Cumberland Fossil Plant Wastewater Treatment Facility

Release of Draft Environmental Assessment for Public Comment

TVA has released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for public comment which reviews the proposed construction of wastewater treatment facilities at the Cumberland Fossil Plant (CUF). The treatment is for wet flue gas desulfurization (WFGD) wastewater.  The treatment system would remove additional solids; to reduce trace metals such as mercury, arsenic, and selenium; and to possibly reduce nitrates/nitrites from the discharges to meet the 2015 Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG). TVA proposes to construct the WFGD treatment facility in three stages (A, B, and C) described below.

  • Stage A includes installing the equipment necessary for WFGD wastewater treatment solids removal and dewatering. This may include (single or dual stage) clarification to remove the bulk of the solids and WFGD effluent fines dewatering to prepare for placement in a landfill. Stage A elements are required regardless of possible outcomes of EPA’s review of the ELG rule limits and are necessary to meet certain requirements of EPA’s Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR Rule). Stage A is expected to be completed as soon as September 2020. Gypsum fines removed during this stage will go to an on-site landfill.
  • Stage B includes the physical-chemical wastewater treatment steps necessary to remove dissolved and particulate metals such as arsenic and mercury from process flows. This stage represents the expected minimum treatment requirement resulting from EPA’s review of the ELGs. This stage contains flexibility to address the uncertainty about the result of EPA’s review, and is expected to be implemented at CUF by September 1, 2021 to meet the mercury and arsenic limits in the ELGs. Should CUF be granted the FDF variance or other regulatory accommodation that does not require biological treatment, TVA would also attempt to optimize to the extent practical the removal of selenium from discharges using the physical-chemical treatment steps identified by EPA as best available technology in support of development of site-specific limitations.
  • Stage C involves additional treatment of WFGD effluent to meet selenium and nitrate/nitrite limits that were outlined in the 2015 ELG rule.

Certain components could be shared between stages. For example, clarifiers may be part of both Stage A and Stage B.

Submitting Comments

Comments may be submitted by mail, email, or via online comment form. Comments must be submitted or postmarked on or before May 8, 2019. This comment period has been extended from May 3 to May 8. Please note that comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of the project administrative record and will be available for public inspection

Mail Comments
Ashley Farless
NEPA Specialist
1101 Market Street, BR 2C-C
Chattanooga, TN 37402

Email Comments

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Related Documents


For more information about the environmental review contact:

Ashley Farless
NEPA Specialist
1101 Market Street, BR 2C-C
Chattanooga, TN 37402