A Shelby County board will hear appeals from the Sierra Club on two permits issued that would allow the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to drill into the Memphis Sand aquifer.
The TVA has said it wants to pull 3.5 million gallons of water every day from the aquifer, the source of the city’s drinking water, to cool its under-construction power plant. To do that, the TVA has filed for five permits from the Shelby County Health Department, for five wells, three of which are no longer eligible for appeal.
Scott Banbury, the Sierra Club’s Tennessee chapter coordinator, said the power plant will need a minimum of four functional wells to draw the water it needs. Should the last two permits be denied, TVA may be forced to explore alternative options, he said.
Last week, the Sierra Club asked for a former appeal of those last two wells from the Shelby County Groundwater Quality Control Board (GWQCB). The club said the wells violate well regulations in Shelby County as, “water pumped by private and/or quasi-public water supplies for residential, commercial and industrial purposes shall be limited to reasonable use.”
The GWQCB will meet on the appeals on Thursday, Oct. 27 (more than two weeks away) at Bartlett City Hall at 6400 Stage Road.