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Term ending for last Democrat on TVA board

The first woman and the only Democrat remaining on the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors is ending a nine-year term at the nation’s largest public utility.

Skila Harris remembers being identified as “the girl director” during a visit to a TVA hydroelectric dam shortly after she arrived in 1999.

Now that she is leaving, the 57-year-old Harris takes pride in her efforts to make the agency more receptive to environmental concerns. She also is delighted by the support she’s received from her Republican colleagues.

At her last meeting Monday in Florence, Ala., the board is expected to adopt TVA’s broadest environmental policy ever. The Harris initiative embraces the concept of climate change and the need to reduce air pollution and waste, and preserve water and land in all TVA operations.