River water monitoring comes with lower flow

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Paul Sloan

Duck River water quality will be closely monitored if the Tennessee Valley Authority grants a state request to combat drought conditions by conservation of water reserves behind Normandy Dam.

Paul Sloan, deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said as much on Friday in his request to Bridgette K. Ellis, TVA's senior vice president of environment and research.

Since receiving the letter, "TVA staff is currently expediting a National Environmental Policy Act environmental review and plans to respond to the state as soon as possible," authority spokesman Jim Allen said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Duck River Agency Chairman Freddie Stacey of Marshall County has indicated that's consistent with what he'd been led to believe last month when TVA officials told him they aren't against reducing the flow early to conserve water, but they don't want to do anything to hurt the environment.

The environmental assessment on what the lower flow might mean for the river might be completed today, according to Doug Murphy, executive director of the Duck River Agency who maintains close contact with TVA.

"Hopefully, it will be completed this week," Murphy said, complimenting the federal utility for responding "remarkably fast" while facing federal environmental protection requirements.

See the Tribune for the complete story.