The Tennessee Valley Authority is facing a lawsuit over its plan to spend a billion dollars retrofitting its Gallatin coal plant. Several conservation groups say TVA hasn’t done enough to publicly justify the project at the 50-year-old facility, and should look instead at shutting it down.
A coalition including the Sierra Club charges TVA is legally obliged to either cut the Gallatin plant’s emissions by 2017, or close it altogether. But they say in choosing costly renovations, TVA didn’t do enough to explain its rationale.
John Suttles with the Southern Environmental Law Center says that’s a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act.
“They didn’t look at energy efficiency to offset the need for the Gallatin plant. They did not look at renewable energy resources to offset the need for the Gallatin plant. They did not look at natural gas as a substitute, which is cleaner and would be cheaper to build.”
A spokesman for TVA says the utility is reviewing the lawsuit, and the project is moving forward.