March 22, 2017

Adrienne Kotula
Government Affairs Manager
(804) 938-7266

James River Association applauds Governor McAuliffe for amendments to Coal Ash Bill And placing a hold on Coal Ash Pond Permits


The James River Association commends Governor McAuliffe for his thoughtful amendments to Senate Bill 1398 (patroned by Senators Surovell and Chase) which, if amended as proposed, will require full assessments of coal ash ponds to be completed prior to the issuance of permits for their closure. The proposed amendments to Senate Bill 1398 strengthen the bill and align with its original intent.

“These amendments provide a common sense approach to a complex issue and ensure that coal ash ponds are closed properly to safely protect Virginia’s precious water resources for the future,” said Jamie Brunkow, Lower James Riverkeeper for the James River Association.

These coal ash assessments will provide valuable information to legislators and the Department of Environmental Quality.  “Virginia has one chance to close coal ash sites properly and we believe that the assessment process is the way to find safe solutions for the long-term storage of coal ash waste in Virginia,” added Adrienne Kotula, Policy and Government Affairs Manager for JRA.

The James River watershed is home to coal ash ponds capable of holding 5 billion gallons of coal ash stretching from the headwaters to the mouth of the river. The majority of the coal ash is stored along the banks of the river at Bremo and Chesterfield Power stations.

The Governor’s amendments will be considered and voted on by the General Assembly when it reconvenes on April 5, 2017. Interested citizens can stay updated on this issue by signing up for the James River Association’s Action Network.


ABOUT THE JAMES RIVER ASSOCIATION: The James River Association is a member-supported nonprofit organization founded in 1976 to serve as a guardian and voice for the James River. Throughout the James River’s 10,000-square mile watershed, the James River Association works through its core programs – Education, Community Conservation, Watershed Restoration, River Advocacy and the Riverkeeper Program – to help people of all ages enjoy, appreciate and protect the beauty and health of the James River for future generations to enjoy. For more information visit