The National Park Service (NPS) is considering a proposal by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to construct a 161-kV transmission line within the boundaries of the Natchez Trace Parkway. The transmission line connects the Central Electric Power Association's (Central EPA) upgraded Kosciusko 161-kilovolt (kV) Substation in Kosciusko to TVA's existing Red Hills 161-kV Substation in Ackerman. The purpose of this undertaking is to improve the reliability of the electrical power system in the area by providing an additional source of power to the upgraded substation to address the voltage and reliability problems within Central EPA's service area. The project would require the NPS to issue a right-of-way (ROW) permit and a Special Use Permit (construction permit) to authorize construction of a new transmission line.
TVA completed an EA for the project in January 2017 (see https://www.tva.gov/Energy/Transmission-System/Transmission-System-Projects/Red-Hills-Leake-Transmission-Project-Southwest-Mississippi-Service-Area)
, which focused on the broader impacts of TVA's project. The NPS created this EA to address specific impacts to Natchez Trace Parkway resources from the issuance of a ROW and the construction of a new 161-kV transmission across approximately 2,000 feet of NPS land. Two alternatives are considered by the NPS in this EA, the No Action Alternative and the alternative for Issuance of a NPS ROW to TVA for Transmission Line Construction. The NPS EA also identifies mitigation strategies to offset permanent impacts of a new transmission line to the designed cultural landscape and wetland/floodplain resources of the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Deanna Boensch, Natchez Trace Parkway, Natural Resource Specialist, 662-680-1632