TVA publishes draft vegetation management environmental assessment, opens it to public comment

Published on September 14, 2023 by Chris Galford

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The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) released a draft vegetation management environmental review to the public this week, offering a look at its fiscal year 2024 activities on transmission rights-of-way.

Routine, periodic vegetation management is critical for most power service areas across the country, and the TVA’s service area is no exception. In its case, low-growing compatible vegetation is allowed to remain, but woody species are targeted. However, compatible trees and shrubs are allowed in areas being actively maintained by landowners.

TVA’s approach is known as Integrated Vegetation Management, a style meant to promote a meadow-like environment along rights-of-way. These were deemed the best means of maintaining safe and reliable operation of the transmission system, and to maintain them, it regularly deploys a mix of herbicides approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to complement mechanical and manual clearing efforts.

Such maintenance will support the more than $15 billion of targeted investments for the next three years meant to build up 3,800 MW of new generation in the region by 2028.