"An unmistakable landmark, the plant’s five short smokestacks identified the Alexandria riverfront as much as the George Washington Masonic Memorial does from a hill near the King Street Metro station. Those stacks also pushed untold tons of air pollution into the skies over the District, Maryland and Virginia, marking the plant as the largest single source of air pollution in the Washington region. Almost 15,000 tons of coal remain in a pile outside the facility, enough to fuel the electrical generating engines for five days. But as of midnight Sunday, the 63-year-old coal-fired power plant will permanently shut down. The end came more than a decade after two citizens discovered the extent of the health hazard from the fine particulates that settled out of the smoke and into the lungs of people who live, work and play nearby. Working on their own and slowly picking up support from neighbors, environmental groups and local, state and federal officials, Elizabeth Chimento and Poul Hertel relied on scientific studies and persistence in the face of multiple setbacks. " Washpost
And now for something different...
The election is boring. Politicians are boring. More bombs in Iraq, etc.
This coal fired electric plant is finally going, going, gone. The company insists of course that citizen political action had nothing to do with their decision to take their remaining coal use allotments somewhere else. I have been to a few of the interminable meetings in which GenOn tried to use federal and state bureaucrats to shut down citizen opposition to the existence of the plant. For ten years the citizens struggled endlessly against this ugly, ugly thing on fair Alexandria's waterfront. Will some other commuiity have this inflicted on them by GenOn in their search for the "next dollar? For sure, but here in the home town of George Washington and Robert Lee we can only try to save ourselves. Now the internal struggle in the town will shift to what might be made of the land once the "warts" are gone. IMO the vendu local politicians will try to enable another hotel for their developer "friends" and campaign fund contributors, The two parties compete for developer favors. Well, that does not always determine events here. Civic activism is to Alexandria as high school football is to Texas. A decade ago my sainted wife led a coalition of the willing to victory to prevent erection of blocks of rental flats where the parking lot now is at the King Street Metro station. At the time some people told me that "they" would be back and would win. I don't see any buildings there, and now the tasteful re-development of the area around the square is done and there is no visual space for the apartment buildings. A change of zoning would be needed now as it was then. 300 peple gathered then in the city council chambers for the climactic meeting. It went on for five hours and the insurgentos won. Before that spectacular event, the local developer who wanted to build on the parking lot had the gall to tell my wife that she should not oppose his wishes because the project would make his family rich for "generations." His brother told me that we "little people' did not have a chance. Hmmm.
BTW Claude Devereux's story came to an end in the coal port yard that is now under the electric plant. pl