Atlantic sturgeon need your help! This evening, September 13th, the comment period will end for a permit which will harm the fragile return of the federally endangered Atlantic sturgeon to the James River.
This permit, currently being reviewed by the National Marine Fisheries Service, would authorize Chesterfield Power Station to operate for a period of 10 years causing harm and/or death to 846 Atlantic sturgeon annually that cannot swim away from the intake current. This strong current is due to withdraw up to 1090 million gallons of water per day from the James River.
Please join us in telling the National Marine Fisheries Service that they should not issue the permit until Dominion is able to demonstrate how it will minimize its impacts. This is what we know:
• The Chesterfield Power Station has a negative impact on the endangered Atlantic sturgeon population because in October 2015, studies by Dominion Energy revealed larval Atlantic sturgeon, only days old, trapped in the cooling water intake at the Chesterfield Power Station.
• As a federally endangered species, Atlantic sturgeon need special protections to revive the population and we know that Chesterfield Power Station is a significant obstacle for early life stage sturgeon.
• Not only is the water intake an obstacle, but heated water discharged by the plant raises the river temperature during spawning seasons to the extent that death may result for sensitive larval sturgeon. Combined, these risks are likely intercepting and harming far more sturgeon than what has been estimated.
• Dominion’s habitat conservation plan, developed as part of this draft permit, identifies no meaningful steps to mitigate impacts to the sturgeon.
• The proposed permit would cause harm to the recovery of the Atlantic sturgeon.
Public comments will be accepted until 11:59 PM on September 13, 2017.