Displaying items by tag: public participation
TVA solicits public input following release of environmental assessment for Bull Run Fossil Plant decommission
CLAXTON — Tennessee Valley Authority plans to close its Bull Run Fossil Plant (BRF) in Anderson County, but it’s still looking for public input on what comes next.
“As a large, inflexible coal unit with medium operating costs and a high forced outage rate, BRF does not fit current and likely future portfolio needs,” the federal utility said in a draft Environmental Assessment.
TVA is looking at three different options for the future of the structures still standing on the site by the Clinch River near Oak Ridge: taking down all structures; taking down some of them; or leaving everything standing. A recent report lays out the environmental consequences of each of these actions. The report, in draft form, is against that third choice, listing it as only an option for the sake of comparison.
“If the facility is left in the “as-is” condition, it likely would present a higher risk than Alternatives A or B for the potential to contaminate soil and groundwater as systems and structures degrade. As such, this alternative is not a reasonable alternative,” the draft states.
TVA stated its considering removing “all or most of the buildings and structures” on a 250-acre area. After closing the plant, but before any demolitions, TVA will begin by removing components that may be used at other TVA sites, draining of oil and fluids from equipment, taking ash out of the boilers, removing information technology assets, removing plant records and other tasks.
The Bull Run Environmental Assessment is 170 pages long and available for public review. It doesn’t directly tackle the coal ash storage conundrum that has grabbed the attention of politicians, nearby residents and environmental activists, because that issue involves separate regulations.
Contribute to the master plan to grow tree canopy in Knoxville
KNOXVILLE — No matter where you are in the city, you’re not far from a patch or two of trees.
These copses range from small groupings of oaks or dogwoods that are commonly used to mark property boundaries to lush belts of temperate mixed-hardwood forest that sprawl across hundreds of acres.
While Knoxville may be blessed with an abundance of these urban forests, many local residents and leaders believe it’s nowhere near enough.
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- urban forest
- public participation
- stakeholder input
- kasey krause
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- tennessee division of forestry
- keep knoxville beautiful
OAK RIDGE — The Oak Ridge Cedar Barren will again be the site of exotic invasive plant removal on Saturday, Nov. 5 as we conduct our fall cleanup, our third and final cleanup of the year. Located next to Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge, the Barren is a joint project of the City of Oak Ridge, State Natural Areas Division, and Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning. The area is one of just a few cedar barrens in East Tennessee, and is subject to invasion by bushy lespedeza, leatherleaf viburnum, privet, autumn olive, mimosa, Nepal grass, multiflora rose, and woody plants that threaten the system’s prairie grasses. Our efforts help to eliminate invasives and other shade-producing plants that prevent the prairie grasses from getting needed sunlight.
Hellbender Press reported in detail on last year’s Cedar Barren spring cleanup.
If you missed the community meetings and the Zoom event during Advance Knox’s “Choices Week,” you can still take the survey online!
If you are unfamiliar with the Advance Knox project, you may find it helpful to watch the first 19 minutes of the Choices Week webinar recording before taking the survey.
“Advance Knox is a process to prepare a land use and transportation plan for Knox County that is informed by research and community input,” according to its website.
In March 2022, Advance Knox offered a first round of public input opportunities during its “Ideas Week.” As reported in Hellbender Press, community meetings were held all over the county. Participation opportunities at special group presentations, a Zoom webinar, and individual commenting on the website were similar to those of Choices Week.
Is TVA trying to gag its critics?
This story was originally published by Tennessee Lookout.
KNOXVILLE — While the Tennessee Valley Authority, a utility company that provides power to millions in Tennessee and other states, allows for public input into decisions, the process isn’t simple or transparent, say some regular attendees.
Take, for instance, a recent public listening session: representatives of the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club say they were told they could not record the session despite a spokesman for TVA saying the opposite.
According to TVA spokesperson Scott Brooks, attendees are always allowed to record public meetings, provided they don’t cause a disturbance, but minutes before the session, members of the Tennessee chapter of the Sierra Club were prohibited from doing so.
Public can comment in person Tuesday night in Oak Ridge on proposed DOE waste dump
OAK RIDGE — The Southern Environmental Law Center blistered the Department of Energy in a letter ahead of a May 17 hearing on construction of a toxic-waste landfill that opponents said poses contamination threats to portions of the Clinch River watershed and downstream TVA reservoirs.
The Department of Energy wants to bury contaminated debris from demolition of Manhattan Project-era complexes and associated legacy toxins from the Oak Ridge Reservation. The drawn-out debate about how best to safely store the materials now focuses on the transparency of the decision process and the health of the Bear Creek watershed and downstream pollution threats to the Clinch River.
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Updated again on May 4: Hundreds of ideas, complaints and comments, many of them with map locations, have been posted on the Advance Knox website.
As announced in Hellbender Press earlier, Advance Knox held a series of public input events across Knox County during its Ideas Week at the end of March.
If you missed those in-person gatherings and could not attend the virtual session, we hope you recorded your preferences and opinions online at the Advance Knox website.
You can now see what others had to say about your neighborhood and your favorite places.
And, even if you already participated, you may have had new ideas or important thoughts not recorded yet. Please let us know,
— what you treasure in Knox County
— what you miss
— what you think is most important to consider as the county keeps growing.
The interactive facility to submit ideas will remain open online through May 10, as suggested at the last Advisory Committee meeting.
Framework for growth in Knox County
Advance Knox is a comprehensive planning process initiated by Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs “to guide growth, land use, transportation, economic prosperity, and quality of life.”
The process is intended to result in a new Knox County general plan and subsequently shape revisions of the sector plans. Together, that set of major plans establishes criteria for further plans by Knoxville-Knox County Planning, such as local area and annual plans, as well as timing and implementation specifics for the Knox County portions of the Regional Transportation Planning Organization’s Long Range Regional Mobility Plan.
At each 90-minute Ideas Week event, you’ll learn about the process through idea generation and map-based activities. It’s a chance to share what’s important to you.
— Sunday, March 27 – 1:30 p.m. at Gibbs Middle School
Knoxville-Knox County General Plan 2033, adopted in 2003, established the framework for the current sector plans and was amended with the Knoxville-Knox County Park, Recreation and Greenways Plan in 2010.
Grab your phone and get to some citizen science
Rhonda Wise writes for the public affairs office of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Discover Life in America (DLiA), the nonprofit science research partner, is inviting the public to participate in the Smokies Most Wanted program. This initiative allows visitors to help preserve park species by recording sightings of animals, plants, and other organisms from their smartphones using the iNaturalist app.
Personal climate-change remedies have a wide cumulative impact and are part of the solution, so don’t give up
Tom Ptak is assistant professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Texas State University. This story was originally published by The Conversation.
The average American’s everyday interactions with energy sources are limited. They range from turning appliances on or off, to commuting, to paying utility bills.
The connections between those acts and rising global temperatures may seem distant.
However, individuals hold many keys to unlocking solutions to climate change — the biggest challenge our species currently faces — which is perhaps why the fossil fuel industry spent decades misleading and misinforming the public about it.
I’m an assistant professor of geography and environmental studies at Texas State University. My research explores how geography affects the complex relationships between societies, energy and contemporary environmental challenges. I’ve found that the human element is critical for developing creative, effective and sustainable solutions to climate challenges.
There’s a large and growing body of evidence showing that individuals can have a major impact on climate change in a number of ways. Citizen action can compel utilities to increase renewable energy and governments to enact strong climate action laws. When enough individuals make changes that lower daily household energy consumption, huge emissions reductions can result. Consumer demand can compel businesses to pursue climate and environmental sustainability.
These actions combined could bridge the “emissions gap”: the significant difference between the greenhouse gas emissions expected globally and how much they need to drop in the next few decades to avoid catastrophic climate change.
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- renewable energy
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- fuel consumption
- energy use
Apr 22 5:30 p.m. EDT
Manhattan Project National Historical Park Stakeholder Engagement Community Meeting
National Park Service
Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MNHP) is initiating a stakeholder process that will be used to help inform the park’s interpretive planning.
Zoom Meeting - Free and open to the public - RSVP
Interpretive themes convey park significance. Primary interpretive themes are the key ideas through which the park’s nationally significant resource values are conveyed to the public. They connect park resources to the larger ideas, meaning, and values of which they are a part. They are the building blocks—the core content—on which the interpretive program is based.
Find more details about the process, background information on the MNHP and register for the first meeting here.
The interpretive plan will provide guidance in developing future services, activities, events and exhibits in Oak Ridge, at the other MNHP locations, and through media outreach.
The recording of the April 13 national introductory webinar for this stakeholder process has just been released:
The newest road to nowhere
The former “missing link” of the Foothills Parkway. The “road to nowhere” in Bryson City, North Carolina. Blount County, Tennessee, has its own unfinished road project, without the catchy nickname: the Pellissippi Parkway Extension.This proposed 4.4-mile stretch of four-lane highway would lengthen State Route 162, known as Pellissippi Parkway, from where it ends at Old Knoxville Highway (State Route 33) to East Lamar Alexander Highway (State Route 73/U.S. 321) in Maryville.
State and local government officials, however, maintain the Pellissippi Parkway Extension will address needs such as “limited mobility options in Blount County and Maryville, poor local road network with substandard cross sections (with narrow lanes, sharp curves, and insufficient shoulders), lack of a northwest/east connection east of Alcoa and Maryville, safety issues on roadways in the area, and traffic congestion and poor levels of traffic operation on major arterial roads and intersections,” according to the Record of Decision signed by the Federal Highway Administration on Aug. 31, 2017.