Amid uneasiness about its earlier announced plans to relocate coal ash from the shuttered Allen Fossil Plant to a landfill east of Memphis International Airport, TVA has set two community meetings, with the first on Wednesday (Sept. 22).
Memphis City Council members on Aug. 3 were provided details of a controversial plan to relocate the waste. Citing concerns about the waste possibly contaminating the city’s water supply, Council members responded by introducing a pair of resolutions to find another dumping ground for the ash.
Noting that TVA’s “partnership” with local authorities “put in place a process and shared responsibility to safely remove the coal ash and restore the site for the benefit of the community,” Scott Brooks, TVA’s public relations representative, subsequently detailed via Twitter that the power supplier would “… further engage with our stakeholders and community partners to work together toward this shared objective.”
The virtual meetings are set for Wednesday (Sept. 22) at 5 p.m. and on Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. The meetings are accessible at www.tva.com/allen or by calling 1-877-353-4701.
“The Allen restoration project is driven by our dedication and commitment to the Memphis community and the protection of the Memphis aquifer,” said Cedric Adams, principal project manager for the Allen project.
The landfill site is in a southeast community 20 miles down the road from President’s Island, where both the idle plant and waste remain. The TVA plans to raze the plant and return the land to the City of Memphis, Shelby County and MLGW. Both the plant and the waste lie atop the Memphis Aquifer, the main source of drinking water for the city.
In 2017, TVA found arsenic levels 300 times higher than federal drinking water standards in groundwater near the containment ponds. Other toxins also were found.
The TVA has said several alternatives were studied, including leaving the ash in place, closing in place and closure by removal. TVA concluded the best decision was closure by removal.
Latrivia Welch, TVA’s media and public relations program manager, said TVA “…will hold these two virtual community meetings to listen, take questions and educate community members on the Allen Restoration Project. We hope everyone will tune in and participate.”
In advance of the meetings, here are five things TVA asserts about the Allen restoration project.