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Official DEQ news releases.

List administrator(s): Bill Hayden, Jennifer Underwood, Irina Calos, John Tragesser

Public meeting scheduled on closure of coal ash pond at Clinch River power plant

January 11, 2017

Contact: Bill Hayden

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Department of Environmental Quality will host an information briefing on a proposed environmental permit for the Appalachian Power Co. Clinch River plant near Carbo in Russell County.

The meeting will be held at Russell County Conference Center, 139 Highland Drive, Lebanon, Va., on January 25, 2017, beginning at 7 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the meeting will be held February 1, 2017, at the same location and time.

The meeting will provide information on a proposed solid waste permit that regulates the closure of the coal ash pond. The closure of this pond is necessitated by final coal ash regulations that were approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2015. The proposed permit covers the closure of a single coal ash pond, Ash Pond 1, including the capping of the coal ash pond and post-closure care. Additional proposed permit requirements include groundwater monitoring and surface water monitoring for the coal ash pond.

This meeting is not part of the required public participation process for any solid waste permitting actions associated with the closure. The meeting is intended to supplement the solid waste permit process and to allow the public an opportunity to ask DEQ questions during the official public comment period. Also, please note that because this meeting is not part of the official permitting process, comments made during this information meeting will not be part of the official public comment record on any of the required permit actions.

Information about the meeting or the proposed permit is available from Dan Manweiler at (276) 676-4837 or by email,

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: January 11, 2017 at 10:15 am

Virginia proposes enforcement action over mineral oil spills by Dominion in 2016

October 31, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has proposed an enforcement action with Virginia Electric and Power Co. (Dominion) for discharges of approximately 9,000 gallons of mineral oil from a transformer at the West Staunton substation in Augusta County and approximately 13,500 gallons of mineral oil from a transformer at the Crystal City substation in Arlington County.

The Augusta discharge entered an unnamed tributary of Bell Creek and flowed into a farm pond in January 2016. The Arlington discharge entered Roaches Run and the Potomac River, also in January 2016. Dominion has reported that 8,900 gallons of oil were recovered in Augusta, and 11,120 gallons were recovered in Arlington.

This proposed enforcement action contains a civil charge of $259,535, reimburses DEQ $5,882.80 for oil discharge investigative costs, and requires the completion of a corrective action plan to restore and provide monitoring to evaluate any long-term impacts and promote restoration of the environment.

Dominion has spent approximately $1.5 million and $4.2 for response, remediation and restoration at the West Staunton and Crystal City substations, respectively. These totals do not include equipment costs for the replacement transformers. In collaboration with other natural resource trustees, DEQ also will continue to participate and promote assessment and recovery for damage to natural resources resulting from the discharge.

DEQ's enforcement mission is to ensure compliance with Virginia's environmental laws and regulations, and to protect public health and the environment for the benefit of the people of the Commonwealth. DEQ's Enforcement Program has a statewide presence with enforcement staff in six regional offices. In addition, DEQ coordinates closely with federal, state and local officials in a comprehensive strategy to thoroughly investigate reports of pollution.

This proposed enforcement action is the product of collaborative investigatory efforts with the U.S. Coast Guard, District of Columbia's Department of Energy and Environment, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

A description of the proposed enforcement action is available online at DEQ will accept comments by email to, or postal mail to P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23219, from October 31, 2016, through November 30, 2016.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: October 31, 2016 at 10:01 am

Fuel spill affects James River at Richmond Deep Water Terminal

August 24, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is working on a cleanup on the James River in the area of the Richmond Deep Water Terminal because of a fuel spill that occurred August 23.

The spill occurred when a tanker truck overturned while making a turn from Commerce road to Interstate 95. Fuel spilled from the tanker, which contained gasoline and diesel fuel, and some of it entered a storm drain along the road. Fuel from the storm drain outfall then entered the James River at the deep water terminal.

The tanker was carrying about 7,500 gallons of fuel; of that, 650 gallons were recovered from the tanker and 2,700 gallons were recovered from the road.

Storm drains in the area were inspected Tuesday, and absorbent booms were placed in the river to contain the fuel. A fuel sheen has been observed along the shoreline of the river for at least one-half mile, but most of the fuel is expected to evaporate today.

Some of the fuel has accumulated along the shore. DEQ will determine how to address this while also ensuring the removal of fuel from the storm outfall.

No immediate environmental or other effects have been observed. DEQ is coordinating the cleanup with the Virginia Department of Transportation, the city of Richmond and the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as cleanup contractors.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: August 24, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Virginia issues solid waste report for 2015

June 23, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Department of Environmental Quality released its annual report today on solid waste management in Virginia. The report includes the amounts of solid waste managed in Virginia in 2015, and the amounts and sources of solid waste generated outside the Commonwealth.

The total amount of solid waste received at Virginia facilities during 2015 increased by about 500,000 tons from 2014. Solid waste includes municipal solid waste, construction and demolition debris, vegetative and yard waste, and other types of waste. The total amount of solid waste from outside Virginia rose about 100,000 tons to 5.4 million tons. The total amount from within Virginia remained at about 15 million tons.

Other findings of the report include:

-- Of the 20.7 million tons of solid waste reported in 2015, about 12.7 million tons were municipal solid waste, which is trash from households and businesses.

-- The total amount of municipal solid waste generated outside Virginia was about 3.6 million tons, roughly the same as in 2014. Maryland, New York, Washington, D.C., North Carolina and New Jersey accounted for 98.3 percent of all waste received from out-of-state sources.

-- Of the total solid waste managed in Virginia in 2015, about 12.7 million tons were disposed of in landfills, and about 2 million tons were incinerated. The rest was managed by other means, including mulching and recycling.

The full solid waste report is available on the DEQ website at

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: June 23, 2016 at 11:29 am

Virginia responds to Maryland's withdrawal of lawsuit over water discharge permit

June 16, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden

RICHMOND, VA. - Virginia is pleased that Maryland has voluntarily withdrawn its appeal of the water discharge permit for the Dominion Virginia Power Possum Point power station.

David K. Paylor, director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, said. "We take Maryland's action today as a recognition that the discharge permit issued by Virginia was fully protective of our valuable estuaries and is fully consistent with the laws and regulations of both states and the federal government, and that the lawsuit was groundless.

"As we move forward, Virginia will continue to issue water discharge and waste management permits that protect our waterways and groundwater resources by requiring the safe removal of water from coal ash ponds and the proper closure and monitoring of the ponds and adjacent waters. We have a long history of partnering with Maryland to protect our joint heritage and the Chesapeake Bay, and we look forward to continuing a productive partnership.

"For decades, Virginia has protected water quality in our rivers and streams through rigorous and well-established permitting procedures. We have protected and continue to protect groundwater. We are closing coal ash ponds according to strict legal and regulatory requirements, and we are dedicated to protecting people's health and the environment."

From: Jennifer Underwood

Sent: June 17, 2016 at 8:11 am