Response to Water Quality Subcommittee Recommendations
TVA response to Water Quality Subcommittee recommendations on aquatic plant management, dated May 18, 2001
October 23, 2001
TVA accepts this recommendation.
TVA accepts the leadership role of initiating negotiations with appropriate stakeholder groups on the issue of shared funding. Potential sources of additional funding on some reservoirs include local or state governments, stakeholder groups, private citizens, and corporations.
Federal funds are no longer available to TVA, and existing legislation specifically identifies the funds other than federal appropriations that TVA is to use for its essential stewardship responsibilities. If federal funds become available from sources other than direct appropriations to TVA, or if Congress chooses to provide appropriations to TVA for the purpose of aquatic plant management, such funds could reduce the need for TVAs portion of the funding of these activities from power revenues.
TVA will work with local and regional stakeholders to develop shared funding arrangements in cooperation with the various stakeholder groups as appropriate. The year-to-year fluctuations in funding requirements and the funding available to potential partners make it counterproductive to require that stakeholder groups make binding long-term financial commitments.
We acknowledge the advantages of having some local responsibility for shared funding and will work to develop such arrangements where possible. TVA requests additional guidance from the Council concerning the equitable sharing of costs among aquatic plant management beneficiaries.
TVA accepts this recommendation as a confirmation of our existing policy of including all relevant stakeholder groups in aquatic plant management planning efforts and our current methods of documenting management plans.
TVA accepts the recommendation that aquatic plant management goals be established and performance reported. Each year prior to the beginning of the aquatic plant growing season, TVA will work with stakeholder planning groups to establish a plan for the areas to be managed. After the end of the growing season, TVA will report back to the planning group on the success of the plan in achieving its objectives. These stakeholder planning groups can continue to participate in the development and monitoring of aquatic plant management plans. We understand from the discussion at the August 29th RRSC meeting that you did not intend that these groups become official advisory committees as defined in the Federal Advisory Committee Act and that their continuing involvement in their present form meets the intent of your recommendation.
We accept the leadership responsibility for resolving problems with and disputes over aquatic plants within the Tennessee River system.
TVA also accepts the leadership role of initiating negotiations with appropriate stakeholder groups on the issue of shared funding. However, as was discussed at the August 29th RRSC meeting, TVA does not feel that requirements for binding financial support agreements will be the best way
to develop partnering arrangements for aquatic plant management activities across the reservoir system. We will work with stakeholder groups at the various reservoirs to develop appropriate funding arrangements on a case-by-case basis. Although federal appropriations are not available for these programs, we will look for opportunities to develop shared funding agreements with local and state governments and other stakeholders.
We agree to work with stakeholder planning groups to establish annual plans for plant management and to report back to the groups on the success of the plans in achieving their objectives.