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Page updated Dec 4, 2007 11:54 AM
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For Immediate Release - November 29, 2007 - PIO# 286-07/jlh
For More Information, Contact Jennifer Harris, Communications Officer, at 703.838.5078

City of Alexandria to Testify at November 30 State Air Pollution Control Board Meeting

On Friday, November 30, the Virginia Department of Environment Quality (VADEQ) will make a presentation to the State Air Pollution Control Board (Board) regarding an operating permit for the Mirant Potomac River Generating Station to allow the five stacks presently in use to be merged into two stacks. The meeting will take place at the Omni Newport News Hotel in Newport News, Virginia, at 9 a.m. However, this item will come up later in the day.

VADEQ's actions are in direct contradiction to the Board's specific determination that a "New Source Review" permit must be made by Mirant, with approval by the Board. A previous request made by VADEQ for approval of the stack merger was denied in August.

Mirant’s current, five-stack permit application, which was the subject of a public hearing in the City of Alexandria on November 19, will become irrelevant if the Board allows Mirant to proceed with a stack merger. William Skrabak, the City’s Director of Environmental Quality, together with the City Attorney Ignacio Pessoa and other legal and technical staff, will represent the City and object to the VADEQ request at the Board hearing. Skrabak will reiterate the City’s position that Mirant’s proposed stack merge is intended to increase the plant’s operations and therefore, its emissions, and distribute those increased pollutants over a wider area.

"The City strongly objects to the Board’s addition of the VADEQ request to its meeting agenda this Friday. The item was added late last Wednesday, which makes it difficult for the City’s residents who are most affected by Mirant to participate in the permit process," said Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille. "Any discussion concerning the operation of the Mirant Plant should be held in Alexandria so the public can participate fully."

The public may listen to the Board meeting on Friday, November 30, in Room 2000, City Hall, at 1 p.m. For more information about the Board meeting, please visit TownHall.virginia.gov//l/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=10204.