Virginia

As Coal Ash Problems Continue, DEQ In Position To Order Effective Cleanup

Richmond, VA--As it considers whether to approve closure plans submitted by Dominion for leaking lagoons at plants like the Chesapeake Energy Center, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is facing increasing pressure from the public to clean up coal ash in a manner that is protective of both human health and the environment.

According to a new report released by Virginia Conservation Network in partnership with the Virginia League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Clean Water Action, and Earthjustice, every major region of Virginia contains coal ash ponds that are leaking and unstable, creating the potential for another major environmental catastrophe. Download the report (pdf).

Published On: 
05/13/2015 - 12:38

Charlottesville, VA Supports EPA Efforts to Protect Streams and Wetlands

Charlottesville - The Charlottesville City Council unanimously adopted a resolution in support of the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) and US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) proposal to clarify protection of streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. Clean Water Action applauds Mayor Satyendra Singh Huja and the Charlottesville City Council for their leadership on this important issue, and thanks Councilmember Kristin Szakos for introducing the resolution.
Published On: 
03/25/2015 - 14:52

Protect Your Water from Toxic Pollution!

Last year's chemical spill into the Elk River in West Virginia, coal ash spill in the Dan River near Danville, and train derailment into the James River in Lynchburg prove that accidents happen. The risks posed by toxics jeopardize the quality of our water sources and our health.

Two pending bills, SB 771 and 1071, would make it easier to identify hazardous waste sites in Virginia and strengthen state's ability to protect your water and other valuable resources.

  • SB 771 establishes a list of non-federally managed toxic waste sites and makes it easier to respond to any contamination of groundwater or drinking water that may occur.
  • SB 1071 raises the civil penalty the DEQ can issues for environmental violations from $10,000 to $25,000. Virginia's current cap pales in comparison to other states such as North Carolina, which can impose an administrative penalty of $15,000 to $32,500 per day depending on the violation. 
Take Action!

Send a message to your state Senator and Delegate them to "Protect our Water" from toxic pollution!

VA General Assembly 2015 Legislative Priorities

Here are some of the bills that we are tracking in the 2015 Virginia legislative session:

Healthy Rivers

Healthy Rivers are vital to protect drinking water sources and improve the quality of wildlife habitats.

North Carolina Coal Ash Spill Flows to Virginia

Coal ash on the Dan River - Courtesy of Waterkeeper AllianceIn 2012, when Duke Energy’s Dan River coal-fired power plant in Eden, North Carolina was retired, many local residents may have thought that they were now free of the plant’s worst pollution. Unfortunately, plants of this type can leave a lasting pollution legacy, including coal ash waste which can remain toxic for decades. At the Dan River plant the coal ash was stored in an unlined pond on the edge of the Dan River.

In February 2014, a storm water pipe under the pond broke, draining toxic coal ash into the Dan River. By the time the pipe had been sealed a week later, 27 million gallons of slurry and 80,000 tons of coal ash had been dumped into the river, causing untold economic and environmental damage. The Dan River supplies drinking water to the town of Danville, just across the border in Virginia.

Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake

In 1983, 1987 and 2000, Maryland Governors and their counterparts in Virginia, the District of Columbia and other jurisdictions in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed signed formal agreements that set timelines for cleaning up the Bay.  The most recent agreement called for deadlines that were to be met by 2010.  That deadline will not be met.

Chesapeake Currents - Fall 2014

Chesapeake Currents

Fall 2014 Edition 

Baltimore Officials Lead on Water

On September 9, while the U.S. House was voting 262-152 to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers from fixing the Clean Water Act so small streams and wetlands are once again protected, Baltimore took a strong stand for clean water. Baltimore City Council members voted unanimously for a resolution supporting EPA’s clean water rule.

The Council’s decisive action shows that these local officials, at least, understand that small streams and wetlands are “vital to the health of Baltimore’s drinking water,” says Clean Water Action’s Andy Galli. Once EPA’s proposal is finalized, 835 miles of streams and other surface waters flowing into the Baltimore area will benefit, along with “100 percent of Baltimore residents, who get at least some of their drinking water from sources affected by these streams,” Galli says. Read more 

Putting Drinking Water First: Alexandria, VA Supports EPA Efforts to Protect Streams and Wetlands

Alexandria – Mayor William D. Euille issued a proclamation on behalf of the City Council in support of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) proposal to clarify protection of streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. Clean Water Action applauds the Mayor for signing the proclamation and his continued leadership on environmental issues. View the resolution here.

“[We] support the proposed Definition of “Waters of the U.S.” Under the Clean Water Act and urge the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to finalize these important protections for our nation’s water resources,” said Mayor William D.

Published On: 
09/25/2014 - 12:43

Chesapeake Currents - Spring-Summer 2014

chesapeake currents
Spring/Summer 2014

Council's Science-Based Vote a Water Protection Landmark

Montgomery County’s Ten Mile Creek has been called the “last best creek.” It feeds the Little Seneca Reservoir which supplies emergency drinking water for more than 4.3 million DC area residents. The creek is at the center of a pristine and sensitive natural resource area in the northern part of the county and has long been threatened by short-sighted development proposals.

The Save Ten Mile Creek Coalition together with Clean Water Action scored a major victory this April, when the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously for responsible limits on  new development in area. The Council’s April 1 action thwarted developers’ latest plans, which would have paved over more than 150 acres. Read more

Canvass Director and Assistant Canvass Director Positions Now Available

Clean Water Action is the nation’s largest grassroots group focused on water, energy and environmental health.  Clean Water Action’s 1 million members participate in Clean Water Action’s programs for clean, water, prevention of health-threatening pollution, and creation of environmentally-safe jobs and businesses.  Clean Water Action’s nonpartisan campaigns empower people to make democracy work.

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