The Environmental Integrity Project today released a hard-hitting report entitled "Outside the Law: Restoring Accountability to the Tennessee Valley Authority." Key findings include:
- TVA's own Inspector General found that TVA negligence contributed to the Kingston disaster, and that TVA avoided full transparency to limit litigation following the spill.
- TVA intended to transition its coal waste ponds from wet-to-dry systems over 20 years ago, a move that could have averted the coal ash disasters at both Kingston and Widows Creek and curb TVA's harmful water discharges. However, no such action was taken and TVA reported to EPA that it discharged 3,433,291 pounds of toxic pollutants into surface waters in 2008 alone.
- The TVA IG also found that TVA bypassed air emission controls at the Cumberland, Widows Creek and Bull Run coal plants, resulting in well over a thousand tons of illegal emissions. According to the IG reports, TVA delayed fixing the problem or reporting the emissions to regulatory authorities.
- TVA is home to some of the oldest and least efficient coal plants in the U.S., and spends less on maintenance than many of its competitors. Unlike some utilities, there is little evidence that TVA is making the transition toward cleaner, low carbon source of electricity—its recalcitrance may be aided by federal law that prohibits competition within TVA's service area.
- Equally troubling, TVA repeatedly invokes its status as a "federal" agency to avoid responsibility for its own environmental misconduct. TVA raises issues of federal "sovereign immunity" to avoid penalties in environmental enforcement cases filed by citizens in federal court, yet TVA does not receive federal funds or tax dollars drawn from the U.S. Treasury. Limitations on the ability to recover penalties from federal agencies are supposed to protect the taxpayer— but TVA is completely self-financing, and has not received federal appropriations in decades; any fines paid by TVA need not come from the U.S. Treasury.
- Report: School board member/candidate Gloria Deathridge health issues (21 replies)
- Boomsday will be mostly free after all (2 replies)
- the future of public education (3 replies)
- Follies redux (1 reply)
- Stop-Start Vehicle Technology Saves Gas: Study (1 reply)
- Knox County 2014 State Primary and County General Election Sample Ballot (2 replies)
- Early voting update (1 reply)
- State finally admits its for-profit virtual academy is a flop (8 replies)
- Knoxville News Sentinel website makeover (15 replies)
- Lloyd Daugherty's statement regarding Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade (12 replies)
- Sens. Bell and Kelsey ask AG to sue Obama (5 replies)
- Knox Co. should resolve Halls greenway project issues (37 replies)