CAA Settlement Requires TVA to Invest Up to $5.3B
EPA says state-of-the-art pollution controls and clean energy technology in many of the corporate agency's coal-fired power plants should provide up to $27 billion in annual health benefits.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations at 11 of its coal-fired plants in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
TVA will invest an estimated $3 to $5 billion on new and upgraded state-of-the-art pollution controls. The agency said that these controls will prevent approximately 1,200 to 3,000 premature deaths, 2,000 heart attacks, and 21,000 cases of asthma attacks each year, resulting in up to $27 billion in annual health benefits. The corporate agency also will invest $350 million on clean energy projects that will reduce pollution, save energy, and protect public health and the environment.
Once fully implemented, the pollution controls and other required actions will address 92 percent of TVA’s coal-fired power plant capacity, reducing emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 69 percent and sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 67 percent from TVA’s 2008 emissions levels. The settlement will also significantly reduce particulate matter and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Communities near TVA’s facilities will directly benefit from $350 million in environmental projects designed to reduce harmful air pollution and promote energy efficiency, including the following:
- $240 million on energy efficiency initiatives including a Smart Energy Communities project that will focus on energy efficiency in low-income communities;
- $40 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through renewable projects such as hybrid electric charging stations;
- $8 million for a clean diesel and electric vehicle project for public transportation systems; and.
- $1 million to the National Park Service and the National Forest Service to improve, protect, or rehabilitate forest and park lands that have been impacted by emissions from TVA’s plants, including Mammoth Cave National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The settlement also requires TVA to pay a civil penalty of $10 million, with Alabama and Kentucky receiving $500,000 each and Tennessee receiving $1 million. The states of Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina, and three non-governmental organizations, the National Parks Conservation Association, Sierra Club, and Our Children’s Earth Foundation, have been involved in development of this settlement and are signatories to a companion consent decree that will be lodged in federal district court in the Eastern District of Tennessee.
TVA is an independent, corporate agency of the United States created as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933, and is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn. It operates 59 coal-fired boilers at 11 plants in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee and operates other energy production facilities, including hydroelectric plants and provides wholesale power to 155 municipal and cooperative power distributors and direct service to 56 large industrial and government customers.
EPA is accepting public comments on this agreement for a 30-day period from the date notice of the agreement is published in the Federal Register.
Source: U.S. EPA