Utility deal to clean air reaches $1.2 billion
HEILPRIN; The Associated Press
Tacoma News Tribune
WASHINGTON - In the largest settlement ever with a utility under
the nation's clean air laws, Dominion Virginia Power Co. is agreeing
to spend $1.2 billion to reduce pollution at eight power plants in
Virginia and West Virginia and to pay a $5.3 million federal fine.
One of the nation's largest energy producers, Richmond, Va.-based
Dominion will be required to install state-of-the-art emissions controls
by 2013 at six coal-fired plants in Virginia and two in West Virginia.
The pollution scrubbers are expected to reduce emissions of sulfur
dioxide and nitrogen oxides by about two-thirds from 2000 levels.
Dominion will also be required to cut particulate emissions, which
contribute to asthma and other respiratory ailments.
"These settlement efforts demonstrate both this administration's
firm commitment to fully enforcing our environmental laws and the
power of working together to improve our quality of life," Environmental
Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman said Friday.
Dominion also is agreeing to spend about $14 million for environmental
projects in five states.
The projects include $2.7 million for retrofitting diesel engines
in New Jersey transit commuter buses going into New York City, $2.1
million for mounting solar panels on public buildings in New York,
$2 million for West Virginia to protect land in the Cheat River Gorge
and $1 million for the purchase of hybrid vehicles in Shenandoah National
The settlement concludes an agreement in principle reached between
the company and the government in 2000 - and represents the fourth
such federal settlement with utilities so far under the "new
source review" provisions of the Clean Air Act.