TVA settles Clean Air Act violations

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) must invest between $3 to $5 billion in emission control technologies for 11 of the company’s coal-fired power plants in three states as part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). TVA also must invest $350 million in community clean energy projects and pay a $10 million civil penalty.

This settlement covers these coal-fired power plants:

· Allen Fossil Plant near Memphis, Tenn.
· Bull Run Fossil Plant near Oak Ridge, Tenn.
· Colbert Fossil Plant in Tuscumbia, Ala.
· Cumberland Fossil Plant in Cumberland City, Tenn
· Gallatin Fossil Plant in Gallatin, Tenn.
· John Sevier Fossil Plant near Rogersville, Tenn.
· Johnsonville Fossil Plant near Waverly, Tenn.
· Kingston Fossil Plant near Kingston, Tenn.
· Paradise Fossil Plant in Drakesboro, Ky.
· Shawnee Fossil Plant near Paducah, Ky.
· Widows Creek Fossil Plant near Stevenson, Ala.

The settlement resolves alleged Clean Air Act violations at plants in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. The emissions control technology is expected to address 92 percent of the company’s coal-fired generation 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 reduce particulate matter and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

This settlement includes:

· An obligation to address 92 percent of TVA's coal-fired system between 2010 and 2018 with either the installation of state-of-the-art pollution controls such as selective catalytic reduction (SCR) or flue gas desulfurization (FGD), retirement, or repowering to renewable biomass:
For NOx, 60 percent of TVA's coal-fired system will be equipped with SCR, 16 percent will be retired, and 16 percent have the option to retire, retrofit with SCR or repower to renewable biomass
For SO2, 51 percent of TVA's coal-fired system will be equipped with FGD, 16 percent will be retired, and 25 percent have the option to retire, retrofit with FGD or repower to renewable biomass
Permanent retirement of 18 coal-fired units equating to about 16 percent of TVA's coal-fired electricity generating system -- the largest retirement commitment any settling company has made to date under EPA's Coal-Fired Power Plant Initiative
· Continuous operation of all new and existing SCRs and FGDs
· Optimization studies for existing PM controls to maximize PM emission reductions
· Compliance with annual descending system-wide tonnage caps for NOx and SO2
· Annual surrender of any excess NOx and SO2 allowances resulting from actions taken under the Compliance Agreement.

TVA operates 59 coal-fired boilers at 11 plants in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee and operates other energy production facilities, including hydroelectric plants. TVA also provides wholesale power to 155 municipal and cooperative power distributors and direct service to 56 large industrial and government customers, supplying power to approximately nine million people across Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and portions of Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

EPA said this is the 22nd Clean Air Act New Source Review settlement in the coal-fired power plants sector.

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