Map showing location of proposed ODEC power plant. Lucidity Information DesignMap showing location of proposed ODEC power plant. Lucidity Information Design

Plans for ODEC's Proposed Cypress Creek Coal Plant Suspended

On August 8, 2012 it was announced that plans to build a coal-fired power plant in Surry County had been suspended. According to statements, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) asked the Army Corps of Engineers to cease the permitting process needed for the plant to proceed. CBF hopes ODEC officials stand true to these statements. If they do, it will be a great win for the Chesapeake Bay, its rivers and streams and the citizens of Hampton Roads who have so vigorously opposed the facility.

As proposed, the plant would have been the largest coal-fired power plant in Virginia and, by ODEC's own accounts, emit millions of pounds of nitrogen oxides (smog-causing chemicals) and carbon dioxide (a major greenhouse gas), as well as soot, mercury, lead, benzene, and other toxic air pollutants.

Read the CBF report, "A Coal Plant's Drain on Health and Wealth," which explains the impact ODEC's plant would have had if the plant had been built.

Numerous human health organizations, environmental groups, nearby localities, and hundreds of local citizens have publicly opposed the plant due to its likely harmful environmental, economic, and human health impacts on the Hampton Roads region. CBF broadly applauds their unyielding opposition.

ODEC's continued ownership of the property where the plant was proposed and changes in local zoning authority from Sussex County, Surry County, and the Town of Dendron, leave unresolved questions about what will happen next. CBF hopes that a usage of the property can be found that can benefit both the economy and environment of the region. 

For now, we are grateful for this apparent victory! CBF will continue to closely monitor any future permitting actions associated with the property.

See the sidebar for more information and read our report, "A Coal Plant's Drain on Health and Wealth."

More About the Proposed Plant

CBF Report: A Coal Plant's Drain on Health and Wealth

  • CBF's report—A Coal Plant's Drain on Health and Wealth—contends pollution from the proposed Surry plan could result in hundreds of asthma attacks, dozens of premature deaths, and millions of dollars in regional health care costs.
  • See a map of mercury impaired waters near the proposed site.
  • Did you know that eight of Virginia's 18 largest mercury polluters are concentrated within a 60-mile radius of the proposed ODEC plant? See the map (pdf)
  • Get the facts about the proposed Surry County Power Plant.
You may also be interested in:
  • The Chesapeake's Airshed Unfortunately, much of our air originates in areas of the Midwest dominated by polluted emissions from powerplants and motor vehicles. (Map)
  • Mercury In Our Food In the Chesapeake watershed, mercury is responsible for more waters listed with fish consumption advisories than any other pollutant.
  • Danger from the Air Air pollution, primarily from power plants, is the main source of the mercury that contaminates fish in the Bay watershed.
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