Acipenser_oxyrhynchusThe Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting comments on a draft wastewater permit for Dominion’s Chesterfield Power Station on the James River which will include “dewatering” of coal ash ponds. In September, the State Water Control Board will hold a hearing where a final decision will be made on this permit. Importantly, if you wish to speak at the State Water Control Board meeting you must have either submitted oral comments during the July 6 public hearing or submitted written comments.

Currently, the draft permit would allow:

Use of a mixing zone permitting discharge of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, silver and zinc at hazardous levels for fish and aquatic wildlife.

Release of cooling water at very high temperatures that is harmful to fish and aquatic life. Dominion’s 2003 study of the thermal plume demonstrated that the discharge raised the temperature of Farrar Gut as high as 108F during the summer.

Drawing of millions of gallons of river water into the plant daily, which poses serious risks to aquatic life that is impinged or killed through the water intake structure.

Risks to federally endangered Atlantic sturgeon, which may be harmed by the facility’s water intake system and wastewater discharges.

Comments can be sent to:
Joseph Bryan
DEQ – Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
Fax: (804) 527-5106

Join us in calling upon DEQ to protect the James River from toxic releases – please tell them that we need the necessary improvements in this permit before it is issued.

Speak up now; the public comment period ends on Thursday, July 21, 2016.