GenOn Alexandria plant fined $280,700 for air quality violations

The plant is slated for closure by October. (Photo: ABC7)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP/ABC7) - An Alexandria coal-burning power plant scheduled for closure in October has been fined about $280,700 for violating air-quality laws.

GenOn Energy's Potomac River Generating Station exceeded its nitrogen oxides limit six times between June 28 and July 18 last year. That's according to a consent decree issued last week by the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board and agreed to by Houston-based GenOn.

The Washington Post reports the fine is the largest ever imposed against the plant.

The plant began operation on the Potomac riverfront in 1949. It is scheduled to shut down Oct. 1 after years of opposition from environmentalists and residents.

The City of Alexandria and GenOn Energy reached an agreement to retire the 60-year-old facility by October of this year.

"This news strengthens Alexandria's future and opens the door to an enhanced quality of life for our residents," Alexandria Mayor William Euille said when the closure was announced late last August.

Shortly before the closure was announced, GenOn had announced that no plans were in the works to close the station. The plant sustained more than $275,000 in fines in 2011 alone.