Coal Tattoo

UPDATED 2: The U.S. Environmental Protection just issued this news release:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations at 11 of its coal-fired plants in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The settlement will require TVA to invest a TVA estimated $3 to $5 billion on new and upgraded state-of-the-art pollution controls that will prevent approximately 1,200 to 3,000 premature deaths, 2,000 heart attacks and 21,000 cases of asthma attacks each year, resulting in up to $27 billion in annual health benefits. TVA will also invest $350 million on clean energy projects that will reduce pollution, save energy and protect public health and the environment.

Copies of the settlements are posted here, here and here, and this is what EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson had to say:

This agreement will save lives and prevent billions of dollars in health costs. Modernizing these plants and encouraging clean energy innovation means better health protections and greater economic opportunities for the people living near TVA facilities. Investments in pollution control equipment will keep hundreds of thousands of tons of harmful pollutants out of the air we breathe, and help create green job opportunities that will reduce pollution and improve energy efficiency.

A list of the affected units is posted here and EPA has more information here.

UPDATED 3: Here’s a link to the TVA’s news release.

UPDATED: The Sierra Club just announced

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) board of directors approved a landmark agreement today with three citizen groups, four states and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), marking one of the largest pollution reduction agreements in the nation’s history.

This agreement requires TVA to phase out 18 units at dirty, coal-fired power plants and install modern pollution controls on three dozen additional units, thanks to more than 11 years of pressure from environmental groups, Southeastern states and the EPA. The blockbuster agreement – which includes the affected states of Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee – represents the largest ever reduction in air pollution in the Southeastern United States. This agreement permanently retires an unprecedented 2,700 megawatts of dirty coal-fired electricity and will drastically reduce TVA’s emissions of dangerous sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon pollution. Clean Air Task Force estimates that coal-fired power plants in the region cause more than 1,800 premature deaths and more than 2,400 heart attacks each year in the four-state region, and are a major source of area air pollution woes.


Could be a big announcement today out of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s annual meeting in Chattanooga. The Knoxville News previewed the story earlier this week:

If TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan gets a stamp of approval from the TVA Board of Directors on Thursday, it will mark the official beginning of a new direction for the agency.

The plan, which has been in the works for about two years, would move the Tennessee Valley Authority away from reliance on coal-produced power and toward greater use of nuclear, natural gas, renewable fuels, energy efficiency and other measures to meet power demand. TVA has already taken steps in that direction. In August it announced the idling of nine coal-fired units, representing about 1,000 megawatts of power capacity. TVA also has contracts to buy power from wind, solar and biomass sources.

Stay tuned …