Air Pollution Control Equipment Services, Coal, Emissions

Court orders TVA to install emission controls at four coal plants

21 January 2009 – A federal court ordered the Tennessee Valley Authority to install pollution controls at four coal-fired plants at an estimated cost of $1 billion.

A judge also set emission limits for the four plants. TVA said it was disappointed in the Jan. 13 decision, but is committed to working to improve the region’s air quality.

The court denied a request by North Carolina’s Attorney General to regulate seven other TVA plants, holding that data from both parties show that emissions from these seven plants do not have nearly the same affect on North Carolina’s air as the easternmost four. Installing controls at all 11 plants would have cost an estimated $3 billion to $5 billion. The Attorney General had alleged that emissions from the TVA plants blew into North Carolina and created a public nuisance.

TVA installed a scrubber and selective catalytic reduction at its Bull Run plant, so the judge ordered that the controls be properly maintained and operated year-round. Two scrubbers under construction at the Kingston plant must be completed by the end of 2010. Scrubbers and selective catalytic reduction units planned for the John Sevier plant must be installed and operational by the end of 2011. The court set an end of 2013 deadline for TVA to install scrubbers and selective catalytic reduction for all eight generating units at its Widows Creek plant.