The Tennessee Valley Authority today agreed to spend billions of dollars to settle Environment Protection Agency charges that it violated the Clean Air Act at 11 coal-fired power plants in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The deal requires the corporation, which is owned by the government, to invest $3 to $5 billion in new and upgraded pollution controls. The TVA supplies power to about 9 million people, and does not receive any tax dollars.
In addition, the TVA will spend $350 million on clean energy projects and pay $10 million in civil penalties to the EPA and states.
The EPA estimates that the health benefits from reducing TVA emissions under the settlement will be huge — avoiding 1,200 to 3,000 premature deaths, 2,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 800 cases of chronic bronchitis, 960 hospital admissions, 1,200 emergency department visits for asthma, 1,900 cases of acute bronchitis, 21,000 asthma attacks, 39,000 cases of upper or lower respiratory symptoms, 150,000 days when people miss work, and 880,000 days when people must restrict their activities per year.
Although the compliance agreement will not be lodged in federal court because it is a settlement between two federal agencies, the EPA is still accepting public comments on it.
The compliance agreement is the 22nd settlement under the EPA's Coal-Fired Power Plant Enforcement Initiative.