TVA's overarching Environmental Policy is to produce increasingly clean, reliable and affordable power, support sustainable economic growth in the Tennessee Valley and promote proactive environmental sustainability in a balanced and ecologically sound manner.
As a good steward, it is TVA's duty to promote the proper public use of the Tennessee River watershed and its natural resources. We are committed to sustainability and continuous improvement, proactive stewardship in managing our natural resources and environmental footprint and maintaining compliance with all applicable environmental and legal requirements.
TVA continues to integrate sustainable practices into business operations by establishing goals, measuring progress and reporting performance in these six key areas:
Climate Change Mitigation
TVA actively reduces its carbon emissions through cleaner production options and energy efficiency initiatives. We are:
- Minimizing our carbon footprint and cutting greenhouse gases by reducing our dependence on coal-fired plants and actively pursing cleaner sources of energy, such as hydropower, nuclear and natural gas
- Investing in technology that supports low- or zero-carbon emitting energy and smart grid infrastructure
- Encouraging customers to use energy efficiency, premium green-energy and regional climate change mitigation opportunities
- Actively investing in renewable energy solutions
Air Quality Improvement
TVA improves regional air quality through emission controls on existing generation and through adopting cleaner energy options. We are:
- Employing air-emission reduction equipment at our coal-fired plants
- Retiring coal plants
- Considering air quality as a critical component in future capacity-planning decisions
Water Resource Monitoring
TVA manages an integrated river system for multiple uses and provides clean water for Valley needs. We are:
- Lessening impact on aquatic systems while balancing thermal cooling needs
- Reducing consumption of water at TVA's metered facilities
- Managing water quality and quantity impacts through permitting activities on and around TVA reservoirs; the collection, maintenance and distribution of water quality information; and strategies to manage increased water demand
TVA conducts its operational and business functions striving to reduce waste and increase recycling. We are:
- Reducing the waste footprint of all TVA facilities by decreasing waste generation and improving recycling
- Adapting our generation facilites to produce less waste
- Recycling coal-combustion waste
TVA manages public lands for multiple benefits, striving to maintain good environmental health while balancing the need for sustainable development. We are:
- Managing TVA lands, mineral rights and shoreline access to better achieve environmental commitments while meeting the needs for recreation, residential access and economic development
- Providing for the most ecologically and environmentally sound use of the lands under its purview, through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Sustainable Land Use and Natural Resource Management
TVA manages public lands for multiple benefits, striving to maintain good environmental health while balancing the needs for sustainable development and recreation. We are:
- Managing TVA lands according to Reservoir Land Management Plans
- Improving reservoir shoreline conditions through collaborative partnership initiatives and balance the multiple uses of the reservoirs in accordance with TVA's Land Policy and Shoreline Management Policy
- Providing well-managed, eco-friendly dispersed recreation while balancing the protection of cultural and heritage resources
- Promoting ecological diversity and wildlife habitats on TVA lands
Sustainability at TVA
Sustainability for TVA means ensuring our ability to provide the people of the Tennessee Valley with low-cost and reliable electricity, a healthy environment and a prosperous economy without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. Read more about our commitment to sustainability in all of our practices.
Guidelines and Drivers for Environmental Policy
Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS)—Sets strict limitations on air emissions from fossil fuel power plants. Learn more about MATS.
Clean Water Act (CWA)—Establishes the basic structure for discharges of pollutants into water of the United States. Learn more about CWA.
EPA Final Clean Water Act Section 316(b) Rule—Sets environmental law regarding cooling water intakes at power-generating facilities. Learn more about EPA Ruling 316b. This is a rule updating best technology available (BTA) for cooling water intact for cooling water intake structures under the CWA.
Cross-State Air Pollution Update Rule (CSAPR)—EPA rule that requires 28 states to reduce annual SO2 and NOx emissions by reducing power plant emissions that contribute to ozone and/or fine particulate pollution in other states. Read more about CSAPR.
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQs)—The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment. Read more about NAAQs.
Endangered Species Act (ESA)—Under the Endangered Species Act, species can be listed as "endangered" or "threatened," which may affect the way TVA operates its plants or manages its public lands. Read more about the Endangered Species Act.