Paradise Fossil Plant Units 1 and 2– Mercury Air Toxics Standards Compliance Project
Muhlenberg County, Kentucky
Comments on the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
TVA requests public comments on the FONSI for this action. Comments will be accepted until August 29, 2014. See below for more information on submitting comments
On November 13, 2013, TVA issued a final environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) on its proposed actions at Paradise Fossil Plant (PAF) to comply with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). The MATS, recently issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPS) from existing coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units of 25 megawatts (MW) or greater and affected sources must demonstrate compliance with MATS by April 16, 2015. USEPA established a particulate matter (PM) limit of 0.030 pounds per million British thermal units (lbs/mmBtu) as a means of demonstrating compliance with the MATS for non-mercury HAPS metals.
PAF has three coal-fired generating units with total capacity of approximately 2,500 MW. Unit 3 meets the MATS. Units 1 and 2 do not meet the MATS PM limit in their current configurations. TVA must determine how to comply with MATS while maintaining adequate reliable generating capacity in the PAF service area.
In addition to the no-action alternative, the EA considers two action alternatives for complying with MATS while maintaining adequate reliable generating capacity:
- Construct and operate pulse jet fabric filter systems for PM control on PAF Units 1 and 2.
- Construct and operate a natural gas-fueled generating plant at PAF and retire Units 1 and 2.
After consideration of cost and environmental factors, TVA has selected the natural gas-fueled generating plant as its preferred alternative. TVA evaluated other potential alternatives including different emission controls for Units 1 and 2, generation replacement by transmission upgrades and energy efficiency, and increased generation by renewable energy sources. None of these potential alternatives were feasible.
Although not required, TVA chose to make a draft of the EA available for a 30-day comment period. TVA received 304 comments on the draft EA, most of which supported the installation of the emission controls on Units 1 and 2 and the continued long-term coal-fired operation. TVA used those comments to complete the assessment and determine that impacts would be insignificant whether it chose to install additional controls on Paradise Units 1 and 2 or retired those units and built a natural gas plant on the Paradise Plant site.
It has been pointed out that TVA’s procedures implementing the National Environmental Policy Act require it to make a draft FONSI available for public comment in limited situations. TVA thinks that comments on the draft EA (the analytical basis for FONSI) provided a more meaningful and direct basis for commenting on TVA’s proposed findings of insignificance than commenting on the short, summary FONSI. However, TVA will accept comments on the FONSI, available at the link below, for a 30-day period or until August 29, 2014. Comments on the FONSI should be limited to whether specific impacts should or should not be considered significant. Comments may be submitted online or via fax, email, or U.S. Mail as indicated below. It is unnecessary to restate or repeat comments that were made on the draft EA.
The final EA is available through the links below. Printed and CD copies of the final EA may also be requested at the address below.
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Finding of No Significant Impact (PDF, 96 kb)
Complete Final Environmental Assessment (PDF, 5.7 mb)
Cover Page and Table of Contents (PDF, 137 kb)
Chapter 1 - Purpose and Need for Action (PDF, 1.1 mb)
Chapter 2 - Alternatives (PDF, 1.7 kb)
Chapter 3 - Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences (PDF, 580 kb)
Chapter 4 - Literature Cited (PDF, 125 kb)
Chapter 5 - Preparers (PDF, 98 kb)
Chapter 6 - Recipients (PDF, 93 kb)
Appendix A - NEPA Compliance Process (PDF, 97 kb)
Appendix B - Regulatory Agency Consultation (PDF, 1.1 mb)
Appendix C - Public and Agency Comments Received on Draft EA and TVA’s Response to Comments (PDF, 510 kb)
For additional information, please contact:
Charles P. Nicholson
Tennessee Valley Authority
400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 11D
Knoxville, TN 37902 Email: PAF@tva.gov