Virginia Air Pollution Control board approves permit for Chickahominy Power Station
The 6-1 decision handed down on Friday was based on comments from the public and review and recommendation by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The SAPCB added additional amendments changing language to support more stringent compliance and requiring the applicant to conduct supplementary ambient monitoring for particulate matter (also known as PM2.5). The SAPCB also discussed public participation, environmental justice, emission controls, and health and environmental impacts.
The Chickahominy facility will be the cleanest facility of its type in the U.S. The facility will use air-cooling technology to manage turbine temperatures instead of millions of gallons of water per day, a major benefit to the James River watershed.
“To ensure pollution control to the greatest extent possible under the law, DEQ took the additional step and brought the application before the Air Board for consideration,” said DEQ Air Director Mike Dowd. “Based on feedback received from the public, DEQ revised the draft permit to include more stringent greenhouse gas limits, which resulted in a more stringent permit compared to any other power facility in the country.”
The permit requires the use of “Best Available Control Technology” or BACT, and meets health-based standards established by the federal Clean Air Act, which establishes the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and state air toxics standards. The agency required rigorous air quality modeling analysis to demonstrate compliance with NAAQS, which provide an ample margin of safety to protect public health and the environment.