After years of legal and popular protests, the Mirant Potomac Power Plant, also known as the GenOn Energy Potomac Power Plant, will close its doors.
A subject of controversy, for years the coal-burning plant was criticized for the many documented environmental hazards it created for Alexandria residents.
In a statement released on Tuesday, August 30th, Alexandria resident Congressman Jim Moran (VA-08) hailed the news as a “long fought“ victory for residents of the area.
“This was a long fought but well won victory for the citizens of Alexandria and the nation’s capital. What once was the largest stationary source of air pollution will be no more,” said Congressman Moran.
“Northern Virginia stands as an example of a prosperous and environmentally-conscious community. Today’s action maintains our commitment to a better, cleaner environment for our region’s next generation,” continued Moran.
According to the Alexandria City government, the agreement with GenOn involves the plant closing on October 1st, 2012, or if it is needed for energy purposes until its replacements are completed.
In a statement, Delegate David Englin (D-45) also hailed the closure as a success, but urged vigilance given that the official date was over a year off and somewhat flexible.
“This is a major victory for the people of Alexandria that will strengthen our quality of life, and I congratulate all of the officials involved,” said Delegate Englin.
“While there is reason to celebrate, the agreement does allow some wiggle room on the closing date, which means we must continue to be vigilant until the day the plant finally and permanently closes its doors,” continued Englin.
Established in 1949, the GenOn power plant provided electricity for a sizable portion of the Washington DC metro area and parts of Maryland.
Although located on the banks of Alexandria, the coal-burning plant did not provide energy for the Commonwealth of Virginia, an irony that only added to many Alexandrians’ outrage over its pollution.