Riverkeeper cites dangers of power plant

Published 8:41 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

To the Editor:

Electricity is a wonderful luxury that I enjoy very much. From what I understand, we are in need of more of this luxury.

For this reason, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative wants to build a power generating plant in Surry County in the headwaters of the Blackwater River.

The problem is that the power plant they want to build will burn coal, which produces a bunch of really bad pollution for sure. But what is really bad is that it produces mercury.

This area’s rivers and every lake and pond’s fish are already so contaminated with mercury that the Virginia Department of Health warns against eating too much fish caught from these waters.

They further recommend that small children and pregnant women eat none at all. So, yes, we need the electricity and it sure would be nice to have those 200 jobs, but not at the expense of our health.

Build the power plant, but fuel it with natural gas or something else cleaner like bio mass, not coal. We have to be careful in this time of economic strife in this area. Opening the door to just any kind of manufacturing or industry regardless of the consequences is stupid.

Tossing away environmental caution and concerns to bring jobs and revenue to the county will end up costing us more in the long run in health cost and, ultimately, funerals.

Jeff Turner