Investigation by Potomac Riverkeeper Led to Discovery of Illegal Activity at Possum Point Power Plant
Washington, D.C. – March 13 – Potomac Riverkeeper Network (PRKN) applauds the fines and settlement for environmental violations perpetrated by Dominion Energy at the company’s Possum Point power station, announced today by Mark Herring, Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Dean Naujoks, Potomac Riverkeeper, said “We discovered these violations five years ago, and for five years, Dominion first denied what they did, and then claimed the actions were totally legal. I’m glad the pressure we and others put on federal and state authorities to investigate proved that we were right all along.”
A long term investigation by Naujoks and PRKN produced aerial photos and water testing which demonstrated that millions of gallons of untreated water with toxic coal ash from the Possum Point plant were dumped by Dominion directly into Quantico Creek, which flows into the Potomac River. PRKN shared the results of that investigation with both Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Without Potomac Riverkeeper’s persistent vigilance and investigation of Dominion, the company’s violation of the Clean Water Act and pollution of our waterways would never have come to light.
In addition, the complaint filed in federal district court by the Commonwealth specifically cited the illegal dumping of untreated water from Possum Point. The federal court consent decree will be open for public comment for 30 days, once it is formally released next week. Today’s fine of $1.4 million settles that complaint. Nearly $1 million of the fine will be paid to Virginia and the balance to EPA.
Naujoks continued, “Dominion misled DEQ, EPA, and Virginia’s lawmakers for years about this illegal activity. Today’s fine shows that justice will hold corporate polluters accountable. We can only hope that this recognition of illegal activity by Dominion will prevent the company from getting any money from Virginia’s ratepayers for the clean up of the environmental damage at Possum Point.”
About Potomac Riverkeeper Network
Potomac Riverkeeper Network is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization with three regional Waterkeeper branches: Potomac Riverkeeper, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, and Shenandoah Riverkeeper. Our mission is to protect the public’s right to clean water in our rivers and streams. We stop pollution to promote safe drinking water, protect healthy habitats, and enhance public use and enjoyment.
Download a copy of the press release here.