Write Your Senators About Coal Ash Legislation!

Here is some language you can use to write to your Virginia state Senator to tell him or her to support SB 1533 and finally end Virginia’s dangerous coal ash problem.  You can find your Senator and contact information here.

Dear Senator Insert Name,

I write to urge you to support legislation, SB 1533 filed by your colleague, Senator Scott Surovell, and already approved by the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, which will offer a meaningful solution to Virginia’s coal ash pollution problem and to oppose Sen. Wagner’s bill, SB 1355, which only perpetuates the problem.  Within your own district, Dominion Energy has stored about 4 million tons of toxic coal ash at the Possum Point power plant, located near private homes and on the banks of the Potomac River. This coal ash is sitting in unlined, leaking ponds, threatening water quality and downriver communities within your own district. Many of your Prince William County constituents, my neighbors, live downriver from Possum Point and its four million tons of toxic coal ash.

Coal ash is full of heavy metals, many carcinogenic. At the Possum Point site, Dominion Energy’s own monitoring confirms that the coal ash has for the last 30 years contaminated the groundwater with pollutants, including arsenic and radium.  Please reject Dominion’s plan to store all of its ash at Possum Point behind an earthen dam in an unlined pit which has a long history of leaking and lacks a modern liner system.  A modern lined landfill, required for even basic disposal of household waste, has an impermeable liner, and a leachate collection and treatment system to ensure that no toxic coal ash metals leak into the ground or our waterways.

The Potomac River is a vitally important part of our community, providing economic, historic and recreational benefits and opportunities that enrich local communities and supports a multi-billion dollar tourism industry.  The Potomac is a public resource where residents and visitors should be able to fish, swim, paddle and hunt without worrying whether the fish are healthy enough to eat, and the water clean enough to swim in and drink. The best solution is for Dominion to recycle its coal ash or remove it away from the Potomac River to a dry lined modern landfill where it can be safely disposed of.  Recycling and safe disposal of coal ash is being required and carried out in Georgia and the Carolinas, because it’s the best way to permanently remove this toxic waste from our riverbanks and communities. Dominion has stated that it’s waiting for the General Assembly to act and pass a bill that solves this problem.

Senator Insert Name, I am sure you appreciate the value and benefits of a clean environment to our economy and way of life and the roles played by the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay. Vote in favor of a bill requiring Dominion to safely close and dispose of all 28 million tons of coal ash located across the state to help protect the Potomac River and communities throughout the Commonwealth.

Thank you!

Download a copy of the letter that you can personalize here.