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TVA Asks for Public Input on Future of Coal Ash at Allen Fossil Plant

Nov 30, 2018

MEMPHIS, Tenn.­­ — The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking for public input on various options for closure of its coal ash storage areas at the former Allen Fossil Plant near Memphis, Tennessee. Allen’s three coal-fired units were retired on March 31, 2018.

As part of the National Environmental Policy Act, TVA is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate the potential environmental effects of several options at Allen to include, but not limited to, closure by removal, closure in place, and beneficial use. It’s estimated that almost 3 million cubic yards of coal ash and other coal combustion residuals remain in the ash impoundments at the site.

TVA is asking the public to provide input on what options should be included in the EIS for the future of the ash and other coal combustion residuals at Allen. A public scoping period runs through Jan. 4, 2019.

Specifically, TVA will consider closure of the East Ash impoundment, either in place or by removal. It is estimated that approximately 2.7 million cubic yards of material remain in this impoundment. TVA will also re-evaluate the potential for removal of approximately 250,000 cubic yards of material that remains in the West Ash impoundment. This was the original ash storage area for Allen until 1978. The evaluation will include consideration of existing off-site permitted landfills that could accept CCR from Allen either by truck, train, or barge, depending on the distance. The EIS will also consider options for the metal cleaning pond, which has approximately 193,000 cubic yards of ash in and around it.

The East Ash impoundment is where TVA found contamination, including arsenic, in shallow monitoring wells in 2017. A remediation effort is under way at the direction of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and is separate from this process. Interim response actions are under review by TDEC.

The EIS will also consider a No Action Alternative, whereby TVA assumes it would not close any of the surface impoundments at the Allen Fossil Plant. This alternative is included to provide a baseline for potential environmental impacts.

Comments on the scope of the draft EIS may be submitted online at, emailed to [email protected], or mailed to Ashley Farless, NEPA Compliance Specialist, Tennessee Valley Authority, 1101 Market Street, BR4A-C, Chattanooga, TN 37402.

To be considered, comments must be received no later than Jan. 4, 2019. Please note that any comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of the project administrative record and will be available for public inspection.

The Allen Fossil Plant is located on the south bank of McKellar Lake and was constructed in the 1950s by the Memphis Light, Gas, and Water Company. TVA purchased the plant and the underlying property in 1984.

For more information about TVA and its 85-year mission of service to the Tennessee Valley, click here.


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