Press Release | January 24, 2019

Governor Northam Facilitates Stunning Reversal on Coal Ash Clean Up

                                                                                                                                               Governor Northam Facilitates Stunning Reversal on Coal Ash Clean Up

RICHMOND, VA — Today, Governor Ralph Northam and Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew Strickler announced a bipartisan bill to clean up coal ash in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. After years of seeking to leave its coal ash in leaking pits, Dominion is agreeing to support legislation that will require all four sites in the watershed to be completely excavated.  The bill will get Dominion's toxic coal ash off the banks of Virginia's iconic rivers, including the James, Potomac, and Elizabeth Rivers, and either recycled into cement or concrete or placed in a modern, lined landfill.

“This is an important day, not only for all those who fight against coal ash pollution in Virginia, but for all the Commonwealth's citizens who will benefit from Dominion's about-face on this policy. After years of diligent work from citizens who refuse to sit idly by while unlined pits pollute our waterways, and legislators like Senators Scott Surovell and Amanda Chase, and Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, Dominion is now finally acknowledging that getting this ash out of the ground is the only way to protect communities and waterways, and that we can do so in a cost-effective way,” said Nate Benforado, Attorney at Southern Environmental Law Center.  “We applaud the Administration for taking a clear stand against an irresponsible plan to leave this ash where it sits, vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding, and for finding a way forward on this important issue.”

The bill is expected to be presented to the appropriate Senate committees over the next several days, including the Senate Coal Ash Subcommittee meeting scheduled 45 minutes after the Senate adjourns today, Thursday, January 24, 2019.

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Press Contacts

Nate Benforado

Senior Attorney