Despite the abundant evidence of groundwater contamination by coal ash in Virginia and the long history of spills and mismanagement of dams, state regulations have serious gaps that heighten the risk of future harm from coal ash.
In January the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) issued Dominion Power two permits to drain over 300 million gallons of toxic coal ash wastewater into the Potomac and James River.
Richmond, VA--As it considers whether to approve closure plans submitted by Dominion for leaking lagoons at plants like the Chesapeake Energy Center, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is facing increasing pressure from the public to clean up coal ash in a manner that is protective of both human health and the environment.
According to a new report released by Virginia Conservation Network in partnership with the Virginia League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Clean Water Action, and Earthjustice, every major region of Virginia contains coal ash ponds that are leaking and unstable, creating the potential for another major environmental catastrophe. Download the report (pdf).
Coal ash, waste produced when coal is burned for energy, contains many known carcinogenic and neurotoxic chemicals, including a variety of concentrated heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, lead, mercury and selenium. Tell your legislators our water needs better protections from coal ash.
There are twelve active coal ash ponds and eight active coal ash landfills in Virginia. Eight additional large coal ash ponds in Virginia are no longer being used for ash disposal but sit idle, full of toxic sludge, on Virginia’s waterways.