tva logoTennessee Valley Authority

Bear Creek Dam Leakage Resolution Project

Franklin County, Alabama

TVA has issued a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) to evaluate alternatives for a long-term solution to the problem of excessive leakage of water through Bear Creek Dam, located in Franklin County, Alabama.

Since its completion in 1969, Bear Creek Dam has experienced leakage of water through its foundation. This compromises the integrity of the dam. As a precautionary measure TVA subsequently lowered the summer pool eight feet. However, when heavy rains occur, the reservoir can rise to elevation 576 feet (normal maximum summer pool level) and above, and the risk of dam failure increases. Although TVA maintains equipment for emergency repairs, increases its monitoring, and notifies local officials when the reservoir rises, these measures are not a viable long-term solution to the problem.

The preferred alternative involves modifying the dam and maintaining a summer pool level of 576 feet. TVA would restore most reservoir conditions to the original design and would repair or rebuild the dam in place or immediately downstream of the existing dam.

The specific repair method would be determined by engineering and design studies. The options being considered are a roller compacted concrete reinforcing structure, an upstream cutoff wall, and a downstream cutoff wall with additional embankment material to increase dam height. Under this alternative, TVA would incorporate new minimum flows in Bear Creek downstream of the dam to improve habitat conditions for endangered species. TVA would also raise the normal reservoir winter pool level one foot, to 566 feet, to better meet the water supply needs of the Franklin County Water Service Authority.

The draft of this FEIS was released for public comment on June 1, 2007. TVA held a public meeting to receive comments on the draft on June 19, 2007, in Red Bay, Alabama. The public comment period closed July 16, 2007. The FEIS contains TVA’s responses to the comments received on the draft.


PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Summary of Final Environmental Impact Statement (PDF, 56 kb)

Final Environmental Impact Statement (PDF, 804 kb)

Appendices (PDF, 3.6 mb)


Jim Williamson
TVA NEPA Administration
400 West Summit Hill Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37902

Warren Behlau
TVA River Operations
1101 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402



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