Prince William Supervisors Embrace Principi’s Call For More Time to Assess Dominion’s Dewatering Proposal

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Provided by Supervisor Frank Principi’s Office

Prince William County Seal

At the suggestion of Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi, Prince William County leadership is calling for 60 additional days to review a Dominion Virginia Power proposal to “dewater,” or empty, the Possum Point coal ash pond into Quantico Creek. Principi first raised concern during the Dec. 1 Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) meeting, issuing 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.”

When Principi revisited the issue during the Dec. 8 BOCS meeting, the Board took a formal position, which Principi delivered during his testimony at a Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) public hearing on the proposal: “If a 60-day extension [to review Dominion’s permit application]is not granted, I will stand with my colleagues on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, who passed a resolution to this effect earlier today, and oppose the application in its entirety.”

In its current form, the dewatering plan could potentially release millions of gallons of polluted water into Quantico Creek, a tributary to the Potomac River. PWL According to Sierra Club documents, emptying of the coal ash pond at Possum Point could 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.

“There are 25 wells within a one-mile radius of Possum Point,” says Principi. “It is a real health and safety issue for our community.”

The proposal also calls for contaminant limits far higher than in other states. The proposed monthly average limit for arsenic 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,” says Principi. “The Department of Environmental Quality must demand that Dominion meet the limits being used in dewatering projects in other states.”

“These issues are very technical, very complicated…the ultimate solution for this comes with a $600 million price tag. It’s not cheap to do what they should do versus what they want to do,” says Principi.  “I do not want to…demonize any of the stakeholders involved in the process – and to that end I appreciate Dominion representatives taking time out of their evening last night to discuss their application with me and answer all of my questions. But the potential impact of contaminated and potentially harmful materials being introduced into Quantico Creek would have lasting and potentially devastating impacts for generations.”

Written comments on the dewatering application are due to VDEQ by Dec. 14 and can emailed to susan.mackert@deq.virginia.gov, or sent 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, along with Supervisor Principi’s full testimony, can be found at www.NewWoodbridge.org<http://www.newwoodbridge.org/> and www.Facebook.com/NewWoodbridge<http://www.facebook.com/NewWoodbridge>.

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