OPPOSITION: Sierra Club, Local citizens
BACKGROUND: In December 2008, the developer proposed a 1,500 megawatt $6 billion plant in Dendron, Virginia. In February 2009, the developer submitted air permit applications, including a maximum available control technology (MACT) determination, to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. In February 2010, the developer obtained local land use approval. Project opponents sued immediately claiming the local approval was defective. In May the developer announced the land needed for construction had been purchased. However, in September the developer withdrew its permit application citing the slow economy and a reduced demand for power. It claims intent to reapply for emissions permits in 18-24 months.
Sierra Club opposed the project as part of its national campaign against all coal plants. Some local residents also opposed construction due to CO2 and hazardous air pollutant emissions. However, many other local residents favored construction and welcomed the plant’s potential economic benefits. The local dispute became racially charged because many favoring the plant were African-American and working class, while those opposing the plant tended to be white, upper class, and from outside the area.
LAST UPDATED: December 7, 2010