NORFOLK, Va. (AP)- Pollution from a $6 billion coal-fired plant proposed in Surry County would cause an estimated 26 premature deaths annually and generate additional regional health costs exceeding $200 million a year, a report by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation concludes.
The report, released Monday at a news conference in Norfolk, also said asthma attacks would increase and the plant would threaten safe drinking water in south Hampton Roads.
"A Coal Plant's Drain on Health and Wealth" is aimed at Old Dominion Electric Cooperative's Cypress Creek Power Station in the town of Drendon.
The suburban Richmond company did not immediately respond to a request from The Associated Press for comment.
The authors of the report said they relied on data supplied by ODEC to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Pollution from the plant's 650-foot smokestacks would include soot particles, mercury and carbon dioxide, the Bay Foundation report said. The soot particles are projected to cause about 442 asthma attacks a year and the premature deaths, the report said.
The power plant would also emit annually thousands of pounds of pollutants, such as benzene and arsenic, which the EPA classifies as carcinogens.
The foundation said the plant is proposed at a time when the Chesapeake Bay is amid a massive restoration.
"Adding a new source of pollution, when Virginia must comply with new bay pollution reduction requirements, is irresponsible and counterproductive," said Chris Moore, a foundation scientist.
The Surry County Board of Supervisors has approved permits for the 1,500-megawatt plant, but it still must receive regulatory approvals from a number of state and federal agencies.
Old Dominion supplies electricity to 12 member distribution cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. The cooperatives provide power to approximately 500,000 homes in Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula.
Old Dominion Electric Cooperative: http://www.odec.com
Chesapeake Bay Foundation: http://www.cbf.org
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