Home ‘I’d rather sit in the dark than breathe poison’: Residents oppose Virginia power plant
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‘I’d rather sit in the dark than breathe poison’: Residents oppose Virginia power plant

Crystal Graham
chesterfield power plant briefing Dominion DEQ
Image courtesy Clean Virginia

More than 60 Chesterfield residents showed up to a Dominion Energy-led hearing on a proposed Energy Reliability Center this week to voice their opposition to the 1,000-megawatt methane-gas powered plant.

Residents expressed anger and serious concerns regarding potential pollution in the area.

“I’d rather sit in the dark than breathe poison,” said Frances Broaddus-Crutchfield following a presentation from Dominion on the air pollutants the plant is expected to generate.

A parent who lives near the proposed site also expressed concerns about her child with asthma.

“As a parent of a child who is already negatively impacted, this is just going to add to it,” said Lindsey Dougherty. “We are going to bear 100 percent of the negative health impacts and the costs as ratepayers. I’m very interested to know if I’m going to be reaping 100 percent of the benefit.”

The president of the Chesterfield NAACP spoke during a news conference organized before the Dominion briefing.

“We know what these harmful toxins have done to us in the past,” said Nicole Martin. “If you know better, do better … Dominion Energy not only has that fiscal responsibility to residents of Chesterfield County but also the social responsibility.”

A board member for the Friends of Chesterfield asked Dominion to explore other options.

“Have you considered an option that would be clean energy that would not put toxins into the air that would be working 100 percent of the time to generate power for us for this site?” asked Aliya Farooq.

The plant represents Dominion’s first proposal for a new fossil fuel-fired facility after the passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act in 2020. The plant requires a conditional use permit from the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors in addition to an air permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and approval from the State Corporation Commission.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.