The Mirant Potomac River Generating Plant (Mirant Plant) is an electricity-generating facility located on the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia. The Mirant Plant uses oil to pre-heat each of its five units then burns coal to generate electricity. The Mirant Plant provides electricity for about 482,000 homes. Plant operations began in 1949 when this part of Virginia was relatively remote.
Now residential and commercial properties surround the facility. Since 2001, residents have voiced concerns about air quality and health problems that they attribute to the Mirant Plant.
To this end, the Alexandria Department of Health asked the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to review available environmental air data and determine possible health impacts to people in the community near the Mirant Plant.