Management of Coal Combustion Residuals from the Cumberland Fossil Plant
Stewart County, Tennessee
On October 15, 2019, TVA released an Amended Record of Decision (ROD) for the Coal Combustion Residuals Management Operations Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Cumberland Fossil Plant. The 2018 ROD indicated TVA’s intent to construct and operate a bottom ash dewatering facility, process water basins, and an onsite landfill at the Cumberland Fossil Plant (CUF). During the design and permitting process, limitations were encountered which required a shift in the onsite landfill’s location. This revised design includes the relocation of the proposed stormwater basin and the relocation of the proposed leachate impoundment with a leachate tank farm. Additionally, TVA proposes to use the future onsite landfill as a repository for both existing and future CCR, rather than using the existing Fly Ash Stack as the storage facility for existing CCR. In August 2019, TVA completed a supplemental review, analyzing the potential impacts of the proposed landfill shift. While impacts to certain environmental resources would be slightly higher than those discussed in the 2018 Final EIS, the impacts would be minor and do not alter the overall impact findings and conslusions of the 2018 Final EIS.
Environmental Impact Statement
On May 31, 2018 TVA released a ROD for the the construction and operation of a bottom ash dewatering facility, construction and operation of an onsite landfill, and construction and operation of process water basins at the Cumberland Fossil Plant in Stewart County, Tennessee. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was released on April 20, 2018.
The Final EIS identified TVA’s preferred alternative, which included the above projects as well as the Closure-In-Place of the Bottom Ash Impoundment, and a combination of Closure-in-Place and Closure-by-Removal of the Main Ash Impoundment. The preferred alternative also identified the portion of the Main Ash Impoundment that would be Closed-by-Removal and repurposed as Process Water Basins, and analyzed the storage of the CCR that is removed from the impoundment to an existing onsite landfill.
TVA’s current decision pertains only to a portion of the preferred alternative including the construction and operation of a Bottom Ash Dewatering Facility, construction and operation of the new onsite CCR Landfill, and construction of the Processs Water Basins, which would include removal of CCR from of a portion of the Main Ash Impoundment. However, CCR removed for construction of the basins would be staged temporarily within the Main Ash Impoundment footprint until a final decision is made on a location for permanent disposal of the material. This decision achieves part of the project purpose and need of converting the wet storage of CCR to a dry system and promoting the future management of dry CCR at CUF by converting to dry bottom ash handling and providing additional long-term disposal for dry CCR materials produced at CUF.
In addition to state and federal water and waste regulations, TVA’s CCR disposal areas at CUF, including the impoundments, are subject to the 2015 Commissioner’s Order entered by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). Investigations at CUF under that Order are ongoing. Therefore, TVA is electing to further consider the proposed in-place closure of the Bottom Ash Impoundment and a portion of the Main Ash Impoundment before making a decision on closure of these facilities. In addition, TVA is electing to further consider the location for permanent disposal of the ash excavated from the Main Ash Impoundment.
The Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS was published in the Federal Register on December 2, 2016. A public open house was held on December 12, 2016, at the Freedom Point Events Center at Liberty Park in Clarksville, Tennessee. Public comments on the scope of the EIS were collected from December 2, 2016 through January 6, 2017. Comments received during the scoping period were reviewed by TVA and considered in the development of the EIS. Scoping comments and documents from the open house can be found in Appendix A of the final EIS. A Notice of Availability for the draft EIS was published in the Federal Register on November 17, 2017. A public open house was also held on November 28, 2017, at the Cumberland City Fire Hall in Cumberland City, Tennessee. Public comments on the draft EIS were collected from November 17, 2017 through January 2, 2017. Comments received during the draft EIS comment period are included in Appendix B of the final EIS, as well as TVA’s responses to those comments.
More information on this environmental review can be obtained from: