Air Quality Standards
How can you tell if the air is clean? You can always look out the window, but that doesn’t tell you much. Under the Clean Air Act, Congress directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set national standards that would help determine air quality.
The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) established benchmarks for six major pollutants: particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and lead. They are the yardstick by which the U.S. measures the success or failure of its efforts to maintain clean air.
Two types of standards are included in the NAAQS. Primary standards define the levels of air quality needed for the protection of public health, including the health of particularly sensitive people like asthmatics, children and the elderly. Secondary standards define the levels needed to safeguard the public welfare; they deal with matters of visibility and the prevention of harm to animals, crops, vegetation and buildings.
Regions of the country that fail to meet the standards are designated as “nonattainment areas” and are required to design and carry out plans to achieve the mandated levels. The EPA reviews the standards every five years and updates them as necessary. A list of the primary and secondary standards is found at NAAQS.
Because more than half the power TVA produces is generated by burning fossil fuels—coal, oil and gas—the corporation has a special responsibility to help the Tennessee Valley meet these air quality standards. To read about emissions from TVA plants and the measures TVA is taking to control them, select the name of a plant or a pollutant from the menu at right.
Toxics Release Inventory
Another assessment that includes an air quality component is provided by the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which is based on a list of certain chemicals that the EPA has identified as potentially hazardous to human health and the environment. TVA is required to report annually on the amounts of TRI chemicals released by its operations. For more information on the TRI, including the latest TRI summary for all of TVA’s operations, see Toxics Release Inventory.
Emissions by Plant
Ackerman Combined Cycle Plant Emissions
Allen Fossil Plant Emissions
Brownsville Combustion Turbine Plant Emissions
Bull Run Fossil Plant Emissions
Caledonia Combined Cycle Plant Emissions
Colbert Fossil Plant Emissions
Cumberland Fossil Plant Emissions
Gallatin Fossil Plant Emissions
Gleason Combustion Turbine Plant Emissions
John Sevier Fossil Plant Emissions
Johnsonville Fossil Plant Emissions
Kemper Combustion Turbine Plant Emissions
Kingston Fossil Plant Emissions
Lagoon Creek Combustion Turbines and Combined Cycle Gas Plant Emissions
Magnolia Combined Cycle Plant Emissions
Marshall Combustion Turbine Plant Emissions
Paradise Fossil Plant Emissions
Shawnee Fossil Plant Emissions
Southaven Combined Cycle Plant Emissions
Widows Creek Fossil Plant Emissions