Shuler-Linked Water Deal Under Scrutiny

August 29, 2008

The inspector general of the TVA said Thursday that his office has opened an inspection to review a water-access deal linked to U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C.

Richard Moore said his office opened a file on Aug. 15, one day after the News Sentinel reported on TVA’s approval of a transaction that provides 145 feet of water-access rights along the shoreline of Watts Bar Reservoir in Roane County to an entity called The Cove at Blackberry Ridge LLC. In exchange, The Cove agreed to relinquish 150 feet of water-access rights in Rhea County and also provide approximately $15,000 for a bank stabilization project at a different location on Watts Bar Reservoir.

Investors in The Cove at Blackberry Ridge include Shuler, a first-term Democrat from western North Carolina who is a former star quarterback for the University of Tennessee football team. Shuler sits on the House transportation committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment, one of two congressional panels that provide formal oversight of TVA.

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(Josh Flory, “Shuler-Linked Water Deal Under Scrutiny,” Knoxville News Sentinel, 8/29/08)