WISE — Dominion Virginia Power on Wednesday said a state air emissions permit for the coal-fired power plant the utility is building in Wise County has been amended to bring the permit into compliance with a ruling from the Richmond Circuit Court.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality on Wednesday approved the amendment following the court order of two weeks ago directing removal of a provision in the permit relating to mercury emission levels.
Judge Margaret P. Spencer ruled the provision violated the federal Clean Air Act but upheld all other provisions of the permit, as well as a second emissions permit fully compliant with state and federal laws.
At the time of her ruling, Dominion officials said they had no problem dropping the language regarding mercury from the permit — essentially what the DEQ did on Wednesday.
“The Virginia DEQ’s efficient handling of our request allows Dominion to maintain its schedule with a power station project that is vital to meeting the future energy needs of Virginia and to helping the economic well-being of Southwest Virginia,” said David A. Christian, CEO of Dominion Generation. “Dominion believes the air permits for the Virginia City (Hybrid Energy Center) project may be the toughest ever issued.”
Spencer dismissed six of the seven legal challenges to the two permits brought by environmental groups but faulted an “escape hatch” provision built into the mercury limits.
Spencer remanded the permit to the DEQ, directing the provision’s removal.
The $1.8 billion coal-fired facility will generate 585 megawatts of base load power when completed.
Dominion wants the plant to be operational in 2012.