On February 5, 2021, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) issued a final environmental assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Paradise Fossil Plant (PAF) Decontamination and Deconstruction project in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. The EA evaluates the potential environmental effects of the future disposition of the physical structures associated with the retired coal-fired plant units, including the powerhouse, coal handling facilities, and surrounding support buildings. TVA needs to manage the disposition of the PAF site to provide necessary structures and facilities for ongoing site activities while considering capital cost, long-term operations and maintenance costs, environmental risks, safety and security at the plant site, and making the land available for future economic development.
PAF was originally constructed with two coal-fired cyclone generating units. Each of these units, known as Units 1 and 2, had a generating capacity of 704 megawatts (MW) and went on-line in 1963. A third unit, Unit 3, became operational in 1970 with a capacity of 1,150 MW. Combined, the three units had a generating capacity of 2,558 MW and could produce more than 14 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, enough to supply more than 950,000 homes. In order to comply with the United States Environmental Protection Agency 2010 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, TVA retired PAF Units 1 and 2 in April 2017 and replaced their generation with a new 1,100-MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle plant located on the PAF reservation just north of the coal units. PAF Unit 3 was retired in February 2020 due to repair and maintenance costs.
TVA evaluated two alternatives in the EA: Alternative A full Demolition of All Structures and Closure of the Coal and Limestone Yards, and Alternative B to take no action. TVA’s preferred alternative is Alternative A. TVA concluded that implemeting Alternative A would not be a major federal action significant affecting the environment. Therefore, TVA has issued the FONSI.
The Draft EA was released for comment on November 18, 2020. The 30-day comment period closed on December 18, 2020. The Draft EA was transmitted to state, federal, and local agencies and TVA consulted with federally recognized tribes regarding the proposed actions. The Draft EA was also posted on TVA’s public NEPA review website. A notice of availability, including a request for comments on the Draft EA, was published in newspapers serving the Muhlenberg County, Kentucky area. Chapter 5 provides a list of agencies and organizations notified of the availability of the draft EA. Comments on the draft EA were accepted from November 18, 2020 through December 18, 2020 via TVA’s website, mail, and e-mail. TVA carefully reviewd all of the substantive comments received. Comments were summarized and included in Appendix D of the Final EA.
More information on this environmental review can be obtained from: