Muhlenberg County, Kentucky
On November 13, 2013, TVA issued a final environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) on its proposed actions at Paradise Fossil Plant (PAF) to comply with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). The MATS, recently issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPS) from existing coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units of 25 megawatts (MW) or greater and affected sources must demonstrate compliance with MATS by April 16, 2015. USEPA established a particulate matter (PM) limit of 0.030 pounds per million British thermal units (lbs/mmBtu) as a means of demonstrating compliance with the MATS for non-mercury HAPS metals.
PAF has three coal-fired generating units with total capacity of approximately 2,500 MW. Unit 3 meets the MATS. Units 1 and 2 do not meet the MATS PM limit in their current configurations. TVA must determine how to comply with MATS while maintaining adequate reliable generating capacity in the PAF service area.
In addition to the no-action alternative, the EA considers two action alternatives for complying with MATS while maintaining adequate reliable generating capacity:
After consideration of cost and environmental factors, TVA has selected the natural gas-fueled generating plant as its preferred alternative. TVA evaluated other potential alternatives including different emission controls for Units 1 and 2, generation replacement by transmission upgrades and energy efficiency, and increased generation by renewable energy sources. None of these potential alternatives were feasible.
Although not required, TVA chose to make a draft of the EA available for a 30-day comment period. TVA received 304 comments on the draft EA, most of which supported the installation of the emission controls on Units 1 and 2 and the continued long-term coal-fired operation. TVA used those comments to complete the assessment and determine that impacts would be insignificant whether it chose to install additional controls on Paradise Units 1 and 2 or retired those units and built a natural gas plant on the Paradise Plant site. Additionally, from July 30 to August 29, 2014, TVA accepted comments on the Finding of No Significant Impact. Two short comments, both supporting TVA’s decision, were received. TVA subsequently affirmed the conclusions of the FONSI as documented in the memorandum available at the link below.
The final EA is available through the links below. Printed and CD copies of the final EA may also be requested at the address below.
Finding of No Significant Impact (PDF, 0.1mb)
Complete Final Environmental Assessment (PDF, 5.6mb)
Memorandum affirming FONSI (PDF, 0.3mb)
More information on this environmental review can be obtained from:
Charles P. Nicholson
400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 11-D
Knoxville, TN 37902