IOW officials asked to oppose Surry County power plant

Published 11:12 am Saturday, July 9, 2011

ISLE OF WIGHT—The Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors during its Thursday meeting heard opposition to a proposed coal-fired power plant in Surry County.

Those opposed to the Cypress Creek Power Station would like supervisors to consider a resolution opposing it. Residents can voice their opinions again during a 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, meeting in the town center in Smithfield at 220 N. Church St.

Six responded to a Thursday presentation given by David Hudgins, director of member and external affairs for Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, on the proposed Cypress Creek Power Station.

Hudgins said additional megawatts of power would be needed by 2020 to keep up with growing demand. In addition, Old Dominion is continuing to do water studies on the James River and will continue to work with state and federal agencies on the plant, construction of which has been delayed until at least 2020.

The station’s super critical boiler design is made to produce 30 percent fewer emissions and is “the best technology available today.”

“There is only one currently in construction in the U.S.,” Hudgins said. “We’re hoping it will be the second one built.”

The project would create 250 permanent jobs.

Surry County resident Mike Eggleston said the plant would dump 44 pounds more mercury into the Blackwater River. He added that the plant would not provide any local jobs.

His wife, Helen Eggleston, said Old Dominion has not demonstrated a need for additional power and added the company has “fed us much false information.”

“We don’t need this power plant,” she said. “There are too many dangers, too many risks.”

Bob Burnley told supervisors the risks would be especially great for residents living downwind and downstream of the plant.

“There will be more asthma attacks, more lost work and school days and more premature deaths,” he said.