TVA requests public comment on a proposed wetland fill associated with this project. The Final EA, available at the link below, evaluated a permanent access road to the proposed substation that would have connected to the section of County Road 96 running north-south through the data center site. This access road is illustrated in Figure 3 in the Final EA. The section of County Road 96 through the data center site is now proposed to be closed. TVA therefore proposes to relocate the permanent substation access road to follow the alignment of an existing transmission line maintenance road running east-west through the transmission line right-of-way just south of the substation site. The existing access road would be upgraded and its intersection with County Road 255 (Concord Road) widened to accommodate the turning radius of the trucks delivering oversized substation components. This widening of the intersection will result in the fill of approximately 0.05 acres of moderate quality, emergent/scrub-shrub wetland.
TVA has determined that there is no practicable alternative to this wetland impact. Access to the substation site from the west on County Road 96 is not feasible due to the poor condition of the bridge across Widows Creek and access from the south is not feasible due to other ongoing and proposed construction activities. Due to the extent of wetlands adjacent to the west side of County Road 255 (see Figure 5 in the Final EA), relocating the access road intersection to the north or south would have resulted in greater impacts to wetlands. TVA has therefore determined that there is no practicable alternative to the proposed wetland fill. Other measures TVA proposes to minimize impacts to the wetland include the use of best management practices, marking its boundaries, and frequent inspections by environmental personnel during construction. TVA has determined that the proposed wetland fill would result in insignificant impacts and no adverse cumulative impacts.
In accordance with TVA procedures for implementing Executive Order 11990 on Protection of Wetlands, TVA requests public comment on this proposed impact to wetlands. Please submit comments by March 4, 2016 to Mr. Nicholson at the address below.
On January 15, 2016, TVA issued the Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for a proposed land transfer, site grading, and transmission system construction at its Widows Creek Fossil Plant in Jackson County, Alabama.
In spring, 2015, TVA transferred 360 acres of Widows Creek plant property to Wiessner Enterprises, LLC for light industrial development. This property disposal was the subject of a March 2015 Environmental Assessment. Google, Inc. has subsequently announced its plans to build a data center on the site. Wiessner Enterprises has now requested the transfer of an additional 336 acres of plant property to light industrial use and associated infrastructure. The final Environmental Assessment also evaluates additional site grading for the data center and the construction and operation of a switching station and transmission line connections to provide power to the data center. A draft of the Environmental Assessment was issued for public comment in December, 2015. One comment letter was received during the 22-day comment period.
More information on this environmental review can be obtained from: