Allen Fossil Plant Ash Impoundment Closure Environmental Impact Statement, 22234-22238 [2020-08420]

Download as PDF 22234 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 77 / Tuesday, April 21, 2020 / Notices under Section 19(b)(2)(B) of the Act 6 to determine whether to approve or disapprove the proposed rule change (‘‘OIP’’).7 The Commission received no comment letters in response to the OIP. On April 9, 2020, the Exchange withdrew the proposed rule change (SR–CboeEDGA–2019–015). For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.8 J. Matthew DeLesDernier, Assistant Secretary. [FR Doc. 2020–08372 Filed 4–20–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. AB 1009 (Sub-No. 2X)] lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES Mission Mountain Railroad, L.L.C.— Discontinuance of Service Exemption—in Flathead County, Mont. On April 1, 2020, Mission Mountain Railroad, L.L.C. (MMT), filed a petition under 49 U.S.C. 10502 for exemption from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10903 to discontinue its operations over approximately 13.33 miles of rail line, extending from milepost 1211.86 at the interchange with the BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) at Columbia Falls to milepost 1225.19 at Kalispell, all in Flathead County, Mont. (the Line). The Line traverses U.S. Postal Service Zip Codes 59901 and 59912. According to MMT, it provides service on the Line pursuant to a lease agreement with BNSF, the owner of the Line. MMT explains that the lease agreement was due to terminate on March 31, 2020, and that MMT and BNSF have agreed that BNSF will assume direct operation of its line in place of MMT as of April 1, 2020. MMT states that the proposed discontinuance will allow MMT to formally end its common carrier obligations over the Line. In addition, MMT states that no customer on the Line will be left without common carrier service as a consequence of the proposed discontinuance. MMT states that it believes the Line does not contain any federally granted rights-of-way. MMT also states that any documentation in its possession will be made available to those requesting it. As a condition to this exemption, any employee adversely affected by the discontinuance of service shall be 6 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(B). Securities Exchange Act Release No. 87709 (December 10, 2019), 84 FR 68523 (December 16, 2019). 8 17 CFR 200.30–3(a)(57) and (58). 7 See VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:19 Apr 20, 2020 Jkt 250001 protected under Oregon Short Line Railroad—Abandonment Portion Goshen Branch Between Firth & Ammon, in Bingham & Bonneville Counties, Idaho, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). By issuance of this notice, the Board is instituting an exemption proceeding pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502(b). A final decision will be issued by July 20, 2020. Because this is a discontinuance proceeding and not an abandonment proceeding, interim trail use/rail banking and public use conditions are not appropriate. Because there will be environmental review during any subsequent abandonment, this discontinuance does not require an environmental review. See 49 CFR 1105.6(c)(5), 1105.8(b). Any offer of financial assistance (OFA) for subsidy under 49 CFR 1152.27(b)(2) will be due no later than 120 days after the filing of the petition for exemption, or 10 days after service of a decision granting the petition for exemption, whichever occurs sooner.1 Persons interested in submitting an OFA must first file a formal expression of intent to file an offer by May 1, 2020, indicating the intent to file an OFA for subsidy and demonstrating that they are preliminarily financially responsible. See 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(1)(i). All filings in response to this notice must refer to Docket No. AB 1009 (SubNo. 2X) and must be filed with the Surface Transportation Board either via e-filing or in writing addressed to 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423–0001. In addition, a copy of each pleading must be served on MMT’s representative, Bradon J. Smith, Fletcher & Sippel LLC, 29 North Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606–2832. Replies to this petition are due on or before May 11, 2020. Persons seeking further information concerning discontinuance procedures may contact the Board’s Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance at (202) 245–0238 or refer to the full abandonment and discontinuance regulations at 49 CFR part 1152. Questions concerning environmental issues may be directed to the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis at (202) 245–0305. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov. Decided: April 15, 2020. 1 The filing fee for OFAs can be found at 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25). PO 00000 Frm 00112 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 By the Board, Scott M. Zimmerman, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings. Aretha Laws-Byrum, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2020–08411 Filed 4–20–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY Allen Fossil Plant Ash Impoundment Closure Environmental Impact Statement Tennessee Valley Authority. Record of decision. AGENCY: ACTION: This notice is provided in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations and Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). TVA has decided to adopt the Preferred Alternative identified in the Allen Fossil Plant (ALF) Ash Impoundment Closure Environmental Impact Statement. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was made available to the public on March 6, 2020. A Notice of Availability of the Final EIS was published in the Federal Register on March 13, 2020. The Preferred Alternative is ‘‘Closure of the Metal Cleaning Pond, Closure-byRemoval of the East Ash Pond Complex and the West Ash Pond; Disposal of CCR in an Offsite Landfill Location.’’ This alternative would achieve the purpose and need of the project to support the implementation of TVA’s goal to eliminate all wet Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) storage at its coal plants; close CCR surface impoundments across the TVA system; comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s CCR Rule and other applicable federal and state statutes and regulations; and enhance future economic development in the greater Memphis area. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: W. Douglas White, Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT11B–K, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902; telephone (865) 638–2252, or by email wdwhite0@tva.gov. The Final EIS, this Record of Decision (ROD) and other project documents are available on TVA’s website https://www.tva.gov/ nepa. SUMMARY: TVA is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving more than 10 million people in an 80,000 square mile area comprised of most of Tennessee and parts of Virginia, SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\21APN1.SGM 21APN1 lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 77 / Tuesday, April 21, 2020 / Notices North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operation of its power system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation. ALF was constructed in the 1950s by the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division (MLGW). TVA purchased the plant in 1984 and operated the plant until ALF’s three coal-fired units were retired on March 31, 2018. While in operation, ALF consumed approximately 7,200 tons of coal a day and produced approximately 5,160 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. CCR produced by the collective units included approximately 85,000 dry tons of slag and fly ash annually. Unlike other TVA power plants, much of the land occupied by ALF is not owned by TVA, but by third parties, including the City of Memphis, Shelby County, and MLGW. ALF is also located in a heavily industrialized area, which means that redevelopment is of particular interest as the land holds significant economic potential for the non-TVA owners due to its location within the Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park as well as its access to the Port of Memphis via McKellar Lake. TVA has prepared an EIS pursuant to NEPA to assess the environmental impacts of the proposed closures of the East Ash Pond Complex (including the Coal Yard Runoff Pond), the West Ash Pond and the Metal Cleaning Pond at ALF. TVA estimates that approximately 3,500,000 yd3 of CCR is located within the project areas at ALF. TVA has also evaluated the location requirements and environmental impacts associated with the potential construction and utilization of an off-site proposed beneficial re-use processing facility that would be used to process CCR from ALF. TVA also considered potential impacts associated with the transport of borrow from previously permitted sites and the disposal of CCR at existing, offsite permitted landfills. With a long-standing commitment to safe and reliable operations and to environmental stewardship, TVA began, in 2009, to convert from wet to dry management of CCR. On April 17, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Final Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities rule (CCR Rule) in the Federal Register (80 FR 21302). The CCR Rule establishes national criteria VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:19 Apr 20, 2020 Jkt 250001 and schedules for the management and closure of CCR facilities. In June of 2016, TVA issued a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) that analyzed methods for closing impoundments that hold CCR materials at TVA fossil plants and identified specific screening and evaluation factors to help frame its evaluation of closures at additional facilities. The purpose of the PEIS was to support TVA’s goal to eliminate all wet CCR storage at its coal plants by closing CCR surface impoundments across TVA’s system and to assist TVA in complying with the EPA’s CCR Rule. The proposed action at ALF tiers from the PEIS. The purpose, therefore, is to eliminate all wet CCR storage at ALF; close its CCR surface impoundments; comply with the EPA’s CCR Rule and other applicable federal and state statutes and regulations; and help make the property available by its non-TVA owners for future economic development projects in the greater Memphis area. Alternatives Considered TVA considered three alternatives in the Draft EIS and Final EIS. These alternatives are: Alternative A—No Action Alternative. Under the No Action Alternative, TVA would not close the East Ash Pond Complex (which includes the Coal Yard Runoff Pond) or the Metal Cleaning Pond. The West Ash Pond would remain in its current closed state. No closure activities (i.e., no excavation or transport activities) would occur. However, the No Action Alternative is inconsistent with TVA’s plans to convert all of its wet CCR systems to dry systems and is inconsistent with the general intent of EPA’s CCR Rule. In addition, under the No Action Alternative, the ALF closure area land would not be made available to its owners for future economic development projects in the greater Memphis area. Consequently, this alternative would not satisfy the project purpose and need and, therefore, is not considered viable or reasonable. It does, however, provide a benchmark for comparing the environmental impacts associated with implementation of Alternatives B and C. Alternative B—Closure of the Metal Cleaning Pond, Closure-by-Removal of the East Ash Pond Complex and the West Ash Pond; Disposal of CCR in an Offsite Landfill Location. Under Alternative B, the primary actions include the closure of the East Ash Pond Complex, the West Ash Pond and the Metal Cleaning Pond via Closure-byRemoval. Closure-by-Removal involves PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22235 excavation and relocation of the CCR from the ash impoundments in accordance with federal and state requirements. TVA would stabilize residual ponded areas and then remove CCR material, underlying impacted soil, and support structures within the impoundment footprint. Closure of the surface impoundments at ALF would entail the addition of borrow material to achieve proposed finished grades and provide a suitable medium to support restoration of the former impoundments with approved, non-invasive seed mixes designed to quickly establish desirable vegetation. Closure-by-Removal of the surface impoundments is expected to require approximately 3 million yd3 of suitable borrow material. No specific borrow site(s) has been identified at this time and ultimate site selection will be determined by the contractor. As part of the contracting process to obtain borrow, TVA will require that any borrow material be obtained from a previously developed and/or permitted borrow site. Accordingly, potential impacts associated with the transport of borrow material to ALF are based upon the ‘‘bounding’’ or worst case characteristics of this action that were developed in consideration of the use of a range of identified candidate sites in the vicinity of ALF. Offsite transport of CCR is another component action to be undertaken in conjunction with this alternative. CCR removed from the ash impoundments would be transported offsite to an existing permitted landfill. Because the selection of a particular receiving landfill is dependent upon TVA’s NEPA decision, contract arrangements and other factors, identification of a specific receiving landfill is premature. Actual landfill selection will be determined during the project implementation phase. Under this alternative, TVA will consider only previously developed and/or permitted landfills having sufficient excess capacity and the ability to construct dedicated cells to accommodate a monofill for CCR from a single generator. TVA would not own or operate the landfill to which CCR from ALF is transported. Therefore, TVA has conducted a bounding analysis of potential environmental effects associated with transport of CCR to an offsite landfill by either truck or rail. Transport of CCR by barge was also considered by TVA. ALF has a barge unloading facility available for use and with minor modification and repairs, the existing reclamation hoppers and associated conveyors from the coal yard to the transfer station could be reconfigured for use. However, additional E:\FR\FM\21APN1.SGM 21APN1 22236 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 77 / Tuesday, April 21, 2020 / Notices lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES infrastructure would also need to be constructed to support loading of CCR onto a barge. While such modifications could be accomplished, no suitable landfill was identified by TVA that is equipped to receive CCR from barges. Consequently, the transport of CCR by barge as a mode of transportation was eliminated from further consideration. Alternative C—Closure of the Metal Cleaning Pond, Closure-by-Removal of the East Ash Pond Complex and West Ash Pond; Disposal of CCR in a Beneficial Re-Use Process & Offsite Landfill Location. Under Alternative C, TVA would close the surface impoundments in the same manner as Alternative B. However, instead of transporting all excavated CCR material to an offsite landfill, most CCR (ranging from approximately 75 to 95 percent) would be transported to a beneficial reuse facility (constructed and operated by others) to be processed for use in concrete and other building materials. Borrow material suitable for use as backfill within the ALF impoundments would also be required under this alternative similar to that described for Alternative B. No specific provider of the beneficiation services or the specific site at which a beneficial re-use processing facility would be constructed has been developed at this time. However, because it is expected that the feasibility of such a facility is dependent upon the presence of available CCR at ALF, this facility is also evaluated as a component action in the EIS. Because no specific provider or site for the potential beneficial re-use processing facility has been identified, impacts of this option to process CCR from ALF are based on a bounding analysis of the characteristics of a representative beneficial re-use processing facility. Environmentally Preferred Alternative Alternative A—No Action would result in the lowest level of environmental impacts as the impacts associated with closure of the impoundments and disposal of CCR under Alternatives B and C would be avoided. However, Alternative A—No Action, does not meet the purpose and need for the project. The scope of Alternatives B and C is formed by the purpose and need of the proposed action. Under both of these alternatives, CCR would be removed from the impoundments and borrow material suitable for use as backfill would be transported onsite to support site restoration. Removal of CCR from the impoundments would result in predominantly minor impacts to the natural environment (surface water, VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:19 Apr 20, 2020 Jkt 250001 floodplains, vegetation, wildlife, aquatic ecology and wetlands), that would be temporary and localized. Consultation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) determined that project activities may affect, but are not likely to adversely affect, the interior least tern, Indiana bat, and northern long-eared bat. Closure of the impoundments by removal eliminates both CCR and water within the impoundments, thereby resulting in a long-term beneficial impact to groundwater. No federal postclosure care measures are required as the impoundments would be closed under the Closure-by-Removal option. State requirements for post-closure care would be implemented as needed. Remedial investigations and actions at ALF, including the Environmental Investigation Plan (EIP) that is being undertaken in accordance with an administrative order issued by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) in 2015, and the current Interim Response Actions (IRAs) for groundwater that are part of a remedial investigation (RI) directed by TDEC that began in 2017, will continue. Any future long-term remedy would continue to be implemented and groundwater quality would be restored where contamination from arsenic or other constituents is present. There would be only minor short-term impacts to the natural environment associated with procurement and transport of borrow and transport of CCR to an offsite landfill. Impacts to the human environment (air quality, climate change, visual resources, land use, socioeconomics, and public and worker safety) would be primarily related to closure activities and would be minor and short-term. Although the proposed closure of the impoundments under either alternative would have a minor impact on the regional transportation system, there could be moderate localized impacts to low volume roadways used jointly by trucks transporting CCR and borrow, sensitive noise receptors along the transport routes, and users of recreational facilities located adjacent to low volume roadway segments. In addition, there could be moderate to large impacts associated with borrow and CCR transport by truck, disproportionate to environmental justice populations. These impacts would be minimized with implementation of a traffic management plan that is designed to address congestion and avoidance of borrow sites accessed by low volume roadways PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 serving residential areas. There would be no effect to solid and hazardous waste, although CCR previously managed in the impoundments at ALF would be disposed in an existing, permitted landfill. There would be no effect to cultural resources with adherence to the mitigation measures defined below. Reasonably foreseeable future projects that are planned to occur on ALF include the deconstruction and demolition activities of the plant. Such actions could contribute to cumulative impacts on the local transportation network if these activities are concurrent with the proposed ash impoundment closure project. The number of trucks associated with the transport of debris from ALF deconstruction, added to the number of trucks required to remove CCR from impoundments at ALF and transport of borrow material for restoration activities could result in a very large number of trucks and other vehicles entering and exiting the facility on a daily basis. TVA would mitigate congestion in the vicinity of ALF with a traffic management plan. Possibilities include staging of trucks, temporary signals, spacing logistics, or timing truck traffic to occur during lighter traffic hours (such as not in the morning or afternoon commute hours). With implementation of these mitigation measures, cumulative impacts to transportation would be moderate and would only occur during the construction phases of these activities. Impacts associated with Alternative C would be the same as for Alternative B, except most of the CCR removed from the impoundments would be transported to a beneficial re-use facility to be processed for use in concrete and other building materials. Therefore, implementation of this alternative would involve minor impacts associated with the construction and operation of the facility. In addition, this alternative would have a long-term moderate beneficial impact to solid waste as the majority of CCR would be beneficially re-used as compared to disposal in a landfill. Decision TVA has decided to implement the preferred alternative identified in the Final EIS: Alternative B—Closure of the Metal Cleaning Pond, Closure-byRemoval of the East Ash Pond Complex and the West Ash Pond; Disposal of CCR in an Offsite Landfill Location. This alternative would achieve the purpose and need of the project. Alternative C would also meet the purpose and need of the project and E:\FR\FM\21APN1.SGM 21APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 77 / Tuesday, April 21, 2020 / Notices lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES would have similar impacts as Alternative B. However, construction of a new facility (by others) to process CCR from ALF would extend the duration of closure which would delay the future economic development of the site. This would result in greater direct and cumulative impacts associated with air emissions, noise emissions, impacts to transportation system, impacts to environmental justice communities, safety risks and disruptions to the public associated with the extended time frame for closure. Public Involvement On November 30, 2018, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS to address the closure of the impoundments at ALF was published in the Federal Register. In addition to the NOI in the Federal Register, TVA published information about the review on TVA’s project website, notified the media, and sent notices to numerous individuals, organizations, local and regional stakeholders, governments and interested parties. A public information session was held on January 17, 2019, at the Mitchell Community Center in Memphis, TN, to provide additional information related to the proposed actions to the public. TVA’s efforts to notify local residents of the January 2019 public information meeting included issuing an additional media advisory and notifying the 35 people who had attended a previous meeting related to activities underway at ALF. TVA also sent letters to all residents within a 5-mile radius of the plant and contacted three neighborhood associations surrounding the plant to inform them of the meeting. In addition, TVA distributed 540 flyers throughout the Memphis Public Library System. A total of 77 people attended the public meeting. Attendees included members of the general public, media representatives, and other special interest groups. Public comments on the scope of the EIS were collected from November 30, 2018 through January 31, 2019, and at the public information session. TVA received 63 comment submissions from members of the pubic and federal agencies. Comments received that requested TVA extend the scoping period and hold a public meeting were addressed by TVA during the public scoping period. Comments received on the proposed alternatives generally expressed support for the complete removal of CCR and remediation of the site. Other commenters stressed the need to ensure the safe transport and disposal of CCR. Comments also VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:19 Apr 20, 2020 Jkt 250001 included requests that the EIS include analysis of impacts to the following resources: Groundwater, surface water, the surrounding community, onsite workers, wildlife that frequent the impoundments and recreators who enjoy observing the wildlife that frequent the impoundments. Comments were received requesting the EIS provide more detail regarding the beneficiation process and its potential environmental impacts and that the EIS consider the cumulative impact of future economic development of the ALF site. TVA also received comments requesting the analysis of the operation of the Allen Combined Cycle Plant be included in the scope of the project. TVA considered these comments in the preparation of the Final EIS. TVA released the Draft EIS for public review on October 4, 2019. A Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft EIS was published in the Federal Register on October 11, 2019. Publication of the NOA in the Federal Register opened the 45-day comment period, which ended on November 25, 2019. To solicit public input, the availability of the Draft EIS was announced in regional and local newspapers serving the Memphis area and on TVA’s social media accounts. The availability of the Draft EIS was also announced in newspapers serving the communities in surrounding states where landfills capable of receiving CCR from ALF were identified in the Draft EIS. A news release was issued to the media and posted on TVA’s website. The Draft EIS was posted on TVA’s website, and hard copies were made available by request. Two public information sessions were held during the review period to allow the public the opportunity to learn more about the project. The first session was held on October 8, 2019, at the Mitchell Community Center in Memphis, TN. A second session was held on October 30, 2019, at the Benjamin L. Hooks Public Library in Memphis, TN. Public comments were accepted between October 4, 2019 and November 25, 2019, and at both public information sessions. TVA also conducted additional outreach activities through attendance at local community group events and meetings to provide information regarding activities at ALF. TVA accepted comments submitted through mail, email, a comment form on TVA’s public website, and at the public meetings. TVA received 28 comment submissions from members of the public, organizations and state and federal agencies. Comment submissions were carefully reviewed and compiled into 69 specific comments which received responses. Most of the PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22237 comments received were related to the results of the landfill screening analysis which concluded that, among others, the Taylor County Landfill and the Arrowhead Landfill met the requirements to be considered in the bounding analysis for transportation of CCR to an offsite landfill for disposal. Other comments received were related to groundwater impacts and the ongoing investigations at ALF, sufficiency of the bounding analyses, consideration of impacts to communities requiring environmental justice considerations and the consideration of cumulative impacts. TVA provided responses to these comments, made appropriate minor revisions to the Draft EIS and issued this Final EIS. TVA received an additional 54 comments after closure of the comment period, one of which was signed by 30 members of the public. These comments all expressed opposition to use of the Taylor County Landfill in Georgia for disposal of CCR from ALF. As these comments were sufficiently addressed by TVA in response to comments received while the comment period was open, TVA has not provided individual responses to these comments. However, the comments are retained as part of the project’s Administrative Record. The NOA for the Final EIS was published in the Federal Register on March 13, 2020. TVA received three comments during the mandatory 30-day waiting period after the Final EIS was released. One comment questioned the data and analysis regarding the health and safety of rail transport versus truck transport which TVA obtained from previous studies conducted by other entities and presented in the Draft and Final EIS. TVA has determined that no additional analysis is required. A second comment was from an advocacy group that expressed opposition to disposal of CCR from ALF at the Arrowhead Landfill. This concern was addressed in TVA’s response to comments in the Final EIS. A third comment was received from a regulatory agency, noting their comments had been adequately resolved in the Final EIS. Mitigation Measures TVA will use appropriate best management practices (BMPs) during all phases of closure of the ash impoundments. Mitigation measures and actions taken to reduce adverse impacts associated with the proposed action, include: • TVA would mitigate traffic impacts by developing a traffic management plan that considers alternate access locations to/from ALF (i.e., Plant Road vs. Riverport Road to the west), staging E:\FR\FM\21APN1.SGM 21APN1 lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES 22238 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 77 / Tuesday, April 21, 2020 / Notices and management of truck ingress/egress, borrow site selection to optimize use of borrow sites that do not require truck use of common roadway segments, potential alternate routing during local rail operations on Rivergate Road, and installation of temporary signals at key intersections. • To avoid potential for indirect impacts to the interior least tern, TVA would implement specific conservation measures identified as per consultation with USFWS under Section 7 of the ESA. • Should the osprey nest located north of the East Ash Pond Complex on a mooring cell structure in McKellar Lake be active during ash impoundment closure, activities would be minimized within a 660-foot diameter buffer around the nest during the osprey nesting season. These avoidance measures would result in no adverse impacts to these birds. • TVA may elect to remove the osprey nest during the non-nesting season in conjunction with other ongoing site decommissioning activities unrelated to ash impoundment closure. As such, TVA would ensure nest removal would follow guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services Program. • TVA will require that CCR be disposed of in a previously developed and/or permitted site having sufficient permitted capacity. • Borrow would be obtained from one or more previously developed and/or permitted commercial borrow site(s) within 30 miles of ALF. No specific site has been identified at this time and ultimate site selection would be determined by the contractor. However, TVA would perform all necessary due diligence and consultation as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) related to any offsite work. • TVA will continue to collect groundwater samples from existing monitoring wells and review the analytical results as a part of the 2015 TDEC administrative order process, the EPA’s CCR Rule, and other regulatory requirements. TVA is also implementing the IRAs and corrective measures to control and begin treating impacted groundwater identified in some shallow aquifer monitoring wells around the East Ash Pond Complex. • A TDEC Section 401 Water Quality Certification/TDEC Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit would be required for disturbance to wetlands and stream features, and the terms and conditions of these permits would VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:19 Apr 20, 2020 Jkt 250001 include mitigation for unavoidable adverse impacts, as appropriate. • A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activities or an Individual Construction Storm Water permit may be required for the proposed project, and a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) would be required to detail sediment and erosion control BMPs. • Several actions associated with the proposed closures were addressed in TVA’s programmatic consultation with the USFWS on routine actions and federally-listed bats in accordance with ESA Section 7(a)(2) which was completed in April 2018. For those activities with potential to affect Indiana bats and northern long-eared bat, TVA committed to implementing specific conservation measures. These activities and associated conservation measures would be implemented as part of the proposed project. • To minimize adverse impacts on natural and beneficial floodplain values, BMPs would be used during construction activities. In addition, TVA would obtain documentation from permitted landfill(s) receiving ash that the ash would be disposed in an area outside the 100-year floodplain. BMPs employed to minimize impacts include: • Fugitive dust emissions from site preparation and construction would be controlled by wet suppression, installation of a truck washing station and other BMPs, as appropriate. In addition, the Clean Air Act Title V operating permit incorporates fugitive dust management conditions. • Erosion and sedimentation control BMPs (e.g., silt fences) would ensure that surface waters are protected from construction impacts. • Consistent with E.O. 13112 as amended by E.O. 13751, disturbed areas would be revegetated with native or non-native, non-invasive plant species to avoid the introduction or spread of invasive species. • BMPs as described in the projectspecific SWPPP and the Tennessee Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook-4th Edition, 2012 would be used during construction activities to minimize impacts and restore areas disturbed during construction. • TVA may decide to contract with outside vendors for construction and/or transportation services under Alternative B. It is TVA policy that all contractors have in place a site-specific health and safety plan prior to operation on TVA properties. PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: April 14, 2020. Robert M. Deacy, Sr., Senior Vice President, Generation Construction, Projects & Services, Tennessee Valley Authority. [FR Doc. 2020–08420 Filed 4–20–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8120–08–P OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE Procedures for the Submission of Petitions by North American Producers of Passenger Vehicles or Light Trucks To Use the Alternative Staging Regime for the USMCA Rules of Origin for Automotive Goods Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Request for petitions. AGENCY: For a limited period, a North American producer of passenger vehicles and light trucks (vehicle producer) may request an alternative to the standard staging regime for the rules of origin for automotive goods under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA or the Agreement) using the procedures and guidance for submitting petitions in this notice. DATES: To be assured of consideration, a vehicle producer must submit a petition with a draft alternative staging plan no later than July 1, 2020. A vehicle producer must submit a petition with its final alternative staging plan no later than August 31, 2020. ADDRESSES: Submit petitions by email to USMCAAutosCommittee@ustr.eop.gov. For alternatives to email submissions, please contact Kent Shigetomi, Director for Multilateral Non-Tariff Barriers at (202) 395–9459 in advance of the deadline and before submission. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kent Shigetomi, Director for Multilateral Non-Tariff Barriers at (202) 395–9459. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Introduction A. Background On June 12, 2017 (82 FR 23699), the President announced his intention to commence negotiations with Canada and Mexico to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On November 30, 2018, the Governments of the United States, Mexico, and Canada (the Parties) signed the protocol replacing NAFTA with the USMCA. On December 10, 2019, the Parties signed the protocol of amendment to the USMCA. The USMCA includes new rules of origin to claim preferential treatment for E:\FR\FM\21APN1.SGM 21APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 77 (Tuesday, April 21, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22234-22238]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-08420]


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TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY


Allen Fossil Plant Ash Impoundment Closure Environmental Impact 
Statement

AGENCY: Tennessee Valley Authority.

ACTION: Record of decision.

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SUMMARY: This notice is provided in accordance with the Council on 
Environmental Quality's regulations and Tennessee Valley Authority's 
(TVA's) procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA). TVA has decided to adopt the Preferred Alternative 
identified in the Allen Fossil Plant (ALF) Ash Impoundment Closure 
Environmental Impact Statement. The Final Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) was made available to the public on March 6, 2020. A 
Notice of Availability of the Final EIS was published in the Federal 
Register on March 13, 2020. The Preferred Alternative is ``Closure of 
the Metal Cleaning Pond, Closure-by-Removal of the East Ash Pond 
Complex and the West Ash Pond; Disposal of CCR in an Offsite Landfill 
Location.'' This alternative would achieve the purpose and need of the 
project to support the implementation of TVA's goal to eliminate all 
wet Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) storage at its coal plants; close 
CCR surface impoundments across the TVA system; comply with the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency's CCR Rule and other applicable federal 
and state statutes and regulations; and enhance future economic 
development in the greater Memphis area.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: W. Douglas White, Tennessee Valley 
Authority, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT11B-K, Knoxville, Tennessee 
37902; telephone (865) 638-2252, or by email [email protected]. The 
Final EIS, this Record of Decision (ROD) and other project documents 
are available on TVA's website https://www.tva.gov/nepa.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: TVA is a corporate agency of the United 
States that provides electricity for business customers and local power 
distributors serving more than 10 million people in an 80,000 square 
mile area comprised of most of Tennessee and parts of Virginia,

[[Page 22235]]

North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky. TVA 
receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues 
from sales of electricity. In addition to operation of its power 
system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for 
the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state 
and local governments with economic development and job creation.
    ALF was constructed in the 1950s by the Memphis Light, Gas and 
Water Division (MLGW). TVA purchased the plant in 1984 and operated the 
plant until ALF's three coal-fired units were retired on March 31, 
2018. While in operation, ALF consumed approximately 7,200 tons of coal 
a day and produced approximately 5,160 million kilowatt-hours of 
electricity a year. CCR produced by the collective units included 
approximately 85,000 dry tons of slag and fly ash annually. Unlike 
other TVA power plants, much of the land occupied by ALF is not owned 
by TVA, but by third parties, including the City of Memphis, Shelby 
County, and MLGW. ALF is also located in a heavily industrialized area, 
which means that redevelopment is of particular interest as the land 
holds significant economic potential for the non-TVA owners due to its 
location within the Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park as well as its 
access to the Port of Memphis via McKellar Lake.
    TVA has prepared an EIS pursuant to NEPA to assess the 
environmental impacts of the proposed closures of the East Ash Pond 
Complex (including the Coal Yard Runoff Pond), the West Ash Pond and 
the Metal Cleaning Pond at ALF. TVA estimates that approximately 
3,500,000 yd\3\ of CCR is located within the project areas at ALF. TVA 
has also evaluated the location requirements and environmental impacts 
associated with the potential construction and utilization of an off-
site proposed beneficial re-use processing facility that would be used 
to process CCR from ALF. TVA also considered potential impacts 
associated with the transport of borrow from previously permitted sites 
and the disposal of CCR at existing, off-site permitted landfills.
    With a long-standing commitment to safe and reliable operations and 
to environmental stewardship, TVA began, in 2009, to convert from wet 
to dry management of CCR. On April 17, 2015, the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) published the Final Disposal of Coal Combustion 
Residuals from Electric Utilities rule (CCR Rule) in the Federal 
Register (80 FR 21302). The CCR Rule establishes national criteria and 
schedules for the management and closure of CCR facilities.
    In June of 2016, TVA issued a Final Programmatic Environmental 
Impact Statement (PEIS) that analyzed methods for closing impoundments 
that hold CCR materials at TVA fossil plants and identified specific 
screening and evaluation factors to help frame its evaluation of 
closures at additional facilities. The purpose of the PEIS was to 
support TVA's goal to eliminate all wet CCR storage at its coal plants 
by closing CCR surface impoundments across TVA's system and to assist 
TVA in complying with the EPA's CCR Rule.
    The proposed action at ALF tiers from the PEIS. The purpose, 
therefore, is to eliminate all wet CCR storage at ALF; close its CCR 
surface impoundments; comply with the EPA's CCR Rule and other 
applicable federal and state statutes and regulations; and help make 
the property available by its non-TVA owners for future economic 
development projects in the greater Memphis area.

Alternatives Considered

    TVA considered three alternatives in the Draft EIS and Final EIS. 
These alternatives are:
    Alternative A--No Action Alternative. Under the No Action 
Alternative, TVA would not close the East Ash Pond Complex (which 
includes the Coal Yard Runoff Pond) or the Metal Cleaning Pond. The 
West Ash Pond would remain in its current closed state. No closure 
activities (i.e., no excavation or transport activities) would occur. 
However, the No Action Alternative is inconsistent with TVA's plans to 
convert all of its wet CCR systems to dry systems and is inconsistent 
with the general intent of EPA's CCR Rule. In addition, under the No 
Action Alternative, the ALF closure area land would not be made 
available to its owners for future economic development projects in the 
greater Memphis area. Consequently, this alternative would not satisfy 
the project purpose and need and, therefore, is not considered viable 
or reasonable. It does, however, provide a benchmark for comparing the 
environmental impacts associated with implementation of Alternatives B 
and C.
    Alternative B--Closure of the Metal Cleaning Pond, Closure-by-
Removal of the East Ash Pond Complex and the West Ash Pond; Disposal of 
CCR in an Offsite Landfill Location. Under Alternative B, the primary 
actions include the closure of the East Ash Pond Complex, the West Ash 
Pond and the Metal Cleaning Pond via Closure-by-Removal. Closure-by-
Removal involves excavation and relocation of the CCR from the ash 
impoundments in accordance with federal and state requirements. TVA 
would stabilize residual ponded areas and then remove CCR material, 
underlying impacted soil, and support structures within the impoundment 
footprint.
    Closure of the surface impoundments at ALF would entail the 
addition of borrow material to achieve proposed finished grades and 
provide a suitable medium to support restoration of the former 
impoundments with approved, non-invasive seed mixes designed to quickly 
establish desirable vegetation. Closure-by-Removal of the surface 
impoundments is expected to require approximately 3 million yd\3\ of 
suitable borrow material. No specific borrow site(s) has been 
identified at this time and ultimate site selection will be determined 
by the contractor. As part of the contracting process to obtain borrow, 
TVA will require that any borrow material be obtained from a previously 
developed and/or permitted borrow site. Accordingly, potential impacts 
associated with the transport of borrow material to ALF are based upon 
the ``bounding'' or worst case characteristics of this action that were 
developed in consideration of the use of a range of identified 
candidate sites in the vicinity of ALF.
    Offsite transport of CCR is another component action to be 
undertaken in conjunction with this alternative. CCR removed from the 
ash impoundments would be transported offsite to an existing permitted 
landfill. Because the selection of a particular receiving landfill is 
dependent upon TVA's NEPA decision, contract arrangements and other 
factors, identification of a specific receiving landfill is premature. 
Actual landfill selection will be determined during the project 
implementation phase. Under this alternative, TVA will consider only 
previously developed and/or permitted landfills having sufficient 
excess capacity and the ability to construct dedicated cells to 
accommodate a monofill for CCR from a single generator. TVA would not 
own or operate the landfill to which CCR from ALF is transported. 
Therefore, TVA has conducted a bounding analysis of potential 
environmental effects associated with transport of CCR to an offsite 
landfill by either truck or rail. Transport of CCR by barge was also 
considered by TVA. ALF has a barge unloading facility available for use 
and with minor modification and repairs, the existing reclamation 
hoppers and associated conveyors from the coal yard to the transfer 
station could be re-configured for use. However, additional

[[Page 22236]]

infrastructure would also need to be constructed to support loading of 
CCR onto a barge. While such modifications could be accomplished, no 
suitable landfill was identified by TVA that is equipped to receive CCR 
from barges. Consequently, the transport of CCR by barge as a mode of 
transportation was eliminated from further consideration.
    Alternative C--Closure of the Metal Cleaning Pond, Closure-by-
Removal of the East Ash Pond Complex and West Ash Pond; Disposal of CCR 
in a Beneficial Re-Use Process & Offsite Landfill Location. Under 
Alternative C, TVA would close the surface impoundments in the same 
manner as Alternative B. However, instead of transporting all excavated 
CCR material to an offsite landfill, most CCR (ranging from 
approximately 75 to 95 percent) would be transported to a beneficial 
re-use facility (constructed and operated by others) to be processed 
for use in concrete and other building materials. Borrow material 
suitable for use as backfill within the ALF impoundments would also be 
required under this alternative similar to that described for 
Alternative B.
    No specific provider of the beneficiation services or the specific 
site at which a beneficial re-use processing facility would be 
constructed has been developed at this time. However, because it is 
expected that the feasibility of such a facility is dependent upon the 
presence of available CCR at ALF, this facility is also evaluated as a 
component action in the EIS. Because no specific provider or site for 
the potential beneficial re-use processing facility has been 
identified, impacts of this option to process CCR from ALF are based on 
a bounding analysis of the characteristics of a representative 
beneficial re-use processing facility.

Environmentally Preferred Alternative

    Alternative A--No Action would result in the lowest level of 
environmental impacts as the impacts associated with closure of the 
impoundments and disposal of CCR under Alternatives B and C would be 
avoided. However, Alternative A--No Action, does not meet the purpose 
and need for the project. The scope of Alternatives B and C is formed 
by the purpose and need of the proposed action. Under both of these 
alternatives, CCR would be removed from the impoundments and borrow 
material suitable for use as backfill would be transported onsite to 
support site restoration. Removal of CCR from the impoundments would 
result in predominantly minor impacts to the natural environment 
(surface water, floodplains, vegetation, wildlife, aquatic ecology and 
wetlands), that would be temporary and localized. Consultation with 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) under Section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act (ESA) determined that project activities may 
affect, but are not likely to adversely affect, the interior least 
tern, Indiana bat, and northern long-eared bat. Closure of the 
impoundments by removal eliminates both CCR and water within the 
impoundments, thereby resulting in a long-term beneficial impact to 
groundwater. No federal post-closure care measures are required as the 
impoundments would be closed under the Closure-by-Removal option. State 
requirements for post-closure care would be implemented as needed. 
Remedial investigations and actions at ALF, including the Environmental 
Investigation Plan (EIP) that is being undertaken in accordance with an 
administrative order issued by the Tennessee Department of Environment 
and Conservation (TDEC) in 2015, and the current Interim Response 
Actions (IRAs) for groundwater that are part of a remedial 
investigation (RI) directed by TDEC that began in 2017, will continue. 
Any future long-term remedy would continue to be implemented and 
groundwater quality would be restored where contamination from arsenic 
or other constituents is present. There would be only minor short-term 
impacts to the natural environment associated with procurement and 
transport of borrow and transport of CCR to an offsite landfill.
    Impacts to the human environment (air quality, climate change, 
visual resources, land use, socioeconomics, and public and worker 
safety) would be primarily related to closure activities and would be 
minor and short-term. Although the proposed closure of the impoundments 
under either alternative would have a minor impact on the regional 
transportation system, there could be moderate localized impacts to low 
volume roadways used jointly by trucks transporting CCR and borrow, 
sensitive noise receptors along the transport routes, and users of 
recreational facilities located adjacent to low volume roadway 
segments. In addition, there could be moderate to large impacts 
associated with borrow and CCR transport by truck, disproportionate to 
environmental justice populations. These impacts would be minimized 
with implementation of a traffic management plan that is designed to 
address congestion and avoidance of borrow sites accessed by low volume 
roadways serving residential areas. There would be no effect to solid 
and hazardous waste, although CCR previously managed in the 
impoundments at ALF would be disposed in an existing, permitted 
landfill. There would be no effect to cultural resources with adherence 
to the mitigation measures defined below.
    Reasonably foreseeable future projects that are planned to occur on 
ALF include the deconstruction and demolition activities of the plant. 
Such actions could contribute to cumulative impacts on the local 
transportation network if these activities are concurrent with the 
proposed ash impoundment closure project. The number of trucks 
associated with the transport of debris from ALF deconstruction, added 
to the number of trucks required to remove CCR from impoundments at ALF 
and transport of borrow material for restoration activities could 
result in a very large number of trucks and other vehicles entering and 
exiting the facility on a daily basis. TVA would mitigate congestion in 
the vicinity of ALF with a traffic management plan. Possibilities 
include staging of trucks, temporary signals, spacing logistics, or 
timing truck traffic to occur during lighter traffic hours (such as not 
in the morning or afternoon commute hours). With implementation of 
these mitigation measures, cumulative impacts to transportation would 
be moderate and would only occur during the construction phases of 
these activities.
    Impacts associated with Alternative C would be the same as for 
Alternative B, except most of the CCR removed from the impoundments 
would be transported to a beneficial re-use facility to be processed 
for use in concrete and other building materials. Therefore, 
implementation of this alternative would involve minor impacts 
associated with the construction and operation of the facility. In 
addition, this alternative would have a long-term moderate beneficial 
impact to solid waste as the majority of CCR would be beneficially re-
used as compared to disposal in a landfill.

Decision

    TVA has decided to implement the preferred alternative identified 
in the Final EIS: Alternative B--Closure of the Metal Cleaning Pond, 
Closure-by-Removal of the East Ash Pond Complex and the West Ash Pond; 
Disposal of CCR in an Offsite Landfill Location. This alternative would 
achieve the purpose and need of the project. Alternative C would also 
meet the purpose and need of the project and

[[Page 22237]]

would have similar impacts as Alternative B. However, construction of a 
new facility (by others) to process CCR from ALF would extend the 
duration of closure which would delay the future economic development 
of the site. This would result in greater direct and cumulative impacts 
associated with air emissions, noise emissions, impacts to 
transportation system, impacts to environmental justice communities, 
safety risks and disruptions to the public associated with the extended 
time frame for closure.

Public Involvement

    On November 30, 2018, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS to 
address the closure of the impoundments at ALF was published in the 
Federal Register. In addition to the NOI in the Federal Register, TVA 
published information about the review on TVA's project website, 
notified the media, and sent notices to numerous individuals, 
organizations, local and regional stakeholders, governments and 
interested parties.
    A public information session was held on January 17, 2019, at the 
Mitchell Community Center in Memphis, TN, to provide additional 
information related to the proposed actions to the public. TVA's 
efforts to notify local residents of the January 2019 public 
information meeting included issuing an additional media advisory and 
notifying the 35 people who had attended a previous meeting related to 
activities underway at ALF. TVA also sent letters to all residents 
within a 5-mile radius of the plant and contacted three neighborhood 
associations surrounding the plant to inform them of the meeting. In 
addition, TVA distributed 540 flyers throughout the Memphis Public 
Library System. A total of 77 people attended the public meeting. 
Attendees included members of the general public, media 
representatives, and other special interest groups.
    Public comments on the scope of the EIS were collected from 
November 30, 2018 through January 31, 2019, and at the public 
information session. TVA received 63 comment submissions from members 
of the pubic and federal agencies. Comments received that requested TVA 
extend the scoping period and hold a public meeting were addressed by 
TVA during the public scoping period. Comments received on the proposed 
alternatives generally expressed support for the complete removal of 
CCR and remediation of the site. Other commenters stressed the need to 
ensure the safe transport and disposal of CCR. Comments also included 
requests that the EIS include analysis of impacts to the following 
resources: Groundwater, surface water, the surrounding community, 
onsite workers, wildlife that frequent the impoundments and recreators 
who enjoy observing the wildlife that frequent the impoundments. 
Comments were received requesting the EIS provide more detail regarding 
the beneficiation process and its potential environmental impacts and 
that the EIS consider the cumulative impact of future economic 
development of the ALF site. TVA also received comments requesting the 
analysis of the operation of the Allen Combined Cycle Plant be included 
in the scope of the project. TVA considered these comments in the 
preparation of the Final EIS.
    TVA released the Draft EIS for public review on October 4, 2019. A 
Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft EIS was published in the 
Federal Register on October 11, 2019. Publication of the NOA in the 
Federal Register opened the 45-day comment period, which ended on 
November 25, 2019. To solicit public input, the availability of the 
Draft EIS was announced in regional and local newspapers serving the 
Memphis area and on TVA's social media accounts. The availability of 
the Draft EIS was also announced in newspapers serving the communities 
in surrounding states where landfills capable of receiving CCR from ALF 
were identified in the Draft EIS. A news release was issued to the 
media and posted on TVA's website. The Draft EIS was posted on TVA's 
website, and hard copies were made available by request. Two public 
information sessions were held during the review period to allow the 
public the opportunity to learn more about the project. The first 
session was held on October 8, 2019, at the Mitchell Community Center 
in Memphis, TN. A second session was held on October 30, 2019, at the 
Benjamin L. Hooks Public Library in Memphis, TN. Public comments were 
accepted between October 4, 2019 and November 25, 2019, and at both 
public information sessions. TVA also conducted additional outreach 
activities through attendance at local community group events and 
meetings to provide information regarding activities at ALF.
    TVA accepted comments submitted through mail, email, a comment form 
on TVA's public website, and at the public meetings. TVA received 28 
comment submissions from members of the public, organizations and state 
and federal agencies. Comment submissions were carefully reviewed and 
compiled into 69 specific comments which received responses. Most of 
the comments received were related to the results of the landfill 
screening analysis which concluded that, among others, the Taylor 
County Landfill and the Arrowhead Landfill met the requirements to be 
considered in the bounding analysis for transportation of CCR to an 
offsite landfill for disposal. Other comments received were related to 
groundwater impacts and the ongoing investigations at ALF, sufficiency 
of the bounding analyses, consideration of impacts to communities 
requiring environmental justice considerations and the consideration of 
cumulative impacts. TVA provided responses to these comments, made 
appropriate minor revisions to the Draft EIS and issued this Final EIS.
    TVA received an additional 54 comments after closure of the comment 
period, one of which was signed by 30 members of the public. These 
comments all expressed opposition to use of the Taylor County Landfill 
in Georgia for disposal of CCR from ALF. As these comments were 
sufficiently addressed by TVA in response to comments received while 
the comment period was open, TVA has not provided individual responses 
to these comments. However, the comments are retained as part of the 
project's Administrative Record.
    The NOA for the Final EIS was published in the Federal Register on 
March 13, 2020. TVA received three comments during the mandatory 30-day 
waiting period after the Final EIS was released. One comment questioned 
the data and analysis regarding the health and safety of rail transport 
versus truck transport which TVA obtained from previous studies 
conducted by other entities and presented in the Draft and Final EIS. 
TVA has determined that no additional analysis is required. A second 
comment was from an advocacy group that expressed opposition to 
disposal of CCR from ALF at the Arrowhead Landfill. This concern was 
addressed in TVA's response to comments in the Final EIS. A third 
comment was received from a regulatory agency, noting their comments 
had been adequately resolved in the Final EIS.

Mitigation Measures

    TVA will use appropriate best management practices (BMPs) during 
all phases of closure of the ash impoundments. Mitigation measures and 
actions taken to reduce adverse impacts associated with the proposed 
action, include:
     TVA would mitigate traffic impacts by developing a traffic 
management plan that considers alternate access locations to/from ALF 
(i.e., Plant Road vs. Riverport Road to the west), staging

[[Page 22238]]

and management of truck ingress/egress, borrow site selection to 
optimize use of borrow sites that do not require truck use of common 
roadway segments, potential alternate routing during local rail 
operations on Rivergate Road, and installation of temporary signals at 
key intersections.
     To avoid potential for indirect impacts to the interior 
least tern, TVA would implement specific conservation measures 
identified as per consultation with USFWS under Section 7 of the ESA.
     Should the osprey nest located north of the East Ash Pond 
Complex on a mooring cell structure in McKellar Lake be active during 
ash impoundment closure, activities would be minimized within a 660-
foot diameter buffer around the nest during the osprey nesting season. 
These avoidance measures would result in no adverse impacts to these 
birds.
     TVA may elect to remove the osprey nest during the non-
nesting season in conjunction with other on-going site decommissioning 
activities unrelated to ash impoundment closure. As such, TVA would 
ensure nest removal would follow guidance from the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife 
Services Program.
     TVA will require that CCR be disposed of in a previously 
developed and/or permitted site having sufficient permitted capacity.
     Borrow would be obtained from one or more previously 
developed and/or permitted commercial borrow site(s) within 30 miles of 
ALF. No specific site has been identified at this time and ultimate 
site selection would be determined by the contractor. However, TVA 
would perform all necessary due diligence and consultation as required 
under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) 
related to any offsite work.
     TVA will continue to collect groundwater samples from 
existing monitoring wells and review the analytical results as a part 
of the 2015 TDEC administrative order process, the EPA's CCR Rule, and 
other regulatory requirements. TVA is also implementing the IRAs and 
corrective measures to control and begin treating impacted groundwater 
identified in some shallow aquifer monitoring wells around the East Ash 
Pond Complex.
     A TDEC Section 401 Water Quality Certification/TDEC 
Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 
permit would be required for disturbance to wetlands and stream 
features, and the terms and conditions of these permits would include 
mitigation for unavoidable adverse impacts, as appropriate.
     A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 
General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction 
Activities or an Individual Construction Storm Water permit may be 
required for the proposed project, and a Storm Water Pollution 
Prevention Plan (SWPPP) would be required to detail sediment and 
erosion control BMPs.
     Several actions associated with the proposed closures were 
addressed in TVA's programmatic consultation with the USFWS on routine 
actions and federally-listed bats in accordance with ESA Section 
7(a)(2) which was completed in April 2018. For those activities with 
potential to affect Indiana bats and northern long-eared bat, TVA 
committed to implementing specific conservation measures. These 
activities and associated conservation measures would be implemented as 
part of the proposed project.
     To minimize adverse impacts on natural and beneficial 
floodplain values, BMPs would be used during construction activities. 
In addition, TVA would obtain documentation from permitted landfill(s) 
receiving ash that the ash would be disposed in an area outside the 
100-year floodplain.
    BMPs employed to minimize impacts include:
     Fugitive dust emissions from site preparation and 
construction would be controlled by wet suppression, installation of a 
truck washing station and other BMPs, as appropriate. In addition, the 
Clean Air Act Title V operating permit incorporates fugitive dust 
management conditions.
     Erosion and sedimentation control BMPs (e.g., silt fences) 
would ensure that surface waters are protected from construction 
impacts.
     Consistent with E.O. 13112 as amended by E.O. 13751, 
disturbed areas would be revegetated with native or non-native, non-
invasive plant species to avoid the introduction or spread of invasive 
species.
     BMPs as described in the project-specific SWPPP and the 
Tennessee Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook-4th Edition, 2012 would 
be used during construction activities to minimize impacts and restore 
areas disturbed during construction.
     TVA may decide to contract with outside vendors for 
construction and/or transportation services under Alternative B. It is 
TVA policy that all contractors have in place a site-specific health 
and safety plan prior to operation on TVA properties.

    Dated: April 14, 2020.
Robert M. Deacy, Sr.,
Senior Vice President, Generation Construction, Projects & Services, 
Tennessee Valley Authority.
[FR Doc. 2020-08420 Filed 4-20-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8120-08-P