Board to Appeal State Water Control Board’s Issuance of Permit

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Provided by Prince William County

Prince William County Seal

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, following a closed session discussion of legal options, the Board of County Supervisors authorized the County Attorney to file an appeal of the State Water Control Board’s approval and issuance of the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) Permit Modification for Dominion Virginia Power’s Possum Point power station. PWL The Board further authorized the County Attorney to file any necessary pleadings and documents in this issue.

“We have grave concerns about Dominion Virginia Power draining water from their sizeable coal-ash ponds and emptying it into Quantico Creek and the Potomac River,” said Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors. “Residents, business owners and environmentalists have repeatedly expressed concerns about the chemicals that will leach into the tributaries and potentially harm the people and aquatic life that live in the area.”

Dominion Virginia Power is required to close all of its coal ash ponds pursuant to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, and they requested modification to their VPDES permit governing the process by which they drain and close the ponds. The Board of County Supervisors requested a 60-day extension on the public comment period to allow sufficient time to investigate potential impacts from the dewatering of the ponds, which was denied by the State Water Control Board, and on Jan. 14, 2016, they approved the modification of Domion’s VPDES permit.

On Jan. 19, 2016, the Board authorized the Acting County Executive to hire an expert consultant to review and evaluate the situation, and for the County Attorney to hire outside legal co-counsel to assist in appealing the Permit.

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