The CPP is already DC’s largest emitter of emissions, but the DDOE permit allows the CPP to burn coal until and 18 months after the co-generation facility is completed. Coal burning flies in the face of Mayor Gray’s recently announced Sustainable DC Initiative which calls for a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2032. That’s unlikely to happen as long as the CPP burns coal. In an attempt to pacify residents, the Mayor’s office issued a press release announcing “The Ban on Combustion of Coal Act of 2013” which essentially mirrors the DDOE permit. The press release notes that “The facility’s ability to restrict coal usage … is entirely dependent upon completion of the cogeneration project and achievement of the commercial operation date.” Now the AOC needs to go to Congress to secure funds for the co-generation plant – a process that could result in DC residents breathing high levels of coal emissions for several more years.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Bad News for DC Residents: Coal Burning at the Capitol Power Plant Can Continue…for now
On Thursday, June 6th, the District Department of Environment (DDOE) issued a permit to the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) allowing the Capitol Power Plant (CPP) to construct a cogeneration system. The permit sets emission caps (notably NOx and SO2) until the facility is completed at 2007-2008 levels — when coal accounted for 50 % and rejects the community's and the Sierra Club's demands for a firm endpoint to coal burning at the plant.