KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority is extending the public comment period on the proposed changes to its procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act by 30 days accepting comments until Sept. 6, 2017, after receiving several requests to do so.
NEPA establishes the process for considering and disclosing potential environmental impacts of major federal actions. TVA first established its NEPA procedures in 1978 and made minor revisions in 1983.
The most significant proposed change is the list of TVA categorical exclusions. These are categories of actions that have no significant individual or cumulative environmental effect, under normal circumstances, and for which more in-depth environmental reviews are unnecessary. The current list of 28 categorical exclusions would be expanded to 50.
“The expanded list addresses common activities essential to TVA’s mission,” said TVA Senior Vice President Jacinda Woodward. “For instance, the current list of categorized exclusions does not include routine natural resources stewardship, economic development or certain transmission system management activities which have little impact to the environment.”
As part of its review of the proposed changes, TVA consulted with the White House Council on Environmental Quality and now must go through a formal “rulemaking process” that includes gathering public input.
The public is invited to review the proposed procedures online at www.tva.gov/nepa and provide comments no later than Sept. 6, 2017. Comments may be submitted online or by email to: NEPArule@tva.gov. You may also mail comments to NEPA Rule, 400 West Summit Hill Dr., WT-11D, Knoxville, TN 37902. All comments received, including names and addresses, become part of the project administrative record and available for public inspection.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving more than 9 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.
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