Our River at Risk

Together we can protect

Virginia’s greatest asset:

America’s Founding River

The James River is a River at Risk. Now is the time to begin a conversation on how to protect our waterways and our citizens from the threats posed by the storage and transport of hazardous materials.

Let’s do our part to protect the James River

Many aspects of our world today threaten the safety and health of the James River. We want to protect this incredible feature for future generations to continue using the James for drinking water and recreation.

The James River is at risk from 1,100 toxic storage sites, up to 5 billion gallons of coal ash and millions of gallons of crude oil traveling along the shore each week. We must do a better job protecting this natural resource.

Help us reach

3,400 advocates

which is ten advocates for every river mile.

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Current Advocates

A Valuable Natural Resource

This valuable natural resource is a critical part of our history, daily lives, and the legacy we leave for future generations. These are very important reasons for why we are uniting to protect the James.

Rich History

Rich History

A heritage that includes Native Americans, the first European settlers, railroads, and more

Rich History

Source of drinking water

The James is a major source of drinking water for Virginia residents

Rich History

Wildlife Habitat

Atlantic Sturgeon and Bald Eagles are now calling the James home

Rich History

Place for recreation

State and local parks provide us with plenty of ways to play and relax in the James

Rich History

Community Identifier

The James defines much of our community with its rich heritage and beauty

Rich History

Legacy for future generations

Our actions today impact the James for years to come

Updates on Dominion Coal Ash Pond Dewatering

We are working to protect the James River. Here is the latest information on this issue.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released a draft permit for the dewatering of coal ash ponds at the Chesterfield Power Station, as well as to continue water discharges as a result of power generation at the site. The dewatering process is required in order to close the coal ash ponds which hold millions of gallons of wastewater.

We are pleased that the process has begun to close these coal ash ponds which DEQ has acknowledged have environmental concerns.  However, we must ensure that the process to close the ponds is protective of the river from start to finish – especially in Chesterfield, where endangered Atlantic Sturgeon are found in the river and the power station sits right next to Henricus, one of the earliest English settlements in the New World.

Chesterfield Power Station and Vicinity Map

The PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD was open from June 6, 2016 to July 21, 2016.

The James River Assocation and Southern Environmental Law Center Comments re Draft VPDES Permit for Chesterfield Power Station

PUBLIC HEARING: Thomas Dale High School – West Campus, 3900 West Hundred Road, Chester, VA 23831 on July 6, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. Comments made during the public hearing will be a part of the official public record. The State Water Control Board will accept written and oral comments at the public hearing. To make a statement at a public hearing, write your name on a sign-up sheet available before the hearing. You may sign up only for yourself. The time allowed for each statement is set by the hearing officer.

PUBLIC HEARING INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING: Staff will be available to answer questions during an informational briefing held at the Thomas Dale High School – West Campus in Chester, Virginia on July 6, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. prior to the public hearing. Questions and comments made during this informational briefing will not be part of the official public record.

Just a few months ago, strong public involvement was critical to ensuring that discharges at the Bremo Power Station are treated to the maximum extent practicable and are protective of human health and aquatic life.  Please join us once again as we engage in this process and work towards stronger protections for the James River at the Chesterfield Power Station. Help us spread the word and grow our Action Network – share this message with your friends. We will be sure to share more detailed information as this process unfolds.

On March 9, 2016 the James River Association announced that it has entered into a settlement agreement with Dominion specific to the dewatering of coal ash ponds at the Bremo Power Station. With legal representation by the Southern Environmental Law Center, we have secured a commitment from Dominion to install enhanced treatment of the coal ash wastewater that is designed to keep discharges below water quality standards before discharge into the James River, better protecting all uses of the river.

Based on a review by an independent engineer, we expect that the actual pollution levels will be even lower and comparable to the lower limits set in North Carolina permits.

Importantly, Dominion must submit a report for the enhanced treatment to DEQ for approval, which will make the enhanced treatment enforceable under the permit. Dominion has also committed to conducting fish tissue sampling for two years upstream and downstream of the discharge.

Strong public involvement was critical to achieving this success, and we want everyone to continue to stay engaged through the entire process. This is only the first step in permanent closure of the coal ash ponds.

For more information:

What’s at Risk

Map of watershed

How you can help protect the James River

Become an advocate for the James and join the voices of other Virginians to protect one our most valued natural resources. It’s easy to be an effective advocate. Within a few clicks, you can send an email, letter, or make a call to your elected officials.

Step 1

Register to join our advocacy network and become an Advocate.

Step 2

When it is time to act, we will send you an email letting you know exactly why and how you can help protect the James.

Step 3

Follow the instructions in the email to send a message through our secure system to decision makers.

Our goal:

A safe, healthy James River

Discover how to protect and enjoy your river. Join the James River Association today! »

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