The Department of Environmental Quality is looking into UVa’s power plant to determine if they’re violating the federal Clean Air Act or Virginia law. The investigation was prompted by UVa’s recent application for a permit to increase output. Jake Mooney has an extensive article in today’s Progress.
2 thoughts on “DEQ Investigating UVa Power Plant”
Are state agencies under a different set of rules? Since UVA is a state owned enterprises are they exempted from normal rules? For example there is only one public building that you can legally smoke a cigarette in- the State Capital!
Guess how that happened.
The short answer, as it applies to UVa’s heating plant, is that it’s complicated. UVa says it’s exempt from state air-quality laws not because it’s a state agency but because it’s a nonprofit. UVa is exempt from all kinds of other rules as a state agency (local zoning comes to mind) but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.
DEQ, meanwhile, concedes that the university is exempt from some laws as a nonprofit, but maintains that it’s not exempt from others that basically say the same thing.
One interesting thing is that when the DEQ penalizes a private company, fines can result. That doesn’t really happen if UVa is penalized, though, since that would basically amount to a transfer of funds between two state agencies. So they generally just try to work out other solutions that don’t involve fines.
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