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‘Listening session’ produces questions about Bull Run site

With TVA’s Bull Run Fossil Plant set to cease operations this year, some nearby residents are weighing in on the site’s future.

The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors had a public listening session Tuesday, May 9, at Norris Middle School, the day before their meeting. Citizens in attendance discussed issues such as climate change concerns, worker safety during the Kingston coal ash spill, blackouts, the merits of natural gas and renewable energy, and TVA’s history.

Claxton community residents from near TVA’s Bull Run plant talked about concerns for the future of the plant site.

“We believe this site could become an economic boon to the community if dismantling is handled well,” said Claxton resident Bob Hertwig.

Another resident, Joni McClelland, advocated for the plant to be taken down and ash storage areas cleaned up.

“TVA, I am your neighbor; we are your neighbors,” she said. “Love your neighbors as yourself.”

On the next day, Wednesday, May 10, the board met and voted on items at the same middle school. The meeting honored the utility’s 90th anniversary. On May 18, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the TVA Act creating the agency, initially tasked with navigation, flood control and economic development.

Following the May 10 meeting this year, TVA released a map showing proposed or planned plants including four natural gas plants and two solar plants.

None of them are proposed for Anderson County.

However, the utility has also proposed a small nuclear reactor in Roane County near Oak Ridge.