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Cumberland Fossil Plant Wastewater Treatment Facility

Release of Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

TVA has issued a Final EA and FONSI for the proposed construction of wastewater treatment facilities at the Cumberland Fossil Plant (CUF). The treatment is for wet flue gas desulfurization (WFGD) wastewater. 

TVA’s preferred alternative is Alternative 2 – Construct Wastewater Treatment System, Stages A & B (described below) and optimize selenium removal to the extent practical to establish site-specific selenium and nitrate/nitrite limits. This alternative would meet the purpose and need of the project. TVA acknowledges that Alternative 2 would not likely enable TVA to meet the limits on selenium and nitrate/nitrate currently set in the NPDES permit issued for CUF, which incorporates the limits promulgated in the 2015 ELG Rule. However, as noted above, EPA is reconsidering that rule, and TVA’s application for alternative limits based on fundamentally different factors is still pending. To the extent that the reconsidered rule and/or EPA’s decision on TVA’s fundamentally different factors application require more treatment than is contemplated under Alternative 2, TVA would reconsider its preferred alternative to enable compliance with the requirements.

  • Stage A includes installing the equipment necessary for WFGD wastewater treatment solids removal and dewatering. Stage A is expected to be completed as soon as September 2020. Gypsum fines removed during this stage will go to an on-site landfill.
  • Stage B includes the physical-chemical wastewater treatment steps necessary to remove dissolved and particulate metals such as arsenic and mercury from process flows. This stage represents the expected minimum treatment requirement resulting from EPA’s review of the ELGs.

Certain components could be shared between stages. For example, clarifiers may be part of both Stage A and Stage B.

Related Documents

Final Environmental Assessment (PDF, 2.8mb)

Finding of No Significant Impact (PDF, 0.2mb)


More information on this environmental review can be obtained from:

Ashley Farless
NEPA Specialist
[email protected]
1101 Market Street, BR 2C
Chattanooga, TN 37402