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Here are some of the bills that we are tracking in the 2015 Virginia legislative session:
Healthy Rivers are vital to protect drinking water sources and improve the quality of wildlife habitats.
In 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.
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.
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. Clean Water Action supported the strongest possible version of this latest agreement, understanding that we would continue fighting for the enforcement of the Clean Water Act as the likeliest means restoring the Bay.