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Coal permit too lax on mercury, judge rules

Richmond Circuit Judge Margaret Spencer gave environmentalists a victory by invalidating a permit for a major coal-fired power plant in Southwest Virginia.

In yesterday’s ruling, Judge Spencer said that the state Air Pollution Control Board erred in issuing the permit for the $1.8 billion Dominion Virginia Power plant and that the board must craft a revised permit for the plant.

Both environmentalists and Dominion claim to have prevailed, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

While the Clean Air Act’s health-based standards will have to be met, the ruling does not stop construction on the 585-megawatt plant, which is scheduled to begin operating in 2012.

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