FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 1, 2017
Government Affairs Manager
James River Association Responds to Coal Ash Assessments
An assessment of coal ash ponds for three facilities located in the James River watershed was released today by Dominion Energy. The assessment is the result of 2017 legislation that received bipartisan support in Virginia and requires the identification of existing pollution issues at the facilities, and an evaluation of closure options that will ensure long-term safety and protection of natural resources. Dominion’s Bremo, Chesterfield and Chesapeake facilities have a combined 26 million tons of ash stored in unlined ponds along the James River and Elizabeth River.
“We’re grateful for the leadership shown by our elected officials in requiring this comprehensive assessment of coal ash ponds and closure options prior to the issuance of state permits for their closure plans,” said Adrienne Kotula, Policy and Government Affairs Manager for James River Association. “We must now use this information to move ahead and close Virginia’s coal ash ponds in a manner that will protect the James River and the millions of citizens that rely on it.”
Another report on coal ash closure options by two professors from the University of New Hampshire was also released by the Southern Environmental Law Center yesterday. This report examines opportunities to reclaim ash from leaking ponds and recycling it at Dominion’s facilities for cement and other products. The James River Association will be reviewing the coal ash assessments in the coming days.
“Both assessments provide the opportunity for critical information on a complex issue. We look forward to working with the General Assembly and the next Administration to ensure that coal ash ponds are closed properly to safely protect Virginia’s precious water resources for the future. We are also looking forward to hearing Dominion’s presentation of the assessments at the State Water Commission meeting at 10:00AM on Monday, December 4th and hope that citizens will come out to hear it as well,” added Kotula.
“We have documented pollution leaking from these facilities along the James River and the court has ruled that these leaks are illegal discharges,” said Jamie Brunkow, Lower James Riverkeeper for the James River Association. “Virginia has one chance to close coal ash sites properly and we need to do it right.”
ABOUT THE JAMES RIVER ASSOCIATION:The James River Association is a member-supported nonprofit organization founded in 1976 to serve as a guardian and voice for the James River. Throughout the James River’s 10,000-square mile watershed, the James River Association works toward its vision of a fully healthy James River supporting thriving communities. With offices in Lynchburg, Richmond and Williamsburg, the James River Association is committed to protecting the James River and connecting people to it. For more information visit www.jamesriverassociation.org.