An embattled $1.8 billion coal plant slated for Wise County, Va., was granted pollution permits Wednesday by a state regulatory board, allowing construction to proceed. The company that will be building the 585-megawatt plant, Dominion Resources, promised local officials it would only source coal from within Virginia; that move is expected to fuel increased mountaintop-removal mining in the state. Air officials were quick to point out that they issued permits for air pollution at drastically lower levels than Dominion had requested — some 80 percent lower for both sulfur dioxide and mercury. As part of the deal, Dominion agreed to switch its oldest coal-fired power plant in Virginia to natural gas. When construction of the new coal plant is finished around 2012, it’s expected to produce some 5.3 million tons of carbon dioxide a year.
Get Grist in Your Inbox
Washington state just lopped up to $2,500 off the cost of solar panels. Here’s how.
Goodbye, everyone! A massive hole has opened at the End of the World
Mother jailed for letting her daughter run free — at the playground
Lay off the almond milk, you ignorant hipsters
Nestlé doesn’t want you to know how much water it’s bottling from the California desert