The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted last year to retire its Allen coal plant on Presidents Island and replace it with a new $452 million gas plant, but the Shelby County Health Department must approve a building permit for the new gas plant before the process can move forward.
The health department will hold a public hearing on that permit on Thursday, September 17th at 6 p.m. at the Memphis Area Transit Authority Board Room and Hudson Hall at Central Station (545 South Main).
The Sierra Club's Memphis chapter made a big push for the TVA to retire the Allen plant, and now they're pushing the health department to ensure the new gas plant will protect health and public safety.
“While we agree with the Tennessee Valley Authority’s move away from coal, we must also stay vigilant to ensure the new gas plant doesn't put the health and safety of our community at risk,” said Rita Harris, senior organizing representative with Sierra Club in Memphis. “As plans for the gas plant move forward, we will be asking for adequate monitoring of the gas lines running through neighborhoods, which is one of our environmental justice concerns.”
From the Shelby County Health Department's hearing announcement: "The proposed construction will consist of the addition of two combustion turbine generators, two heat recovery steam generators, one steam turbine generator, one dual fuel (natural gas and biogas) auxiliary boiler, three natural gas-fired dew-point gas heaters, three natural gas-fired dew point heaters, one diesel-engine-driven fire-suppression water pump and one multiple-cell cooling tower. This permitting activity ensures that the public has an opportunity to comment on all affected emission units."