TVA stewardship program earns top rating from OMB

From Staff Reports

   Tennessee Valley Authority's management of the Tennessee River system and its role as steward of natural resources in the Tennessee Valley have earned the agency the highest possible rating for effectiveness in an evaluation by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
   TVA was commended for "effectively managing the Tennessee River system to meet vital public needs," including flood control, navigation, water quality and recreation.
   "We are pleased that OMB has recognized the accomplishments of our resource stewardship program," said TVA Director Skila Harris. "A healthy river system is critical to the economic sustainability of our communities, as well as to the overall quality of life in the Valley."
   TVA's current role in water quantity and water supply management will be discussed this week during a two-day meeting May 8-9 in Knoxville. The Regional Resource Stewardship Council, created to advise TVA on the management of natural resources in the Tennessee Valley, will meet from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in TVA's West Tower Auditorium.
   In its assessment of TVA, OMB said the agency prevents an estimated $190 million in flood damage annually along the Tennessee, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers by operating 34 flood-control dams as a unified system. It credited TVA's management of the commercial navigation system of the Tennessee River with saving shippers and consumers more than $400 million a year. Businesses and industries in 18 states rely on TVA for reliable, cost-effective transportation of 50 million tons of cargo a year.
   TVA also was recognized for its management of outdoor recreation and land use. The OMB said TVA manages the programs at a reasonable cost and that "TVA's integrated river management system is recognized as an efficient and effective way to manage the entire watershed." In 2004, TVA expects to spend $83 million on integrated management of the Tennessee River system.
   TVA's power program was rated "moderately effective" and was among 24 percent of federal programs receiving OMB's second-highest rating.