City Seeks Intervention

City Seeks Intervention

Following the State Air Pollution Control Board's May 23 decision requiring Mirant Corporation to secure a State Operating Permit before proceeding with a planned stack merge at its Potomac River Generating Station, the company filed a legal action in Richmond Circuit Court challenging that decision. On June 21, the City of Alexandria filed a petition in the same court requesting the right to intervene in that dispute.

That action by the City had to be refiled on June 28 because Mirant rescinded their first petition and filing a second petition, according to John B. Britton, outside legal counsel for the City in the controversy. "The City had to refile its entire motion. But, I'm very confident our request to intervene will be approved," Britton said.

Since the Air Board's decision countermanded an agreement between Mirant and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality with relation to an agreed upon "consent order," the City's petition to intervene expressed concern about the Department of Environmental Quality’s dual role in the Mirant petition. That concern was expressed in the City's petition.

"David K. Paylor, Director of the DEQ and secretary of the Board, was served with the petition for appeal [by Mirant] and presumably will coordinate the defense of the Board. This presents a serious potential conflict of interest and a very real risk that the Board's actions will not be vigorously defended," the City's petition stated.

"Alexandria has a substantial interest in ensuring that the state operating permit is defended and the health, safety and welfare of Alexandria's residents protected. Granting Alexandria's motion to intervene is appropriate for the additional reason that Alexandria's participation will act as a safeguard against the potential that a conflict of interest within the Commonwealth will compromise the defense of the Board's actions," the petition said.

The Court will now evaluate the request and make a decision. No time frame for that decision has been set, according to Britton.