Enviro groups appeal air permit for Dominion’s 1,558-MW Greensville project

The Sierra Club and Appalachian Mountain Advocates on Aug. 16 filed a lawsuit challenging a prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) construction permit for Virginia Electric and Power’s $1.3 billion power plant in Greensville, Virginia.

The suit was filed on the grounds that the permit unlawfully fails to require the “best available emissions control technology” for the power plant and fails to control against the massive quantities of methane that would leak from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, proposed to connect directly to the power plant.

Virginia Elecric and Power, a subsidiary of Dominion Resources (NYSE: D), does business in Virginia as Dominion Virginia Power.

The club noted in an Aug. 16 statement that Dominion Virginia Power began construction of the 1,558-MW gas-fired plant this past June, which would be the largest gas-powered operation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Dominion has proposed that the Greensville Plant operate at all hours, regardless of the actual demand or the availability of power from other sources such as clean, renewable energy, the club said. If built, it would burn fracked gas supplied directly by another Dominion project — the Atlantic Coast Pipeline — a nearly 600-mile long pipeline that would take private property and destroy forests and streams in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina, the environmental group said.

Earlier this summer, the groups successfully pushed regulators to dramatically tighten carbon dioxide limits, cutting allowable emissions by more than 10% from Dominion’s original proposal. The groups forced more protective standards on carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, methane, formaldehyde, and particulate matter as well.

Sierra Club Virginia Chapter Director Kate Addleson said: “The people of Virginia–like all Americans–have the right to breathe clean air and drink clean water. Rather than expanding dirty fuels that threaten Virginia’s air and water, we must continue to invest in clean, renewable energy like solar and wind, and continue our transition off of dirty fuels.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.