Muscle Shoals Reservation Redevelopment
Colbert County, Alabama
In November 2011, TVA issued a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed disposal of 1,400 acres of land on the Muscle Shoals Reservation (MSR) in Colbert County, Alabama. Since the final EIS was published, TVA has been developing the comprehensive master plan in concert with the local community. During this process, TVA identified 400 acres of land (mainly around the TVA-retained solid waste management units) that should be retained by TVA due to ongoing TVA business needs and limited development opportunities due to prior industrial operations. TVA also determined that it should retain ownership of the Western Area Radiological Laboratory and sell the TVA Credit Union site. The TVA Board of directors approved the disposal of approximately 1,000 acres instead of the 1,400 acres analyzed in the final EIS. The Record of Decision (ROD) to implement Alternative F: Unrestricted Land Use, was signed on September 5, 2013. The final EIS and ROD can be viewed by clicking on the links below.
Disposing of and selling this portion of the MSR would reduce TVA’s operations and maintenance costs and its environmental footprint, enhance economic development opportunities, encourage reuse of some historic buildings and structures, and leave future land use decisions to the local community. Local government officials have requested the use of this land for many years; and in accordance with its economic development mission, TVA believes that the transfer and redevelopment of this property would help to stimulate and promote growth of the local and regional economy.
The EIS evaluates a reasonable range of future land use alternatives for the MSR property along with the potential effects of such uses. Under No Action (Alternative A), this property would not be sold and would remain in public ownership to be managed in accordance with TVA’s 1996 Muscle Shoals/Wilson Dam Reservation Land Management Plan. Under the five Action Alternatives (Alternatives B, C, D, E, and F), the land would be sold (likely at public auction) and be used for conservation and low-impact development (B); commercial, retail, and residential use (C); industrial use (D); a mix of these uses (E); or unrestricted land use (F). TVA is working with the Shoals area community and appropriate local, state, or federal authorities to develop the comprehensive master plan that would guide the redevelopment of the MSR property. Under any of the action alternatives, TVA would retain monitored solid waste management unit areas and continue to manage them in accordance with state regulation.
TVA issued a draft EIS on January 14, 2011 and public comments were accepted through February 28, 2011. An open house meeting to receive comments on the draft EIS was held on February 3, 2011, at the Muscle Shoals High School.
Adaptive Re-Use Study
In preparation for the potential redevelopment of a portion of the MSR, TVA evaluated the importance and condition of buildings eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. A TVA-commissioned study, known as the Adaptive Re-Use Study, focused on three broad areas in evaluating about 45 buildings south of Reservation Road:
- Existing architectural and structural conditions of each building and the flexibility of each building for uses other than their original functions
- Viability of the buildings based on current and foreseeable market trends in the region
- Development of a draft concept plan illustrating examples of how the historic buildings might be reused in a larger redevelopment effort
The study outlines various concepts including changes in population and how that might affect use of the property and buildings; types of businesses or industries that the current population or expected growth in the area might support; and impacts that road systems and distribution of population centers might have on the economic viability of new businesses and industries locating on the reservation. This information, presented in the hyperlinks below, helped TVA in its work with the Shoals community and local governments as well as during consultations with the Alabama State Historic Preservation Officer, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, federally recognized Native American tribes and other consulting parties on this undertaking, which has been determined to adversely affect some historic properties. This process fulfills TVA’s requirement to comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and was an integral part of the final EIS development process (see Sections 3.4 and 4.4 in the final EIS and Appendices A, K, and L referenced above).
To obtain a copy of the Adaptive Re-Use Study on compact disc (CD), go to TVA’s Land and Shoreline Management Office, located in the Multipurpose Building, Reservation Road, Complex D, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, or call TVA’s Environmental Information Center at 800‑882-5263.
More information on this environmental review can be obtained from: