TVA Briefs MLGW Board on Extensive Efforts to Ensure the Continued Protection of the Memphis Aquifer

Jun 2, 2021

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority today discussed with the Memphis Light, Gas, and Water board of commissioners about the extensive measures the utility has taken over the last five years to continue to protect the Memphis aquifer and restore the retired Allen Fossil Plant for the future benefit of the community.

Since 2017, TVA has aggressively investigated site conditions and developed a comprehensive restoration plan based on site-specific data and research under the independent direction and supervision of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. This plan protects the Memphis aquifer, safely removes coal ash from the site as part of the closure process, remediates localized groundwater conditions, repurposes the site for future use, and continues robust groundwater monitoring.   

“The Memphis aquifer is a precious natural resource and TVA remains committed to its continued protection,” said J. Cedric Adams, principal project manager at the Allen Fossil Plant, after the presentation to MLGW. “This commitment has driven every decision we have made to restore the retired Allen Fossil Plant for future economic development.”

MLGW invited TVA to provide an update on the project after the University of Memphis Center for Applied Earth Science and Engineering Research recently presented a graduate student’s preliminary research for a yet approved thesis that suggested TVA’s Allen site was potentially impacting the Memphis aquifer and the Davis Wellfield. Their “tentative conclusion” alleges there is a hydrologic pathway from the Allen site to the Horn Lake Cutoff, which is a surface water drainage channel. However, CAESER provided no data to support their presentation’s “tentative conclusion” and TVA requests for their data and report were declined.

“It is important to note that publicly available data shows that activities at the Allen Fossil Plant have not impacted the Memphis aquifer,” explained Adams. “Additionally, surface water runoff from Allen does not go to the Horn Lake Cutoff, all water streams at the site are managed and permitted as required, and the CAESER study does not consider that HLCO receives runoff from multiple industries and properties.”

TVA stated during the presentation that they will continue to communicate quarterly updates about the restoration project to TDEC, MLGW, the City of Memphis, Port Commission, and Shelby County as they have done for the last five years. In addition, TVA will provide further engagement opportunities to keep the community fully informed.

“We always appreciate opportunities to visit with community leaders and our neighbors to discuss the important work that is happening at the site,” said Adams. “This restoration project demonstrates our steadfast commitment to the community and our shared desire to protect vital natural resources like the Memphis aquifer.”

A copy of the TVA PowerPoint presentation presented to MLGW can be viewed at this link. For more information on the Allen restoration project, please visit tva.com/allen.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation. 

Contact

Scott Fiedler
Public Relations
safiedler@tva.gov
423-751-7883

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