Upcoming Surry Coal Plant Hearings

February 21, 2012

By now, you’ve probably heard of the Surry Coal Plant (or SEAC’s Surry Justice Campaign has not been doing its job!) This local controversy, which could result in the construction of the largest coal-fired power plant in Virginia, has two major events coming up. On February 27th from 7 to 10 PM, the Surry County Planning Commission will hold a hearing at the Surry County High school to vote on Old Dominion Electric Cooperative’s rezoning and conditional use permits which would allow the plants to be built. The 27th marks the second round of local zoning hearings. Last year, citizens of Surry County won a lawsuit against ODEC, after the original rezoning vote was deemed illegal.

If this plant is built, our air and water quality will be diminished here in Williamsburg, and the health of our citizens will be endangered by massive emissions of mercury and nitrogen and sulfur oxides. The plant would also threaten the tourist economy that is so critical to our area.

It would be hard to predict the full impact of the coal plant on our region, but what we know for sure is that ODEC is not a good neighbor. Their unpredictable and untrustworthy behavior is one of the reasons we are having this second hearing in the first place. Now, we have a second chance to take a stand for ourselves and for our neighbors, and keep in mind what we want the future of our region to be. Surry County deserves better, and so do Williamsburg and the rest of the downwind areas. We are striving for a large and impactful presence at this hearing, so please, come and have a say in a matter that affects your region and your neighbors.

SEAC’s Surry Justice Campaign will be organizing a group to go to this hearing, so please contact Sharon Hartzell at sehartzell@email.wm.edu if you are interested in attending this hearing, or a second hearing to be held on March 5th.

To see the events that lead to this most recent controversy for yourself, check out the following video, compiled by Surry County citizens from footage taken at the zoning hearings:

-The Surry Justice Campaign

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