May 31, 2017

Bill Street
Chief Executive Officer
(804) 788-8811

James River Association applauds Governor McAuliffe for signing Coal Ash Bill

The James River Association commends Governor McAuliffe for signing Senate Bill 1398 (patroned by Senators Surovell and Chase) which will require full assessments of coal ash ponds to be completed prior to the issuance of permits for their closure.

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.

“This bill provides a common sense approach to a complex issue and ensures that coal ash ponds will only be closed after assessments to safeguard Virginia’s precious water resources for the future,” said Bill Street, Chief Executive Officer 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 Street.

Interested citizens can stay updated on this issue by signing up for the James River Association’s Action Network.


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.