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Supervisor Principi Raises Concerns about Dominion’s Coal Ash Pond Dumping in Dumfries

Provided by Supervisor Frank Principi’s Office

Prince William County Seal

Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi is raising concerns about Dominion Virginia Power’s proposal to empty, or “dewater,” its coal ash storage pond at Possum Point in Dumfries, Va. in a manner that violates the Clean Water Act and  Virginia’s toxicity standards for aquatic life. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) is currently reviewing the proposal, which could release millions of gallons of polluted water into Quantico Creek, a tributary to the Potomac River.

At the most recent Prince William Board of County Supervisors meeting, Principi issued a directive that “county staff develop and submit comments to DEQ regarding environmental and logistical concerns associated with the release of contaminated water into Quantico Creek and Potomac River.”

According to Sierra Club documents, emptying of the coal ash pond at Possum Point will release unacceptably high levels of heavy metals such as aluminum, arsenic, barium, boron, chromium, cobalt, iron, manganese, nickel and selenium into local waterways. Additionally, some coal ash will remain in the pond, where it can continue to contaminate groundwater.

The proposal also calls for contaminant limits far higher than in other states. PWL The monthly average limit for arsenic, for instance, is 30 times higher than the proposed limit for a similar project at a Duke Progress Energy coal ash facility in North Carolina.

“Our citizens deserve the same protections offered in other states. The technology exists to greatly reduce the level of contaminants in coal ash water, beyond what this proposal offers. The Department of Environmental Quality must demand that Dominion meet the limits being used in dewatering projects in other states,” says Principi, who added that this project could set a dangerous precedent for dewatering other coal ash facilities across Virginia.

“These waterways support commercial and recreational fishing, and are a spawning ground for striped bass. They also offer a scenic retreat from the hectic pace of Northern Virginia. Emptying of pollutants into Quantico Creek and ultimately the Potomac River would be detrimental to tourism, economic development and the health of residents and visitors,” says Principi. “We owe it to future generations to hold Dominion to the standards demanded by other states.”

Principi’s directive also tasks staff with attending the VDEQ public hearing at 13901 Crown Court in Woodbridge on Dec. 8, and issue a report during the Dec. 15 BOCS meeting. Principi encourages all members of the public to attend the meeting, which starts at 7:00 p.m., following an informational briefing at 6:00 p.m. Written comments are due by Dec. 14 and may be delivered at the meeting, emailed to[email protected], or mailed to:

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
c/o Susan Mackert
13901 Crown Court, Woodbridge, VA 22191

Submissions must include the names, mailing addresses and telephone numbers of the commenter and all persons represented by the commenter. Updates on this issue can be found at www.NewWoodbridge.org<http://www.newwoodbridge.org/> andwww.Facebook.com/NewWoodbridge<http://www.facebook.com/NewWoodbridge>.

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