success in reducing the incidence of REEs is partly attributable to
its self-auditing program. Since 1995, TVA employees have conducted
220 internal audits designed to support the agencys operations
and promote compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. These
audits provide TVA management with a means of verifying that environmental
controls and processes are in place, that they are working effectively,
and that the lessons learned by finding and eliminating the root causes
of operational flaws are being shared throughout the agency.
The number of audit findings has fallen by almost 70 percent in the
past four years, and the seriousness of those problems has decreased
even more. Audits conducted in 1999 showed that effective environmental
programs are in place, and more recent audits have primarily identified
opportunities for improvement in administrative areas, such as training,
labeling, and recordkeeping. Some of these issues could have the potential
for environmental impacts if not corrected, so TVA is taking them all
seriously and working to fix them as quickly as possible.
Office of the Inspector General also conducts internal audits. For instance,
an audit of equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), completed
in 1999, determined that the agency has had only mixed success in reducing
its use of this equipment. A more concerted removal effort may be needed
both to eliminate the risks and potential liabilities associated with
the remaining equipment and to avoid the expense of PCB management (particularly
spill cleanup). The majority of the PCB-filled transformers and capacitors
that could have the greatest impact on the environment have already
been replaced or retrofilled (refilled with non-PCB insulation). Work
on the rest will be largely completed by 2006, at an estimated cost
of $35 million.
1995, TVA employees have conducted 220 internal audits designed to support
the agencys operations and promote compliance with local, state,
and federal regulations.