Residents upset about TVA's much-tightened tree-cutting policy will have a chance to address the TVA Board of Directors on the issue at its meeting in Knoxville on Thursday.
The meeting is in the West Tower Auditorium at TVA's downtownKnoxville headquarters at 400 West Summit Hill Dr.
The meeting begins with a “Public Listening Session” at 8:30 a.m. where members of the public are allowed to make apresentation to the board for up to three minutes. The regular meeting will follow after a short recess.
Attorney Larry Silverstein said, "Those who have been very concerned and upset about TVA’s tree-cutting policy will have a rare opportunity to express themselves directly to the Board of Directors, the TVA management, and the media.
"Those wishing to speak at the meeting for up to three minutes may either sign up in person no later than 8:15 a.m. or may sign up in advance online at www.tva.gov/abouttva/board/speak.htm. Those who sign up online must also check in at the meeting site no later than 8:15 a.m. All attending the meeting must arrive early to go through security.
"Concerned citizens from the Knoxville area, as well as from Chattanooga and Nashville will be attending the meeting. Others who cannot attend can submit written comments to the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org."
He said the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club has recently adopted and distributed a resolution on the issue and it will be presented to the Board of Directors.
Scenic Knoxville will alsopresent a resolution to the Board of Directors.
Attorney Silverstein said, "The length of the Public Listening Session will be determined by how many people choose to speak. At the April 26th Board meeting in Greeneville, over 30 people spoke on many issues."
He said at a press conference, "several people, including from the Sierra Club, will make comments and be available to answer questions regarding their concerns about TVA’s current policy. TVA’s policy, which is not required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), is to clear cut remove all trees which either are, or could someday be, 15 feet or taller within the entire width of the 150-200 foot TVA easements on 15,900 miles of transmission lines across seven states. The needless destruction of millions of trees, along with the additional widespread spraying of herbicides in rural areas, killing all kinds of non-threatening vegetation including trees, grass, shrubs and even blackberry bushes is very alarming. TVA will be spending hundreds of millions of dollars, doing great harm to private and public property, wildlife, and the environment. The total cost of such destruction will be immeasurable.
"Earlier this year, the Knoxville City Council, Knox County Commission, and Chattanooga City Council adopted resolutions expressing great concern about TVA’s policy, and urged appropriate TVA officials to immediately reconsider this right of way clearance policy. Similar pleas to TVA management by mayors and other elected officials have so far been ignored.
"A lawsuit seeking an injunction against TVA’s policy was filed earlier this year in U.S. District Court in Knoxville by 11 plaintiffs from across the state of Tennessee. A trial date has been set for July 8, 2013."
He said a petition on this issue is now available to be signed online at: www.thepetitionsite.com/426/640//960/stop-tva-overly-agressive-tree-cutting/
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