Text Resize

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Mayor Gray Announces Legislation Banning Coal Burning

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mayor Gray Announces Legislation Banning Coal Burning

Legislation will take effect 18 months after Capitol Power Plant’s non-coal facility becomes operative and protect District residents for generations to come

(Washington, DC) Mayor Vincent C. Gray today announced new legislation that would protect residents’ health and safety by banning coal-burning power facilities in the District of Columbia. The move comes in conjunction with permits issued by the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) to the Architect of the Capitol to construct a new cogeneration facility that will allow the Capitol Power Plant (CPP) to stop using coal to produce power for facilities on Capitol Hill. 

“In conjunction with the permits DDOE issued today, this legislation will help District residents breathe more easily for years to come,” said Mayor Gray. “My Sustainable DC initiative aims to make the District the nation’s greenest, healthiest, most sustainable city in the country in the next two decades – and eliminating coal emissions from the Capitol Power Plant is a key victory in achieving that goal.”

The Ban on Combustion of Coal Act of 2013 would: 

  • Ban coal burning in the District, beginning 18 months after the commercial operation date of the Capitol Power Plant’s (CPP) cogeneration project (except in instances of force majeure and for testing and tuning). The commercial operation date is the date upon which construction of the new cogeneration equipment has been completed, adequately tested, and authorized as able to deliver electricity to the distribution system.
  • Strictly limit facilities to burning coal for no more than 72 hours per emissions unit, per year, and only for the purposes of tuning and testing. Testing and tuning are required by the federal Clean Air Act and District regulations. 

This language mirrors the language in the soon-to-be issued permits for the CPP. The facility’s ability to restrict coal usage (with the exception of the 16,666 ton limit above) is entirely dependent upon completion of the cogeneration project and achievement of the commercial operation date.