Environmental Excellence Awards – 2010
Management Commitment Award
Lee Matthews, Environment and Technology’s Business Operations organization
Matthews exhibited a leadership role in developing the concept for and spearheading the first Utility Environmental Benchmarking Forum, held in Chattanooga in May 2010.
His efforts resulted in bringing together industry experts from 15 utilities for the purpose of jointly defining a utility’s environmental footprint, reaching consensus on key environmental metrics, and sharing best-management practices that can potentially benefit the environment and be cost-effective for utilities.
Matthews’ unprecedented work helped position TVA as a proactive industry leader in benchmarking sustainable environmental performance.
Water Resource Protection and Improvement Award
Lana Bean, Nicole Berger, Paul Hopping and Colleen Montgomery in River Operations’ River Scheduling organization
This team demonstrated extraordinary and diligent efforts to closely monitor and accurately predict and manage the water temperature of the Tennessee River during the summer of 2010, one of the hottest on record.
The team’s efforts allowed TVA’s fossil and nuclear plants to continue operations during critical periods and helped minimize the need to cut back on production or shut down a plant.
The team maintained around-the-clock vigilance on river water temperatures by closely monitoring all fossil and nuclear plant discharges and related river operations. The team notified plants when water temperatures at those sites approached levels that would exceed national discharge standards.
Air Quality Improvement Award
Team members: Environment and Technology’s Mary Eubanks, Millicent Garland, William Hunt and Edward Stephens; and Fossil Power Group’s Marco Barriga, Michael Gray, Michael Murphy and Marc Word
This team used an innovative approach to help position TVA as an industry leader in air-emission regulations.
Preliminary data gathered by the team indicated that Gallatin Fossil Plant had the highest levels of mercury emissions of all the plants in TVA’s fossil fleet. Over a nine month period, the team continually assessed TVA’s mercury monitoring equipment to determine whether accurate data was being collected. The team’s relentless efforts confirmed the preliminary assessment of Gallatin’s emissions.
The team partnered with the Institute of Combustion Science and Engineering Technology at Western Kentucky University to test trial mixtures of new advanced absorbents to remove mercury from the plant’s emissions. This test is of particular importance to the industry because mercury absorbents generally do not work well on units that burn Powder River Basin coal, which Gallatin uses. More than 20 different absorbing mixtures were tested before and after outages and during the summer heat.
The results of the tests are being used to verify the claims of commercially available mercury absorbents, as well as to provide Gallatin with a possible low-cost compliance option before the installation of scrubbers and selective catalytic reduction systems to further reduce various emissions at the plant.
Waste Minimization Award
Team members: Nuclear Power Group’s Edward May and Financial Services’ Thomas Manthey
May and Manthey implemented an innovative approach to demonstrating how an environmental project can produce significant cost savings to TVA, as well as reduce the impact of TVA’s operations on the environment.
Scaffolding used in the restart of Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Unit 1 was destined to be disposed of as low-level radioactive waste. The team, working across organizations, contracted with a business
in the TVA service area to decontaminate and certify the scaffolding “clean” for reuse. This enabled the scaffolding to be delivered to the Bellefonte nuclear site for reuse.
This project resulted in the reduction of more than 1 million pounds of low-level radioactive waste – with a total estimated cost savings of more than $3 million, which included the cost of purchasing new scaffolding for Bellefonte.
Individual Proactive Environmental Stewardship
Tim Lynch, Environment and Technology’s Environmental Science & Resources organization
Lynch took a proactive approach that led to the early identification and resolution of an environmental issue that, if unnoticed, would have put the Bellefonte nuclear site at risk of exceeding limits on waste in water discharges.
Bellefonte’s permit for water discharges, issued in 2009 by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, had placed a new limit on the amount of fecal coliform in wastewater – an intestinal bacteria commonly found in human and animal waste. A limit for this bacteria was not included in a previous water-discharge permit for Bellefonte.
Lynch took the initiative to review all analyses for the location of the wastewater discharge point in question on the 2009 permit and alerted management of a potential problem.
His diligence led to the successful identification of a solution. Lynch monitored the quality of the ultraviolet system that treats water discharges to make sure it was installed correctly and on schedule. This system rids wastewater of biological pollutants, such as fecal coliform.
Team Proactive Environmental Stewardship Award
Team members: Randy Baggett, Michelle Bullard, Jeannette Bumpus, Adam Cathey, Debbie Fidler, Arthur Gray, Steve Joiner, Carrie McCarty, Joe McGahey, Chad Philpott, Lesley Rogers, Dena Ross, Billy Sabin, Jessi Tinin, Tony Troyani and Criscilla Tyler
Cumberland’s Green Team is made up of a volunteer group of employees who launched a site recycling program for plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper and cardboard. The employee-driven effort will reduce the amount of material destined for landfills and reduce operating costs associated with the hauling and disposing of waste. All sorted and recyclable waste at the plant is now placed in locations for pickup and transportation by Bi-County Waste Management at no cost to TVA. This team has increased environmental awareness within the plant, built a model recycling program that can be easily duplicated at other generating facilities and established a sustainability model for the community.
The Cumberland "Green Team"
Lifetime Achievement Award
Jack Brellenthin, retiree, Environment and Technology
Brellenthin was selected for his
contributions to establishing TVA
environmental policies, processes
and procedures that promote TVA’s
continued compliance with state and
During a career that spanned more than 32 years, Brellenthin provided guidance and direction to the Fossil Power Group and the Nuclear Power Group on environmental permit and compliance issues.
He was a determined and diligent steward of TVA’s Environmental Management Systems, integrating those systems into other agency processes and coordinating compliance with an executive order calling for the strengthening of federal environmental, energy and transportation management.