General Guidelines and Restrictions for Use of TVA’s Electric Transmission System Rights-of-Way

The following is a general list of right-of-way (ROW) guidelines/restrictions for TVA’s rights-of-way.  This list does not include all restrictions or situations.  Any activity within the ROW which may affect TVA’s operations or easement rights must be reviewed by a Regional Transmission ROW Forester (TRF) and written approval obtained.  Please contact a Regional TRF if you have any questions.  TVA’s no objection to use the property encumbered by a Transmission Line ROW does not in any way diminish or reduce the easement rights acquired by TVA.  TVA’s no objection does not render an opinion as to the ownership of the underlying fee or relieve anyone from the obligation to obtain appropriate landowner, environmental, land-use, regulatory, or other approvals.

  • Any structures, buildings, mobile homes, septic systems, tanks (above or below ground), flammable material, trees, and all other objects which, in TVA’s opinion, interferes with the right-of-way or operation of the transmission line(s) present are not allowed within the limits of the TVA easement.
  • Fences and gates must be installed more than 25’ from any pole, tower, guy wire or guy anchor and must be approved by a TRF before installation.  Gate openings should be at least 16’ wide.  If you wish to lock the gate, please contact the TRF so that TVA may also install a lock.
  • Irrigation systems used for farming that travel across TVA ROWs or under TVA transmission lines must be approved before installation.
  • All plans for grading activities on TVA’s ROWs must be submitted to TVA for approval before construction begins.  Activities which may require grading include but are not limited to:  roads, driveways, parking lots, ponds, underground utility lines or facilities, drainages, etc.  No grading is permitted within 25’ of any pole, tower, guy or guy anchor.
  • TVA ground clearance to transmission line conductors (wires) must not be violated. 
  • Storage or stock-piling of dirt or other materials on TVA ROWs is not permitted.
  • Sedimentation control, re-vegetation, and restoration are required for land disturbing projects.
  • No equipment should be operated within the TVA ROW that would endanger the transmission line or nearby persons or property.  All applicable laws including state and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements must be followed, including those related to construction activities near energized electric facilities.
  • If blasting is performed on the ROW, the transmission line(s) should be protected against blast damage.  TVA shall be given at least 10 days notice before any blasting or crane operation on or near the ROW begins.
  • Any underground lines or pipes must be buried deep enough that they will withstand repeated crossing by heavy equipment.  TVA will not be responsible for any damage to a buried pipe or line.  All buried pipes or lines must be identified by permanent markers at regular intervals along the ROW.
  • Systems, cathodic or otherwise, that could interfere with or damage the transmission line towers or foundations may not be installed. 

Review times vary depending on the nature of the project.  Some reviews may take 30 days or longer for review.  We make every attempt to ensure the application process is as timely as possible. The process will go faster, if TVA receives a complete application from the beginning. If your application is not complete, we may have to return it or ask for more information.  To apply for a crossing or joint use of a TVA ROW please fill out the Application for Use of TVA Easements and send the completed application along with plans and maps to rightofway@tva.gov. Contact information for the Transmission ROW Forester nearest you and additional information on TVA rights-of way can be found here.