TVA Seeks Further Public Feedback on Shawnee Units' Future
The Tennessee Valley Authority is again asking the public to weigh in on the potential shutdown of two coal-burning units at McCracken County’s Shawnee Fossil Plant.
The 2011 Clean Air Act agreement requires the TVA to reduce its electricity generating units’ air pollution emissions by 2017.
The Shawnee Fossil Plant near Paducah has nine operating coal-fired units. Of them, units 1 and 4 are above the legal limit of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. There are seven additional operating coal-fired units at Shawnee that are not affected by this proposal and will continue to operate. A remaining unit, Shawnee 10, was retired in 2014.
The company is exploring whether to install emission controls, convert units 1 and 4 to burn biomass or retire them completely by 2018.
Earlier this month, Paducah leaders attended one of the TVA's public board meetings to voice off on their positions. Several of the city officials pushed for retrofitting the plant. However, TVA officials have said that new emission controls and altering the units would prove cost-inefficient.
Shawnee has 275 employees. TVA does not know how many positions would be lost if the units were to retire.
Last month, nearly 90 public comments came in from the initial comment period. Now the TVA is looking for more before a final recommendation is made to the company’s board of directors.
The current public comment period is open through December 9th. Submission can be made online at TVA's website or by mail.
The TVA must present a decision to the Environmental Protection Agency by the end of the year.