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Deadline for public comment on Boone Dam repair draft environmental assessment is Monday

J. H. Osborne • Nov 29, 2015 at 5:22 PM

BLOUNTVILLE —  Monday is the deadline for public comment on a draft environmental assessment on the impacts of the Boone Dam project to make repairs — necessary to end seepage. The report was released  Oct. 28 for public review and comment, and a public meeting was held earlier this month.

That 210-page document is available online at http://www.tva.com/booneprojectea.

Those wishing to contact TVA with other concerns or questions regarding the Boone repair project may visit the Boone repair website or email: boonelake@tva.gov.

More information about submitting comments regarding the environmental assessment are available at https://www.tva.gov/Newsroom/Boone-Dam-Project.

A sinkhole occurred in a non-public parking area on the downstream side of Boone Dam in October 2014. It was filled. Shortly afterward, sediment-filled seepage was discovered on the riverbank downstream of the dam.

That’s when TVA announced a quicker-than-usual drawdown to winter levels. Citing safety concerns and continuing work to solve the seepage issue, TVA later announced the lake’s level would not be raised this year.

A long-term repair plan announced by TVA in late July — with an estimated completion time of five to seven years and a price tag of $200 million to $300 million — calls for a three-phased repair that will culminate with construction of a “concrete cutoff wall” within the earthen portion of the dam.

It will include a multi-stage combination of grout injections and concrete.

When completed, it will be several feet thick, extend underground as much as 250 feet, and run the entire length of the crescent-shaped earthen section — from the concrete section of the dam to the parking lot near the beach area.

An environmental review process required by federal law is underway and expected to be completed by January — and the three-phase repair process will begin immediately afterward, TVA officials have said.

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