Bell and Harlan Counties, Kentucky
On December 30, 2015, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) completed a final environmental assessment (EA) and issued a finding of no significant impact for the proposed disposal of mineral rights, i.e., coal reserves, underlying approximately 9,584 acres of property (the Straight Creek property) in Harlan and Bell Counties, Kentucky. Since these coal reserves were acquired, TVA’s need for them has changed. Also, much of the coal underlying the Straight Creek property is more suitable for metallurgical purposes, such as manufacturing steel, than as steam coal. Additionally, the mining of a vast majority of TVA’s coal reserves on these properties would not be economically feasible due to the thinness of the coal seam. Thus, the recognized value of the coal reserves being considered for disposal has changed. Because these reserves are no longer a strong asset, TVA proposes to declare them surplus property. Disposal of these coal reserves would allow TVA to recover economic value from the initial expenditure and reduce its exposure to environmental liability associated with the continued ownership of coal rights underlying the properties. Therefore, TVA has decided to declare the 9,584-acre Straight Creek property surplus and dispose of those holdings under Section 31 of the TVA Act.
More information on this environmental review can be obtained from:
Carol Butler Freeman
NEPA Project Manager
1101 Market Street, BR C402
Chattanooga, TN 37402