2008 coal ash spill at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County, Tennessee which caused widespread environmental and economic damage. The spill also prompted TVA to commit to converting all coal ash impoundments to dry storage, a project toward which the publicly owned utility is already investing $1 billion.

TVA is accepting public comment on its draft Environmental Impact Statement January 11th through February 24th. The energy provider is also hosting 10 public information sessions in communities with fossil plants.  All meetings will go from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Shawnee Fossil Plant meeting is set for January 12th at the Robert Cherry Civic Center in Paducah. The Paradise Fossil Plant meeting will be held at Muhlenberg County High School in Greenville.