Dec. 5 Meeting Notes

Bull Run Community Action Group Meeting Summary

  1. Welcome: The facilitator welcomed the group, reviewed the meeting agenda, and introduced representatives from TDEC and TVA.
  2. Review of materials: A TVA representative provided an overview of the materials available on the CAG’s microsite, including meeting summaries, pertinent documents, etc.
  3. Discussion of dust monitoring results: TVA representatives talked with members about the analysis of the dust particles found in the community near TVA’s Bull Run Fossil Plant. The lab results showed the samples were a dirt mixture. TVA also noted that it conducted a thorough review of its operational records at the time of the incident, but found no site activities that would have generated the dust. TVA has not experienced dust deposition issues at any of its other plants. TDEC officials provided their independent analysis of the dust samples confirming TVA’s findings. TDEC also noted that, at the time of the incident, it sent two investigators to drive around the area; they were unable to identify any potential sources of the dust. The group discussed the findings, and TDEC officials explained that TVA will have a more thorough report on background soil sampling as part of the current environmental investigation that is being conducted under the oversight of TDEC. Additional discussion was held regarding plant emissions with TVA and TDEC representatives explaining how the plant operates, the emission controls, state permits for air quality and air monitoring results.
  4. Discussion of the TDEC ARAP permit and proposed landfill: TDEC officials explained the Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit and how state and federal regulations require a stream be left in as good a condition, or better, than when work began. This ARAP application is associated only with the landfill application. They said, if TVA does work in the portion of the stream the permit covers, it will add an additional 1,800 feet of stream capacity. TVA representatives talked about the proposed landfill, which may be necessary for Bull Run to continue operating through 2023. A 119-acre parcel was purchased in 2013 for the landfill, and in 2016 a NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) review was conducted to assess any potential environmental impacts of the proposed landfill. This year, TVA began the process for potential development of 60 acres of the site by applying for the ARAP permit. The next step will be for TVA to apply for a solid waste permit. TVA officials stated the new Bull Run landfill, if built, would be used only for Bull Run-created ash – that no ash from other sites would be brought to Bull Run.
  5. Review of questions and concerns from the first meeting not yet addressed and prioritizing topics for the next meeting: The facilitator recapped the top issues identified at the group’s first meeting – dust, ARAP, worker/contractor safety, Bull Run plant operations. The group discussed these items and additional topics, including coal ash toxicity, water quality and the future of the plant site when operations shut down in 2023. TVA will work on getting subject matter experts on each of these topics for future meetings.
  6. Administrative topics:
    • Next meeting: The group determined they would meet the second Thursday of the month going forward beginning with Jan. 9, 2020. (The January meeting was subsequently cancelled.)
    • The meetings will continue to be held at the Oak Ridge Central Services Complex until further notice.
    • Members will be provided with meeting materials in advance of the meeting to allow time for review.
    • Glenn Fisher agreed to be chair of the CAG.
      • John Meersman expressed interest in being vice chair following the meeting.
    • The group wanted to have a tour of the Bull Run plant when it is operating. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, was selected as the date for the plant tour.
  7. Actions:
    • TVA will make arrangements for the Bull Run plant tour on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020.
    • Meeting materials will be prepared and distributed prior regular meetings going forward.
    • TVA will work toward having water quality and future use of the plant site as topics for the February meeting.
    • TVA will provide summary notes.