Statement on Pending Virginia Coal Ash Legislation

Potomac Riverkeeper Network (PRKN) and Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks today applauded the agreement which resulted in pending legislation to resolve the Commonwealth’s longstanding coal ash pollution problem.

The bill, SB 1533, requires that all legacy coal ash in the Commonwealth be recycled or safely landfilled within 15 years, rather than left in the current dangerous and leaking coal ash ponds along the Potomac, James, and Elizabeth Rivers. The bill would not permit cap-in-place, which allows the coal ash to remain in place without lining the ponds.  In addition, Dominion Energy, the owner of the coal ash, must recycle a minimum of seven million tons of the roughly 30 million tons at its four coal ash sites across Virginia.

“We have fought for four years for legislation like this,” said Dean Naujoks. “The dangers of coal ash, leaking into groundwater, drinking wells, our rivers and streams and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay, have long been documented.  We are gratified by the leadership of Governor Northam and Senator Scott Surovell and are glad to see this agreement in principle.”

Download the press release here.