Sunday 24 February 2019

Press Statements (76)

New law requires excavation of all sites in Chesapeake Bay watershed Today, Virginia legislators passed a law in a bipartisan effort to safely dispose of toxic coal ash stored on the banks of rivers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The legislation will require the complete excavation of the more than 28 million tons of coal ash Dominion currently stores at Chesterfield Power Station, Chesapeake Energy Center, Possum Point Power Station, and Bremo Power Station. “We applaud the efforts of the Potomac and James Riverkeepers who have worked for years in local communities and the courts, with other advocates, legislators and citizens, to find a common sense solution to a legacy of toxic coal ash stored on the banks of our rivers,” said Betsy Nicholas, Executive Director Waterkeepers Chesapeake. “It is critically important to have strong laws on the state level during this time when federal agencies are attempting to eliminate rules protecting our waterways from toxic coal ash and to rollback other Clean Water Act protections.” The new law will require Dominion to do the following: Excavate all of the coal ash at these four facilities, and either recycle the ash into products like cement and concrete, or place it in modern, lined landfills. At least a quarter of the coal ash must be recycled, and the construction of any new landfills will be subject to local zoning and permitting requirements; Develop a transportation plan with the affected localities where any coal ash needs to be moved offsite; and Prioritize the hiring…
Legislation would hold Exelon financially responsible for reducing pollution (Annapolis, Md.) – Maryland Delegate Jay Jacobs (R-36) joined forces with urban and rural legislators to introduce House Joint Resolution 8 (HJ8) that will hold the Exelon Generation Company, LLC, financially responsible for a portion of the Conowingo Dam’s cleanup costs, as well as at least 25 percent of the costs associated with the Dam’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). Exelon owns and operates the dam, located on the lower Susquehanna River in Maryland, approximately 10 miles north of where the river meets the Chesapeake Bay. “This bipartisan legislation presents a common-sense solution to reducing the sediment pollution stored behind the Conowingo Dam,” said Betsy Nicholas, Executive Director of Waterkeepers Chesapeake. “The burden for cleaning up pollution behind the Conowingo Dam should not fall solely on Maryland taxpayers. Exelon is a multi-million-dollar corporation and should pay its fair share of the total cleanup costs. We urge the General Assembly to support this resolution to sustain the upkeep of the dam and protect clean water.” To help the state meet its requirements to clean up the Chesapeake Bay by 2025, Maryland is including a WIP specifically to address Conowingo Dam for the first time. WIPs document the steps, measures and practices Maryland and its local jurisdictions take to achieve and maintain overall Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals. “As a representative of the Eastern Shore and watermen, my constituents and I are on the front lines of downstream effects of pollution from Conowingo Dam –…

Waterkeeper Groups Sue EPA on Tap Water Safety Featured

Regulator has missed Safe Drinking Water Act deadlines for toxic and carcinogenic contaminants Waterkeeper Alliance, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, and California Coastkeeper Alliance sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today because the EPA has failed to revise regulatory standards on certain contaminants and develop new standards for emerging contaminants as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The environmental groups are represented in this matter by Reed W. Super, Esq. and Mike DiGiulio, Esq. of Super Law Group, LLC. EPA’s mandatory obligations under the Safe Drinking Water Act include identifying unregulated contaminants for monitoring and/or regulation, regulating those contaminants, and reviewing and revising existing drinking water regulations, all according to a timetable mandated by Congress.  But EPA failed to perform these mandatory legal obligations and is unnecessarily putting people’s health and lives at risk. For instance, EPA has not promulgated a revised National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for the carcinogenic chemicals tetrachloroethylene or trichloroethylene, even though it determined more than eight years ago that existing standards for these chemicals needed to be more protective. In contrast, it has taken the Trump administration less than eight months to decide not to regulate two highly toxic chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, in Americans’ drinking water.  The mandatory duties the environmental groups intend to enforce in this suit involve the following contaminants: Chromium (including hexavalent chromium, known from the movie “Erin Brockovich”) was regulated in 1991 with an enforceable limit of 100 parts per billion, based on the assumption that it was noncarcinogenic through oral exposure even though it is known…