"Virginia Judge Nixes Permit for Coal Power Plant"

"RICHMOND, Va. -- In a victory for environmental groups, a Richmond judge on Tuesday invalidated a permit for a coal-burning power plant being built in southwestern Virginia.

Circuit Judge Margaret Spencer ruled that Dominion Virginia Power's mercury emissions permit for the Wise County plant would have improperly allowed the utility to adjust the limit after the plant is already operating.

Spencer said the State Air Pollution Control Board gave Dominion too much flexibility in complying with the mercury discharge limit, which must be met 'irrespective of cost or achievability.'

A coalition of environmental groups has been fighting to block the power plant for years, arguing that emissions would harm air and water quality and contribute to global warming. About 42,500 people from across Virginia have signed petitions and sent comments to state and company officials opposing the project, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center."

Larry O'Dell reports for the Associated Press August 11, 2009

Source: AP, 08/13/2009