Kingston Fossil Plant Wastewater Treatment Facility

Roane County, Tennessee

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) requests your comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Kingston Fossil Plant (KIF) Wastewater Treatment Facility in Roane County, Tennessee.

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and the Act’s implementing regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality ([CEQ]; 40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1500-1508), federal agencies are required to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of their proposed actions. This EA was prepared to assess the potential impacts of TVA’s Proposed Action on the environment in accordance with CEQ’s and TVA’s procedures for implementing NEPA (TVA 1983).

TVA’s KIF burns coal to generate up to approximately 1,420 megawatts of power, enough to provide electricity to about 700,000 homes. The plant utilizes a series of environmental control devices to reduce air emissions. One system is a wet flue gas desulfurization (WFGD) system, often referred to as a “scrubber”. The scrubber removes sulfur dioxide (SO2) from flue gas by allowing it to react with limestone in a slurry. This process generates gypsum which is discharged from the scrubber and is conveyed to an on-site gypsum dewatering facility owned by TVA. The dewatered gypsum has historically been sold for use in cement, and TVA is currently marketing gypsum from KIF to be used for wallboard manufacturing. Water from the gypsum dewatering process is treated in clarifiers and then conveyed to an existing on-site process water basin where it receives additional treatment before it is released via a permitted discharge into the Clinch River.

Due to changes in Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations, TVA proposes to construct and operate a new WFGD wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) and modify related existing processes at KIF. The need for action is to enhance wastewater quality, to meet regulatory limits established by EPA Effluent Limit Guidelines (ELG), and to improve the marketability of gypsum produced in the WFGD process.

The 2015 ELGs are currently the subject of litigation and are under further review by the EPA; thus, there is uncertainty about the final revised limitations. TVA is developing strategies to comply with future requirements. The proposed WWTF would be completed in stages to allow TVA to comply with the current 2015 ELGs or currently proposed alternative 2019 ELGs.

Alternative 3 is identified as the preferred alternative pursuant to which TVA would construct a new WFGD WWTF at KIF including stages A, B, and C. Certain components could be shared between stages. For example, clarifiers may be part of both Stage A and Stage B.

  • Stage A includes installing the equipment necessary for WFGD WWT TSS removal and dewatering. Stage A elements are required regardless of possible outcomes of EPA’s review of the ELGs and are necessary to meet certain requirements of the Coal Combustion Residuals Rule. TVA would also upgrade the gypsum dewatering process to include secondary hydrocyclones to increase the amount of gypsum available for marketing and reduce the amount of gypsum disposed on site.
  • Stage B includes the physical/chemical WWT steps necessary to remove dissolved and particulate metals such as arsenic and mercury from process flows. Stage B represents the expected minimum treatment requirement resulting from EPA’s review of the 2015 ELGs.
  • Stage C involves additional biological treatment of WFGD effluent to meet selenium and nitrate/nitrite limits that were outlined in the 2015 ELGs. Final implementation of Stage C is on hold pending the final 2019 ELGs, but if required, would be implemented at KIF in accordance with regulations and modified permits.

Submitting Comments

Comments may be submitted online, via email or by mail to the address below. To be considered, comments must be submitted or postmarked no later than March 3, 2020. Please note that any comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of the project administrative record and will be available for public inspection.

Submit an Online Comment Here: Online Comment Form

Related Documents


For more information about the environmental review contact:

J. Taylor Cates
NEPA Project Manager
1101 Market Street, BR 2C-C
Chattanooga, TN 37402