September 8, 2010
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Statement Regarding Delay in ODEC Plant Permitting
(NORFOLK, VA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation released the following statement regarding the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative's decision to delay permitting for its proposed coal-fired power plant in Surry County, Va.:
"The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) hopes Old Dominion Electric Cooperative's (ODEC) decision to halt the permitting process for the proposed coal-fired power plant in Surry County for 18-24 months is the beginning of the end for this ill-conceived project.
"ODEC and surrounding localities should use this time to carefully consider the damaging environmental impacts the plant will have on the region and to pursue less harmful alternatives, such as energy efficiency and conservation, that have already been identified as the quickest, most cost-effective ways to meet Virginia's future energy needs.
"After carefully analyzing the impacts on the Bay watershed from the proposed power plant, it is apparent that the facility represents a step backward in restoring the ecological and economic viability of the Chesapeake Bay and air quality in the Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Northern Virginia areas, even after the application of stringent pollution control technologies.
"The proposed plant will produce a tremendous amount of nitrogen, particulate matter (soot), and ground level ozone. The additional nitrogen pollution also would be a significant impediment to Virginia's efforts to comply with the new Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals. Nitrogen pollution is a chief cause of algae blooms and fish kills seen annually in the Bay and throughout Hampton Roads waterways.
"Moreover, the additional soot, mercury and ozone will have significant human health impacts in the state and could jeopardize Virginia's ability to obtain federal funds that could help our flagging economy.
"Should ODEC eventually restart the permit process in the future, it is imperative that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Environmental Protection Agency take a fresh look at the proposal and its impacts in light of whatever new regulatory changes may have occurred in the interim."