On Friday (Jan. 13), the day after a public hearing and question- and-answer session held by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Valley Authority extended the public comment period.
Residents got an opportunity to express environmental concerns about the coal-fired electric generating plant at the hearing Thursday at the TDEC office in Oak Ridge.
TVA’s coal plants have water permits that allow the utility to take water from the Clinch River, use it for cooling or waste processing, and then release it back into the river after treatment.
TVA must ensure that the water it releases back into the waterway is compliant with federal environmental rules. However, those rules change with presidential administrations.
TDEC is responsible for issuing the water permits on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
EPA guidelines were changed in 2020 under the Trump administration, rolling back standards from 2015.