On Wednesday, July 30, the State Air Pollution Control Board (SAPCB) unanimously approved the two-stack permit for the Potomac River Generating Station (PRGS) operations proposed by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) and agreed upon by Mirant and the City of Alexandria.
This permit incorporates many of the key terms of the settlement agreement between Mirant and the City and makes them state and federally enforceable. The Alexandria City Council previously approved this settlement agreement between the City and PRGS following a unanimous recommendation from the City’s Mirant Community Monitoring Group. The settlement document and additional information can be viewed at alexandriava.gov/mirant
This permit and the settlement agreement are the result of considerable effort undertaken by the community since the Alexandria City Council resolution in June 2004 that addressed concerns about health and environmental impacts on the community from PRGS operations. The agreement represents significant progress toward the goals established in June 2004 by providing for the following actions:
- Requires the investment of $34 million by Mirant on new pollution control technology for particulate emissions, including baghouses, enhanced pollution-control equipment, or a combination of modern technologies.
- Gives the City control over selection and implementation of these new technology controls
- Imposes a PM2.5 (fine particulates less than 2.5 micron in size) emission limit that complies with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
- Requires Mirant to drop its legal challenge to the sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions limit of 3,813 tons per year, thereby locking in this limit.
- Requires installation of carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM) continuous emissions monitors, on a defined schedule, allowing enforcement of applicable limits.
- Gives the City access to the plant during the design and installation of the new controls, and to critical monitoring data including PM hourly stack and ambient short-term SO2 emissions data.
- Requires immediate installation of additional fugitive dust controls.
- Requires installation and operation of an additional PM2.5 monitor.
Mayor William D. Euille, as well as Vice Mayor Redella S. “Del” Pepper and Councilman Paul Smedberg, who are members of the City’s Mirant Community Monitoring Group, attended the Board meeting and expressed appreciation to the Board for its leadership throughout the permitting process.