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Report Details Poor Air Quality In Alexandria

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By Michael Pope

The Mount Vernon Trail runs right by the front gates of Mirant's Potomac River Generating Station. And according to a report from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, exercising here could be harmful to the health of people like Joyce Stojan. She's lived here for 28 years, and she now has to see a specialist because of damage she blames on Mirant.

"I don't like it at all. It's not only an inconvenience, but it's also expensive to have, you know, this specialist work with me," says Stojan.

The report also says there's so much particulate matter in Alexandria's air that breathing it over the course of many years could be harmful to the health of people throughout the city. Councilwoman Del Pepper says she's concerned by these findings, but she's also hopeful about new improvements.

"I'm not pleased. But let's just say we are continuing to work. And I think things will hopefully be improving," says Pepper.

Later this year, the plant will install a new filtration system that will suck particulates out of the air, similar to the way a vacuum cleaner works.

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