An attorney for businessman Greg Vital said one route TVA is considering to place a high-voltage line across his Meigs County farm would go through a section of virgin forest.
Federal Judge Sandy Mattice earlier signed an order granting TVA access to the Vital farm and several nearby properties.
TVA said it wants to carry out surveying and other work toward the line that would go to a planned new $300 million power control center.
The landowners are asking the judge to reconsider the order, while TVA says it should stand.
Chattanooga attorney Crews Townsend said, "The impact this uncertainty could have is illustrated by Mr. Vital’s property. The TVA has given Mr. Vital four possible routes it could use to run power lines over his property. Three of these run straight through virgin forest, which Mr. Vital uses for hiking, horseback riding, and other purposes. One option also runs through a field on which he grows crops and uses as a dove field during season. Mr. Vital has no idea what his present rights are or what the TVA will do to his property before a formal condemnation proceeding is filed.
"Presumably, the TVA will investigate all four routes and will alter his property with respect to each. The TVA’s brief does not clarify what it will do with Mr. Vital’s property nor does it specify what it can do. Most of Mr. Vital’s property is at risk to what the TVA might do. Because the rights retained by Mr. Vital are completely undefined, it is not certain that he can do anything to influence the TVA’s actions in any way.
"The severe language of the Order and the undefined property right is especially impactful with a residence. Whatever work the TVA does on the Vantiegham’s property will be near where they live. They cannot protect their rights if TVA’s work becomes intrusive without knowing what property rights they have. Again, the language of the Order is severe and seems to say that they have no right to object to anything."
The four landowners are asking that the present “Order of Possession” be set aside, and "that the TVA be required to perform its statutory duties before it is given the right of entry onto the Defendants’ properties. This Court should give meaning to requirements imposed by Congress. The TVA should clearly define the property rights it seeks and then fairly estimate the value of the property interest it takes. The relief requested is not much. But, holding the TVA to its duties helps insure that the TVA will protect the rights of the landowners affected by its actions."