TVA Preparing EIS on Coal Ash Storage at Memphis Site
TVA wants public comments and is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate the potential environmental effects of several options at Allen. An estimated almost 3 million cubic yards of coal ash and other coal combustion residuals remain in the ash impoundments at the site.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking for public input by Jan. 4, 2019, on options for closure of its coal ash storage areas at the former Allen Fossil Plant, a coal-fired plant located near Memphis, Tennessee. Allen's three coal-fired units were retired on March 31, 2018.
As part of the National Environmental Policy Act, TVA is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate the potential environmental effects of several options at Allen. They include closure by removal, closure in place, and beneficial use. According to the company's announcement, an estimated almost 3 million cubic yards of coal ash and other coal combustion residuals remain in the ash impoundments at the site.
About 2.7 million cubic yards of material remain in the East Ash impoundment, which TVA may close either in place or by removal. It also will re-evaluate the potential for removing approximately 250,000 cubic yards of material that remains in the West Ash impoundment, which was the original ash storage area for Allen until 1978. The evaluation will include consideration of existing off-site permitted landfills that could accept impoundment material from Allen either by truck, train, or barge, depending on the distance. The EIS will also consider options for the metal cleaning pond, which has approximately 193,000 cubic yards of ash in and around it.
The announcement says the East Ash impoundment is where TVA found contamination, including arsenic, in shallow monitoring wells in 2017. A remediation effort is under way at the direction of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and is separate from this process. Interim response actions are under review by TDEC.
The EIS will consider a No Action Alternative whereby TVA assumes it would not close any of the surface impoundments at the Allen Fossil Plant. This alternative is included to provide a baseline for potential environmental impacts. Comments on the scope of the draft EIS may be submitted online at www.tva.com/nepa, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to Ashley Farless, NEPA Compliance Specialist, Tennessee Valley Authority, 1101 Market Street, BR4A-C, Chattanooga, TN 37402. To be considered, comments must be received no later than Jan. 4.
The Allen Fossil Plant is located on the south bank of McKellar Lake and was constructed in the 1950s by the Memphis Light, Gas, and Water Company. TVA purchased the plant and the underlying property in 1984.