Dominion Virginia Power gets air permit for power plant

Richmond, Va., September 3, 2009 – Dominion Virginia Power said today that a state air permit for its Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center has been amended to bring the permit into compliance with an order from the Richmond Circuit Court.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) approved the amendment today following the issuance of a court order remanding the permit to the department for removal of a condition relating to the establishment of mercury emission levels.

Judge Margaret P. Spencer found that condition in violation of the federal Clean Air Act, but upheld the permit in all other respects. She found a second permit to be in compliance with the law in all respects, rejecting an effort to have that permit overturned.

In her ruling, Spencer dismissed six of the seven legal challenges to the two permits made by a group of plaintiffs. Ruling for the plaintiffs on a single issue, the judge held that a so-called “escape hatch” condition could be construed to allow establishment of mercury limits after commencement of construction, in violation of the Clean Air Act. Spencer sent the permit back to the VDEQ directing it to remove that provision.

Dominion said after Spencer’s ruling that it had no objection to removing the clause from the permit and applied for an amendment. The company said today that it has no plans to appeal the court ruling.

The Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center project, which began construction June 2008, is more than 36 percent complete and is scheduled to begin commercial operation in mid-2012.

Dominion Virginia Power is a subsidiary of Dominion, which has a portfolio of about 27,000 MW of generation. Dominion serves retail energy customers in 12 states.

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