Tell Virginia Legislators to Support SB1398 for Safe Disposal of Coal Ash

Photo by Tusik Only

When our coal ash campaign began three years ago, neighbors of Dominion’s Possum Point plant didn’t know a toxic cocktail of arsenic and heavy metals was leaking into their wells.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) didn’t know Dominion was pumping 27.5 millions of gallons of untreated coal ash water into Quantico Creek — polluting the Potomac RIver — until we alerted them. Reporters were playing catch up, trying to learn about an issue they hadn’t covered before.

All that’s changed.

Governor McAuliffe just announced he supports the safeguards to public health and the environment we’ve been fighting for. He’s putting the brakes on issuing coal ash solid waste permits to Dominion for at least a year so the threats posed at their facilities can be assessed and the full range of disposal solutions be explored.

Why did he do this?

Because, in his words, “there has been tremendous public concern and outreach on this topic.” He’s talking about you. You lined up at pubic meetings to say no to Dominion’s plan to cover up the problem. You demanded alternatives, like recycling or moving the coal ash to a location where it won’t poison families or water resources. You wrote hundreds of letters to elected officials. You called them until they heard your message loud and clear: Virginia is not Dominion’s coal ash dumping ground.

The Governor sent the coal ash bill back to the Virginia General Assembly for a vote — a vote that could happen any day. Dominion will do everything in its power to strip the teeth out of it — and as the biggest campaign contributor in the state, they will have enormous influence. How do you think they’ve been able to get away with being Virginia’s biggest polluter all these years?

Will you help us keep the pressure on our elected officials to do the right thing by making a donation today? You made it possible for us to get this far. Without your support we’d never have been able to make contact with thousands of Virginians on this issue.

Momentum is on our side. The EPA is making detailed inquiries that indicate possible enforcement action. David Paylor, the head of VDEQ who went to the Masters Golf Tournament on Dominion’s dime, is dodging interviews with the press. But the media isn’t letting this go. They uncovered the fact that tons of Chinese coal ash is coming into Virginia. A recent court decision found Dominion’s Chesterfield plant is guilty of polluting the Elizabeth River with toxic coal ash contaminants.

So we can’t stop now. Together we’re making more progress on protecting public health and the environment from coal ash than ever before. We ask you to send emails and call (find phone numbers here) your representatives and urge them to support SB1398 as amended by Governor McAuliffe.

Let’s kick some ash! (out of our water!)  Send your email today! Forward this to 5 friends who care about the environment, public health and our rivers.