East Region Consolidation – Norris Properties Environmental Assessment

Norris, Tennessee

In 2013, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) developed an internal valley-wide real estate strategy to effectively and efficiently manage the agency-wide real estate portfolio to reduce costs and maximize the financial return on TVA’s real estate assets including office space. To meet office space requirements and consolidate the operations in a more efficient and economical manner, TVA is proposing to relocate the Inspection, Testing, Monitoring, and Analysis (ITMA) program from Summer Place Building, aquatic laboratory (lab) from Walnut Orchard, water quality lab from the Greenway Area Office building (Greenway), and associated equipment storage needs to the Norris Engineering Lab Complex (Engineering Lab).

The consolidation would proceed in two phases. Phase 1 is focused on interior renovations of structures at the Engineering Lab, and exterior work focused primarily in the southern and eastern portions of the property. Phase 1 exterior actions include the demolition of two small boat sheds and Building I, clearing of trees, installation of lights and cameras for security, construction of a stormwater detention pond, trenching and groundwork in the vicinity of Buildings B and I, repaving/reconfiguring of parking areas, and construction of a new boatshed(s) in the vicinity of Building I. Two supplemental Phase 1 activities address the transport of soil unsuitable for use as fill from the Engineering Lab property and the construction of a stormwater chamber. Phase 2 is driven by security updates needed to bring the facility into compliance with current TVA security measures and protocols. Phase 2 also addresses additional consolidation related actions including renovations of various structures that were unknown at the time of the Phase 1 assessment and are necessary for completion of the planned consolidation effort based on TVA’s ongoing evaluation of the condition of the existing facilities and program needs.

Phase 1 Environmental Assessment

On January 17, 2019, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) issued a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) evaluating Phase I of the proposed consolidation. The Phase 1 EA evaluates two alternatives: (A) to take no action and (B) consolidate portions of TVA operations to the Engineering Lab located in Norris, Tennessee. TVA’s preferred alternative is Alternative B – Phase I Engineering Lab Consolidation. A significant number of laboratory functions are already present at the Engineering Lab. The facilities at the Engineering Lab are more conducive to renovation and functional expansion than the facilities at Walnut Orchard. Additionally, operational and maintenance efforts could be reduced by consolidating functions into the Engineering Lab.

In February 2019, TVA identified the need for moderate renovations to the interior of Building C for remediation of water intrusion, mold, and asbestos, the need for grading and additional tree removal in the area north of Building I to accommodate the Phase 1 activities, and replanting of a vegetative barrier south of Building B. Therefore, TVA performed additional analysis of potential effects in the Revised Phase 1 East Region Consolidation – Norris Properties Environmental Assessment. TVA concluded that implementing Alternative B would not be a major federal action significantly affecting the environment. Therefore, TVA issued the Revised FONSI in March 2019.

Phase 1 First Supplemental Environmental Assessment

In May 2019, TVA discovered that approximately 500-750 cubic yards of removed overburden from the Phase 1 site, located within spoil piles on the site, contained contaminants at levels determined to be unsuitable for reuse as fill material and would need to be transported to an offsite waste landfill. Additionally, TVA required approximately 1,800-2,000 cubic yards of fill material to fill the former Building D basement area at Walnut Orchard to remediate long-term stability and safety concerns.

The Phase 1 First Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) and FONSI were prepared to analyze the impacts associated with the transport of approximately 500-750 cubic yards of soil from the Engineering Labs to be disposed at an offsite waste landfill and approximately 1,800-2,000 cubic yards of soil to be placed as fill material in the former Walnut Orchard Building D basement. In conducting this assessment, TVA supplemented its prior assessments of January 2019 and March 2019 for the Phase 1 East Region Consolidation-Norris Properties project. Based on the findings of the First SEA and the Revised Phase 1 EA and FONSI, which are incorporated by reference, TVA concluded that the proposal to remove 500-750 cubic yards of soil containing contaminants and/or not suitable for reuse as fill to an offsite waste landfill as well as transporting 1,800-2,000 cubic yards of soil suitable for reuse from the Engineering Lab site to the Walnut Orchard site would not be a major federal action significantly affecting the environment. Accordingly, an environmental impact statement was not required. TVA released the Final Phase 1 First SEA and FONSI in July 2019.

Phase 1 Second Supplemental Environmental Assessment

As construction contractors were finalizing plans for Phase 1 grading at the Engineering Labs, TVA identified the need to remove soil from the Phase 1 construction area to accommodate the desired grading plan and construction; this soil is not suited for use as stable fill material. It is possible additional soil would also need to be brought into the site for use as stable fill material. Total soil moved would be a maximum of 37,000 cubic yards. Additionally, under the Revised Phase 1 EA, the stormwater detention pond was proposed for construction along the southern side of the property adjacent to the property line. Further project planning has identified the need for additional parking at the Engineering Lab. The project needs to evaluate an alternative option for enclosing the pond and constructing parking atop the stormwater chamber. Therefore, this Phase 1 Second SEA is being prepared to evaluate the proposed transport of up to 37,000 cubic yards of soil to or from the Engineering Labs and the proposed alternative for an enclosed stormwater chamber.

The Draft Phase 1 Second SEA evaluates three alternatives (A) take no action, (B) transport approximately 37,000 cubic yards of soil to and from the Engineering Lab to either Walnut Orchard or an existing offsite landfill and construct an enclosed stormwater chamber with overlying parking, and (C) transport approximately 37,000 cubic yards of soil to and from the Engineering Lab to an existing offsite landfill and construct an enclosed stormwater chamber with overlying parking. These actions are needed in support of the previously evaluated Phase 1 construction activities.

On November 25, 2019, TVA issued the Draft Phase 1 Second SEA for the East Region Consolidation – Norris Properties project in Anderson County, Tennessee. Comments were accepted through December 10, 2019. Comments have been reviewed and were incorporated into the Final EA. 

TVA found that either Alternative B – Soil deposition at Walnut Orchard and an existing offisite landfill and construction of a stormwater chamber, and Alternative C – Soil deposition at an existing offsite landfill and construction of a stormwater chamber would not be a major federal action significantly affecting the environment.  Accordingly, an environmental impact statement is not required. TVA’s preferred approach is Alternative B – Soil deposition at Walnut Orchard and an existing offsite landfill and construction of a stormwater chamber. Therefore, TVA issued the Final Phase 1 Second SEA and FONSI on February 11, 2020.

Phase 2 Environmental Assessment

Phase 2 of the East Region Consolidation effort is driven by security updates needed to bring the facility into compliance with current TVA security measures and protocols. Phase 2 also addresses additional consolidation related actions that may be necessary as a result of TVA’s ongoing evaluation of the condition of the existing facilities and program needs; this includes renovations to various buildings onsite that were unknown at the time of the Phase 1 assessment and are necessary for completion of the planned consolidation effort based on TVA’s ongoing evaluation of the condition of the existing facilities and program needs. Therefore, this Phase 2 EA has been prepared to evaluate the potential impacts associated with these security updates and additional renovations included in Phase 2 of the East Region Consolidation activities.

On January 22, 2020, TVA issued the Draft Phase 2 EA for the East Region Consolidation – Norris Properties project in Anderson County, Tennessee. The Draft Phase 2 EA evaluates two alternatives (A) take no action, and (B) Phase 2 Engineering Lab Modification. These actions are needed in support of the East Region Consolidation efforts. Comments were accepted through February 5, 2020. Comments are being reviewed and incorporated into the Final EA.

TVA concluded that Alternative B – Phase 2 Engineering Lab Modification would not be a major federal action significantly affecting the environment.  Accordingly, an environmental impact statement is not required. Therefore, TVA issued the Final Phase 2 EA and FONSI on March 31, 2020.

Related Documents:

Phase 1 East Region Consolidation – Norris Properties Final Environmental Assessment (EA)(January 2019)

Phase 1 East Region Consolidation – Norris Properties Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) (January 2019)

Revised Final Phase 1 East Region Consolidation – Norris Properties Environmental Assessment (EA) (March 2019) (PDF, 16.5mb)

Revised Phase 1 East Region Consolidation – Norris Properties Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) (March 2019) (PDF, 0.1mb)

Phase 1 East Region Consolidation – Norris Properties First Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) & Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) (July 2019) (PDF, 0.6mb)

Phase 1 East Region Consolidation – Norris Properties Final Second SEA (February 2020) (PDF, 3.9mb)

Final Phase 1 Second SEA FONSI (February 2020) (PDF, 164 kb)

Phase 2 East Region Consolidation Final Environmental Assessment (EA) (March 2020)

Phase 2 East Region Consolidation Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) (March 2020)

Contact

More information on this environmental review can be obtained from:

Doug White
NEPA Specialist
wdwhite0@tva.gov
865-632-2252
400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 11B
Knoxville, TN 37902