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Virginia's General Assembly pass coal ash cleanup bill

The bill, which would require responsible clean up for more than 28 million tons of coal, is headed to Governor Northan's desk.
Credit: defun, Thinkstock Photos
file photo of coal

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia's General Assembly passed a bill Friday that would require Dominion Energy to clean up over 28 million tons of coal ash in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The bill would require the company to clean up the coal ash at four sites, Chesapeake, Chesterfield, Bremo, and Possum Point. The ash will be recycled into building material or excavated to lined landfills.

On Friday, the Virginia House of Delegates voted 93-2 and passed the bill.

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The legislation would also require Dominion Energy to offer municipal water hookups or water testing to residents within one-half mile of the coal ash basins, in addition to biennial reporting on progress, plans, and water quality.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Virginia Executive Director Rebecca Tomazin released the following statement:

“Finally, Virginia is on the right path towards cleaning up the toxic coal ash that has long threatened public health and our waterways. Moving coal ash out of risky unlined pits will keep dangerous pollution out of Virginia’s major rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.  

“The passage of this legislation represents years of hard work by concerned residents, conservation groups, and elected officials. Thank you to Virginia’s legislators, the conservation community, Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew Strickler, and Dominion Energy for their support for this historic agreement. We look forward to the governor signing the bill.”

The bill heads to Governor Ralph Northam's desk to be signed.