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by Duane Nichols, Mon Valley Clean Air Coalition | 2007

On November 8, 2006, Longview Power petitioned the state PSC to increase the power output of its power plant to 695 MW with an increase in water usage, bigger buildings, and possibly a higher smoke-stack. Is this really necessary?

On June 26, 2006, the Public Service Commission (PSC) granted certificates to Longview Power to construct a 600 MW coal-fired electric generation station and associated transmission line in the Cass District of Monongalia County, WV. On November 8, 2006, Longview Power submitted a Petition to the PSC to increase the ower output of this plant to 695 MW with an increase in water usage but no increase in coal input.

The water usage would increase to 5,000 gallons per minute. The full impacts of these changes are currently under study. Whether the number of cooling towers will change, whether the amount of noise generated will change, whether the steam plumes will increase, whether the 557 foot stack height will change is not known at this time, from the meager information provided by Longview.

The plant profile will change on the horizon as viewed from Coopers Rock, from Dorsey’s Knob, from the Evansdale and Medical Center campuses of West Virginia University. The boiler building will increase from 257 feet high to 270 feet high, and the steam turbine building will increase from 100 feet high to 120 feet high. These changes may necessitate a change in the tall smoke stack of the plant.

Official public notice of these changes should be provided by Longview to all the citizens of Monongalia County, via a legal notice in the local daily  newspaper. Then, the public will have an opportunity to respond. Undoubtedly, these changes should also be given serious consideration by the WV Department of Environmental Protection. Then, the Public Service Commission should know that public hearings are needed to fully $evaluate all the proposed changes as well as what are the opportunities for other changes in the public interest that may be feasible. If the power generation is to increase, the environmental impacts should be minimized.

Your support of the efforts of the MonValley Clean Air Coalition, PO Box 4679, Morgantown, WV 26504 would be particularly useful in this matter. Drop a note to this address so you can be added to the mailing (and email) list.

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