Scenic photo of Dismals Canyon

TVA Recommends Repair/Rebuild Option for Bear Creek Dam: Congressman Aderholt Praises Decision as Best for Franklin County, Residents

May 23, 2007
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) praised the expected release of a study by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) that recommends that the leaking Bear Creek Dam be repaired or rebuilt by TVA at a potential cost of $35 million. The recommendation is expected to be released by TVA in a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that describes the possible actions and impacts from each of the alternatives studied.

“This is great news for Franklin County, Northwest Alabama and its residents. The problem with Bear Creek Dam was called to my attention back in 2006, threatening the area’s drinking water supply,” said Congressman Aderholt. “With this recommendation, TVA is assuring the safety of the community and the continued well-being of Bear Creek Dam.”

Bear Creek dam has had problems with leaking and needs repair to correct the problem and ensure the safety of the county’s drinking water supply. Prior to the study, TVA had been ambiguous about any plans regarding the dam and whether they would make repairs to the dam or attempt to remove it completely.

Congressman Aderholt met with Tom Kilgore, chief executive officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to discuss this matter with the dam last month, on April 27, 2007. “I’d like to thank Tom Kilgore for his attention to this matter and his willingness to meet with me to discuss it,” continued Congressman Aderholt.

In June 2006, then Chairman David Hobson of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water sent a letter to Mr. Kilgore at the request of Congressman Aderholt asking for detailed information on TVA’s plans for the dam. In his September 2006 response, Mr. Kilgore stated that TVA was studying alternatives for stopping the leakage problem at the dam, ranging from repairing to removing the dam. Today’s announcement is in response to the April 27 meeting and other actions taken by Congressman Aderholt and his staff.

After the release of the EIS, there will be a 45 day window in which TVA can respond to comments. Following that they will issue a final EIS that will be out for review for 30 days. TVA will look to issue the Record of Decision in September, thus completing the study. While this is ongoing TVA will have an engineering firm working on designs with construction ideally starting by late fall.