Sierra Club fights order allowing use of Yorktown coal units

Image courtesy of WAVY

YORKTOWN, Va. (AP) — The Sierra Club is seeking the reversal of a federal order allowing Dominion Energy Virginia to use two coal-burning units at a Yorktown power plant.

Last month, Energy Secretary Rick Perry signed an emergency order allowing the utility to operate the units, which don’t meet federal pollution standards and shut down in April.

The order came at the request of PJM Interconnection, which manages the high-voltage electricity grid in Virginia. PJM says due to summer weather and high demand, the units will likely be needed to prevent “uncontrolled power disruptions.”

The Sierra Club argued the department didn’t show an emergency exists or set standards to limit pollution.

Dominion says the group’s request would jeopardize health, safety and national security at a time when heat indexes are over 100 degrees.

Spokeswoman Bonita Billingsley Harris says the company had to run one or both units between July 11 and the morning of July 15 and then had to restart both Wednesday. They were running as of Thursday afternoon.

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