Tuesday 22 May 2018

Maryland will keep fighting Dominion Virginia Power’s plan to release coal-ash water into a Potomac River tributary, despite modifications that resulted in Prince William County dropping its objections.

“At this point, we are continuing our review of the contested permit,” Ben Grumbles, Maryland’s secretary of the environment, said in a statement Wednesday. He said the state was also looking “for opportunities with Virginia to ensure wastewater and waste pits at Possum Point are managed for effective, long-term protection of the Potomac.”

In an agreement that was announced Tuesday evening, Dominion promised to test the coal-ash water it treats at its Possum Point plant in Prince William on an hourly basis — instead of the three times a week currently required by its permit — before it releases the water into the creek.

Dean Naujoks, an environmentalist with the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, said his group also intends to keep fighting the Possum Point plan.


(Published in The Washington Post, March 9, 2016)

DEQ issues draft permit for coal ash water drainage in Chesterfield

By JOHN RAMSEY 5755f0fe875fa.image

The state Department of Environmental Quality on Monday released the first draft of a permit that will regulate how coal ash ponds are drained at the Chesterfield Power Station.

The permit, one of four Dominion Virginia Power needs to comply with federal rules requiring the closure of coal ash ponds, will allow the company to drain up to 5 million gallons of treated ash pond water daily into the James River.

“We’re very pleased to see that made it in there. It sort of sets a new benchmark for permits like this that are coming out, so that’s great news,” said Jamie Brunkow, the association’s Lower James Riverkeeper. “I think we want to build on that. ... We’re going to be digging into that over the next few weeks to provide substantive comments.”


(Published June 6, 2016, Richmond Times-Dispatch)


Poorly planned and weakly enforced infrastructure repairs have created a vicious cycle.

David Flores, the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper with Blue Water Baltimore, says that federal and state regulators have not diligently enforced the consent decree to keep the city on track. “The city set out to undertake all of this stuff over 14 years ago, and they didn't do it,” he says. “The regulators didn’t hold the city accountable, and as early as 2013, they were working to extend the timeline.“

Read more: CityLab.com, May 31, 2016