~ from Appalachian Voices

Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sent a notice announcing Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s application to build a 32-mile fracked-gas pipeline that would cross three counties and more than 130 wetlands and streams in Middle Tennessee.

The pipeline is associated with TVA’s proposal to replace the retiring Cumberland Fossil Plant with a fracked gas power plant, which has been met with criticism for the financial risk it would pose for TVA ratepayers. In June, the EPA commented on TVA’s environmental review of the gas proposal, deeming the study inadequate and pointing out that TVA’s plans would expose customers to the price volatility of gas. Meanwhile, a recent study by Appalachian Voices demonstrated that replacing the Cumberland plant with renewable energy and energy efficiency would provide 20 to 30 times more permanent jobs than TVA’s gas proposal.

This Notice of Application triggers a 21-day intervention period during which landowners, concerned residents, organizations or other impacted parties can preserve their right to participate in hearings and challenge decisions made about the pipeline project by the commission. The deadline for intervening is August 19, 2022.

TVA is expected to release its Final Environmental Impact Statement for the plant and its final decision for replacement this year. Even if TVA chooses gas, Tennessee Gas will have a number of regulatory hurdles in moving the pipeline project forward through FERC and permitting agencies.