Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, today applauded the City of Alexandria’s announcement to permanently close the GenOn Energy Potomac Power Plant in Alexandria by October 2012.
“This was a long fought but well won victory for the citizens of Alexandria and the nation’s capital. What once was the largest stationary source of air pollution will be no more. Through citizen involvement and committed city officials, the Potomac River Generating Station and its 1949 coal-fired boilers will finally be shuttered,” said Moran.
Forced to reduce its emissions and scale back its operations to comply with the Clean Air Act as a result of a lawsuit and enforcement actions, Mirant and GenOn were ultimately unable to compete with cheaper and cleaner natural gas powered electricity. Tougher federal regulations now in development may have also convinced GenOn’s management that the $32 million in settlement funds that had been set aside to meet the cleanup terms of the settlement were better than the losses their shareholders were taking trying to keep the outdated plant in operation.
“Northern Virginia stands as an example of a prosperous and environmentally-conscious community. Today’s action maintains our commitment to a better, cleaner environment for our region’s next generation. The extinction of this dinosaur of a facility is heartily welcomed,” Moran continued.
Since his time as Mayor of Alexandria, Rep. Moran has been a leading advocate for closure of the GenOn Power Plant, working with the City of Alexandria, local residents and environmental groups to focus attention on its harmful pollutants and their effect on the region. The GenOn Power Plant has been in violation of several regulations, including severe violation of air quality standards for sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter.