Caring for the air we breathe
Meteorologist Jennifer Call and air monitoring specialist Roger Tanner (below right) are on the front lines of TVA’s efforts to monitor and improve air quality in the Tennessee Valley.
|Jennifer Call and Roger Tanner lead the charge for cleaner air.|
Tanner analyzes the chemistry of the atmosphere. Call creates models for predicting ozone and particulate levels across the region and provides forecast support to the states of Tennessee and Alabama. “We’ve been helping forecast air quality since 2001,” says Call, “and we’ve noticed a great improvement, not only in ozone levels but also in air quality in general.”
During 2005, TVA invested $202 million in clean-air equipment, including scrubbers to reduce sulfur-dioxide emissions and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) as well as selective noncatalytic reduction systems to reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions from coal-fired plants.
With this year’s addition of two new SCR systems, TVA now has 20 in operation. These systems and other measures have reduced summer nitrogen-oxide emissions by 80 percent since 1995.
In coming years, TVA expects to add five scrubbers to the six already in operation. With two scrubbers under construction, at Paradise Fossil Plant in Kentucky and Bull Run Fossil Plant in Tennessee, TVA is on track to reduce sulfur-dioxide emissions by 80 to 85 percent from 1977 levels.
Many benefits flow from the river
In June 2004, TVA adopted a new reservoir operating policy designed to enhance water-based recreation opportunities while continuing to meet other needs: reducing flood damage, protecting water quality and aquatic resources, providing year-round navigation, and providing water for power production and municipal and industrial use.
|650,000 acres of water for recreation|
The new policy was shaped with extensive public input from citizens across the Valley as well as representatives from state and other federal agencies. It shifts the focus of TVA reservoir operations from achieving specific summer pool elevations on TVA-managed reservoirs to managing the flow of water through the river system.
Under the new policy, the drawdown of tributary storage reservoirs is restricted until Labor Day, subject to meeting downstream flow requirements.
|Randy Kerr and son Connor enjoy a recreational moment on Ft. Loudoun Reservoir.|
Implementation of the new policy has gone smoothly, according to Randy Kerr, Manager of River Forecasting. “We had the wettest fall on record in 2004, and this past summer has been abnormally dry, so our new operating policy has been put to a good test. In both years, we’ve been able to store water to minimize flooding and supply water for a full range of downstream uses, including providing hydropower to offset the higher costs of gas-fired generating sources. By all measures, the new operating policy has been a success.”