Loss of trees, energy efficiency among concerns before TVA board

Loss of trees, energy efficiency among concerns before TVA board

August 16th, 2012 by Pam Sohn in Local - Breaking News

One after another, at least 37 people addressed the TVA board this morning in Knoxville - most to complain.

The Tennessee Valley Authority's new "all clear" policy to remove all trees and vegetation in a 200-foot strip along its 15,900 feet of transmission lines was among the most voiced gripes. But TVA's perceived disinterest in promoting energy efficiency was a close second.

"It's TVA duty to protect us, not raze the land around our homes," Chattanoogan Lana Sutton with the Tennessee Sierra Club told board members.

"If we take every bit of government easements [roads, power lines and others,] some people won't even have a postage stamp of green," she said. "The loss of these trees will raise the head index in homes and neighborhoods. That's great for the company trying to sell kilowatts."

Just after the listening session, which lasted from 8:30 until just before 11 a.m., TVA Board Chairman William B. Sansom defended TVA employees from what he called a "tough" session.

"We know you care," Sansom told the crowd. "And believe it or not, we care."

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.