Environmental Policy

TVA's overarching Environmental Policy is to produce clean, reliable and affordable power, support sustainable economic growth in the Tennessee Valley and promote proactive environmental sustainability in a balanced and ecologically sound manner.

As a good steward, it is TVA's duty to promote the proper use of the Tennessee River watershed and its natural resources by the public. We are committed to sustainability and continuous improvement, proactive stewardship in managing our natural resources and environmental footprint and maintaining compliance with all applicable environmental and legal requirements.

TVA continues to integrate sustainable practices into business operations by establishing goals, measuring progress and reporting performance in these six key areas:

1. Climate Change Mitigation

TVA actively reduces its carbon emissions through cleaner production options and energy efficiency initiatives. We are:

Read TVA's Statement on Climate Change, its Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan, its Carbon Dioxide page and an interesting article on TVA's Carbon Competitiveness.

2. Air Quality Improvement

TVA improves regional air quality through emission controls on existing generation and through adopting cleaner energy options. We are:

Read more about air quality at TVA.

3. Water Resource Monitoring

TVA manages an integrated river system for multiple uses and provides clean water for Valley needs. We are:

  • Lessening impact on aquatic systems while balancing thermal cooling needs
  • Reducing consumption of water at TVA's metered facilities
  • Managing water quality and quantity impacts through permitting activities on and around TVA reservoirs; the collection, maintenance and distribution of water quality information; and strategies to manage increased water demand

Read more about water quality at TVA.

4. Waste Minimization

TVA conducts its operational and business functions striving to reduce waste and increase recycling. We are:

  • Reducing the waste footprint of all TVA facilities by decreasing waste generation and improving recycling
  • Adapting our generation facilites to produce less waste
  • Recycling coal-combustion waste

Read about Coal Combustion Residuals and about the Toxics Release Inventory.

5. Environmental Reviews

TVA manages public lands for multiple benefits, striving to maintain good environmental health while balancing the need for sustainable development. We are:

  • Managing TVA lands, mineral rights and shoreline access to better achieve environmental commitments while meeting the needs for recreation, residential access and economic development
  • Providing for the most ecologically and environmentally sound use of the lands under its purview, through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Read more about environmental reviews at TVA.

6. Sustainable Land Use and Natural Resource Management

TVA manages public lands for multiple benefits, striving to maintain good environmental health while balancing the needs for sustainable development and recreation. We are:

Read more about natural resource management at TVA.

Sustainability at TVA

Sustainability for TVA means ensuring our ability to provide the people of the Tennessee Valley with low-cost and reliable electricity, a healthy environment and a prosperous economy without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. Read more about our commitment to sustainability in all of our practices.

Guidelines and Drivers for Environmental Policy

Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS)—Sets strict limitations on air emissions from fossil fuel power plants. Learn more about MATS.

Clean Water Act (CWA)—Establishes the basic structure for discharges of pollutants into water of the United States. Learn more about CWA.

EPA Final Clean Water Act Section 316(b) Rule—Sets environmental law regarding cooling water intakes at power-generating facilities. Learn more about EPA Ruling 316b. This is a rule updating best technology available (BTA) for cooling water intact for cooling water intake structures under the CWA.

Cross-State Air Pollution Update Rule (CSAPR)—EPA rule that requires 28 states to reduce annual SO2 and NOx emissions by reducing power plant emissions that contribute to ozone and/or fine particulate pollution in other states. Read more about CSAPR.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQs)—The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment. Read more about NAAQs.

Endangered Species Act (ESA)—Under the Endangered Species Act, species can be listed as "endangered" or "threatened," which may affect the way TVA operates its plants or manages its public lands. Read more about the Endangered Species Act