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On Tuesday, June 24, Virginia’s Air Pollution Control Board will meet in Wise County to decide whether or not to issue air pollution permits for a proposed coal-fired power plant.

Dominion Virginia Power wants to build a $1.8 billion, 585-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Southwest Virginia near the town of St. Paul. If the new plant is approved it will be built less than five miles from the coal-fired Clinch River plant operated by American Electric Power in nearby Carbo—a facility that according to the EPA emits 148 pounds of toxic mercury per year and accounts for 59 premature deaths annually.

Dominion initially tried to tout the new plant as a state-of-the-art facility with the potetional for carbon capture technology, but earlier this year the State Corporation Commission determined that under Virginia law it would be a conventional coal plant with no plan to capture the 5.4 million tons of heat-trapping carbon
dioxide it would emit every year. In addition to unsafe air quality, local residents are also concerned about increased mountaintop removal mining, which already scarred one-fourth of the land in Wise County with scenic degradation and diminished water quality.

The meeting will be held at J.J. Kelly High School (716 Birchfield Rd.) in Wise at 9am.

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