Friday, January 15, 2016

Virginia to Permit Pollution Cleanup over Environmentalist Objections

Dominion’s permit to drain coal ash ponds into local waters approved
The Virginia State Water Control Board approved Thursday Dominion Virginia Power’s permits to drain defunct coal ash ponds into nearby waterways at two sites in the state. The Possum Point power station is near Quantico and will be drained into a tributary of the Potomac River and the Bremo Bluff power station will be drained into a tributary of the James River on which its located near Palmyra — despite opposition from hundreds of public commenters and almost two dozen state and local agencies.

Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks said his organization, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, plans to appeal the decision at Possum Point, and SELC has opposed the permits at both sites.

“The water board got it wrong,” Naujoks said on his way back from the hearing in Richmond on Thursday. “They failed the public today.”

The groups, along with the Sierra Club, already had filed a notice of intent to sue over the presence of outdated coal ash ponds near Quantico Creek’s intersection with the Potomac River in Northern Virginia when the power plant announced plans in November to drain them into nearby waters.

Dominion’s transition from coal power stations to natural gas has left behind ponds where coal ash is stored with water at a handful of sites in the state.

The Water Control Board approved both permit changes with a 5-1 vote in what were the first major decisions surrounding the draining of coal ash ponds in the state.
If the ponds are too toxic to drain into the Potomac River, where they will be diluted in the vastly bigger volumes after the water is treated to remove the toxins (mostly arsenic), they are far too toxic to be left untreated on the grounds of the powerplant, where they will certainly be visited by a wide variety of wildlife.

This is a one-time release that will vastly improve the environment.

Sierra Club doesn't care about the wildlife, they just want to do as much damage as possible to the energy industry.

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