March 20, 2019

Jamie Brunkow
Riverkeeper and Senior Advocacy Manager
(757) 634-4541

James River Association Praises Governor and General Assembly for
New Coal Ash Legislation 

Today, Governor Northam signed Senate Bill 1355, affirming in law the cleanup of 28 million tons of coal ash in Virginia. In a strong bipartisan agreement announced in January, members of the General Assembly came together to support the legislation which requires that all ash be recycled or excavated to a modern lined landfill.

“We applaud the patrons of this legislation and Governor Northam’s administration for making coal ash cleanup a priority – ensuring a brighter future for the James River,” said Bill Street, CEO for the James River Association.

The legislation comes after years of work by leaders in the General Assembly, community members, and conservation organizations. The James River Association has long advocated for greater protections in Virginia to prevent a coal ash spill such as that witnessed along North Carolina’s Dan River.

“Coal ash stored in leaky, earthen ponds along our rivers is a risk to the environment and communities across the state. Our elected officials have stepped up to address this challenge and remove one of the greatest toxic threats to the James River,” said Jamie Brunkow, James Riverkeeper and Senior Advocacy Manager for 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 toward its vision of a fully healthy James River supporting thriving communities. With offices in Lynchburg, Richmond and Williamsburg, the James River Association is committed to protecting the James River and connecting people to it. For more information visit