Stop the Surry Coal Plant!

October 1, 2011

Our Stop the Surry Coal Plant Campaign is currently circulating a petition to encourage support for our cause within the college community. Once we gauge support for our goal, we are planning to bring the petition before President Reveley and the Board of Visitors, and move towards obtaining an official statement against the plant from William & Mary.

Almost 3 years ago ODEC, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, proposed to build what would be the largest coal plant in the state in Surry County, Virginia. The proposed coal plant would emit 3000 tons of sulfur dioxide, over 3000 tons of nitrogen oxides, 10,446 tons of carbon monoxide, nearly 250 tons of volatile organic compounds, 44 pounds of mercury, and 11.74 million metric tons of CO2 every year. As Surry is located just across the river from Williamsburg, upwind from the majority of Hampton Roads and the Chesapeake Bay, our community will bear the brunt of the negative health effects from these emissions.

The proposed coal plant would also have detrimental economic effects on the Williamsburg community. The magnitude of projected emissions from the coal plant would exacerbate our region’s smog problem. The decline in air quality could push our area into a status of “nonattainment” for not meeting air quality standards, which in turn would put us at risk for losing governmental funding and would also deter businesses from investing in the Hampton Roads area.

As students of the college and concerned parties in the Williamsburg area, we must protect not only our health but the health of the community as a whole. We are asking for a better alternative to coal which is not only outdated, but detrimental to both our health and the local economy. There are cleaner options than coal, including increased efficiency and renewable energy.

We, the undersigned, request that the College of William and Mary publicly oppose the permitting of the proposed Surry County Coal Plant (Cypress Creek Power Station), via a press release and a written letter of concern to the permitting bodies, in order to protect the air quality, local economy, and historical infrastructure of the city of Williamsburg, and The College.

For more information, see the following links:

* Wise Energy for Virginia\’s website about the plant
* Online petition to Army Corps of Engineers
* Facebook page about coal plant
* WEFV\’s page about energy efficiency
* Chesapeake Bay Foundation report on coal plant
* Physicians for Social Responsibility report on coal plant (executive summary)
* Joint statement against coal plant by regional, state, and national health organizations:
*Article about the Surry Coal Plant published in the December, 2010 issue of the Dog Street Journal:

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