Cheatham County elected officials join fight against proposed TVA plant
A pumping station in Dickson County at the site of a 1992 gas line rupture. A proposed pipeline running through Ashland City, Tenn. would originate in the Dickson County town of White Bluff. (Photo: John Partipilo
Elected officials are joining a community fight in Cheatham County against a proposed new Tennessee Valley Authority gas-fired power plant, which is slated to be built on 285 acres of mostly forested land that lies in close proximity to a local drinking water source.
The Ashland City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to condemn the project, criticizing the utility provider for a lack of transparency and raising concerns about the plant’s potential impacts on quality of life, the environment and “loss of charm of Ashland City and Cheatham County.”
“Council is concerned about irreparable harm to our community for the possible anticipated environmental impacts,” the resolution read.
Ashland City Council’s vote mirrored the action taken one day earlier by the Cheatham County Commission, which unanimously voted on Monday to enact a resolution in opposition to the proposed plans.
Neither resolution is binding, but local officials say they hope their efforts catch the attention of state leaders, including Gov. Bill Lee.
TVA’s plans call for building a natural gas plant just outside Ashland city by 2028, part of an effort to meet growing demands in Nashville while the utility phases out aging power plants, including the coal-burning Cumberland Fossil Plant. The proposed new Cheatham County plant would generate approximately 900 Megawatts to power approximately half a million homes, according to TVA. Environmental groups have criticized TVA for choosing to replace one fossil fuel plant with another, instead of pivoting to cleaner energy production.
The plant would also require a miles-long pipeline, an added concern for local residents and environmental groups alarmed about its route through privately owned land, rivers and streams.
Community residents and local officials have been vocal in their concerns about the plant since TVA first announced their plans last year.
Cheatham County Mayor Kerry McCarver said he has received numerous calls and emails from concerned citizens and has been frustrated at the lack of transparency from the nation’s largest utility provider.
A public comment period on the plan closed last month. TVA will now undergo the process of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to assess the potential environmental impacts of proposed construction and operation of the plant.
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