agricultural livestock runoff

An Unsteady Balance for Virginia’s Farms and Clean Water

Millions of livestock animals are raised in the Shenandoah Valley, a region that by most standards is the breadbasket of Virginia. Agriculture has intensified over the past 40 years, as landowners work to produce more with their limited acreage and to out-strip the drop in commodity prices. The result? The confinement of animals in what … Read More

Shenandoah Riverkeeper Files Lawsuit Over Algae in the Shenandoah

We’ve been dealing with excessive algae blooms throughout the river ever since a massive fish kill occurred in 2005. That event spawned Virginia’s Fish Kill Task Force to study the problem. The Task Force discovered many things. None of them good. They discovered male fish with female parts, known as intersex fish. They discovered fish … Read More

Settlement on NRG’s Power Plant Pollution Leads to a $0.5 Million Oyster Restoration Project

As part of Potomac Riverkeeper’s settlement with NRG Energy and the state of Maryland on NRG’s pollution of the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers with excess nutrients, NRG was required to fund a $0.5 million environmental project in the Potomac that would help reduce nutrient pollution. The result? A five year plan developed by the Potomac … Read More

Press Release

EPA Fails to Protect the Shenandoah River

Local groups challenge EPA’s approval of Virginia’s decision to not list the Shenandoah as ‘impaired,’ despite excessive algae blooms and nutrient pollution Front Royal, VA — Today, four local citizen groups filed a lawsuit filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the agency’s repeated failure to address the Shenandoah River’s increasing problem with … Read More

Shenandoah Riverkeeper Halts Nutrient Trading at the Massanutten Sewage Treatment Plant

The Shenandoah Riverkeeper scored a major victory in protecting the Shenandoah watershed by compelling the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to dramatically improve the Massanutten Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) permit and halt nutrient trading at the facility. The previous permit allowed the STP to exceed its permit limits for nutrients and purchase credits to … Read More


Our Day in Court Over Lax Coal Ash Permit at Possum Point

On September 27th, Potomac Riverkeeper presented its case against the discharge permit issued to Dominion by Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), allowing Dominion to drain its largest coal ash pit at Possum Point power plant into Quantico Creek and the Potomac River. Under the permit, Dominion is allowed to dump about 200 million gallons … Read More


Our Day in Court on Sewage Sludge

After 6 years of fighting, on September 16, 2016, Shenandoah Riverkeeper finally had our chance to tell a state court judge in Richmond why Virginia’s statewide permit allowing farmers to apply treated sewage sludge (known as biosolids) to their fields fails to prevent overuse of sludge and pollution of nearby waterways, including the Shenandoah River. … Read More


NRG to Pay $1M Penalty for Pollution

In 2013, Potomac Riverkeeper, Patuxent Riverkeeper and Food & Water Watch filed a notice of intent to sue to NRG. NRG operates coal powered generating stations at Chalk Point on the Patuxent River and at Dickerson on the Potomac River. One of our main concerns was that NRG tried to persuade the state to let … Read More


Daily Limits on Bacteria to Protect Public Health

Washington, DC, like many older east coast cities, has a public health and water pollution problem when rainfall overwhelms its outdated sewer system and causes high volumes of untreated sewage bacteria to be dumped into the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. Animal waste washed from the street and parks into storm drains adds to the problem, … Read More