Riverkeepers, Dominion Spar Over Year-Old Release of Coal Ash Water

Dean Naujoks with the Potomac Riverkeeper Network

Dean Naujoks with the Potomac Riverkeeper Network

by James A. Bacon

The Dumfries Town Council is still calling for a criminal investigation into Dominion Virginia Power’s release of untreated coal ash water into Quantico Creek last spring, reports InsideNova.

After a presentation by the Potomac Riverkeeper Network March 1, the council voted unanimously to ask the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to look into the relationship between Dominion and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) concerning the release of water from Possum Point Power Station coal ash ponds about twelve months ago. Cathy Taylor, Dominion’s director of electric environmental service, told the utility’s side of the story March 15. But Town Council took no action to reverse its previous request.

The EPA enacted new regulations late last year governing the disposal of coal ash, the residue from coal combustion which has been shown to leach heavy metals into the water. A DEQ permit granted for Dominion’s Possum Creek operation this year is far stricter than the previous permit, but it has generated controversy over whether it is restrictive enough. In any case, the release of coal ash water that prompted Dumfries’ call for an investigation precedes the current permit. That release was governed by a previous, less restrictive set of regulations.

Taylor

Cathy Taylor, Dominion’s irector of electric environmental service

The utility confirmed in February that it had released 27.5 million gallons of untreated coal-ash water into Quantico Creek eleven months previously, raising fears among environmentalists that the water might have contained potentially toxic levels of heavy metals. Confusion arose from conflicting statements from Dominion and DEQ Director David Paylor regarding that release.

Taylor acknowledged that something might have gone awry in the company’s communication to DEQ, and she also said that its engineers had revised their estimate of the volume of water released in order to be as precise as possible. Her larger point was that Dominion was abiding by the provisions of its 2012 permit. (DEQ officials have confirmed that the release did not “cross the threshold” of what the permit allowed.) Furthermore, said Taylor, the discharge was comparable in volume to many discharges the utility had made legally in the past.

In his March 1 presentation, Dean Naujoks with the Potomac Riverkeeper Network had characterized the conflicting stories as a possible indication of a DEQ coverup of Dominion’s actions, akin to the way he said North Carolina regulators had covered for Duke Energy after a major coal ash spill in 2014.  “Something is not adding up to this story,” he told the Town Council. His accusation gained seeming support with recent publicity that DEQ Director David Paylor had been a guest of Dominion three years ago to the Masters golf tournament.

However, Naujoks has not produced evidence disputing Dominion’s assertion that its discharge of surface water last year was allowed by its 2012 permit, so it’s not clear what DEQ might be covering up.

Under the 2012 permit for Possum Point, which meets EPA’s old regulatory standards, Dominion periodically discharged surface rainwater that accumulated atop the coal ash. The regulatory logic was that surface water had not mixed with the coal ash and did not contain contaminants that required treatment.

‘The surface water was tested to see if it met limits established by the DEQ permit,” says Dominion spokesman Dan Genest. “If it did we could discharge it and would have to file reports to DEQ showing the discharge was within limits. No prior DEQ approval was needed nor did we have to tell them we were discharging in advance.”

Naujok has a stronger case with his charge that, whether legal or illegal, coal ash ponds under the old permit were contaminating ground and river water. The surface water sitting on top of the coal ash that Dominion released into the river originated mainly from rainwater. That is very different from the ground water that migrates through the coal ash and picks up contaminants on the way. Potomac Riverkeeper tests have found high concentrations of heavy metals in the groundwater and river water near the lagoons. Earning Dominion’s ire for trespassing on company land, Naujok has taken photos showing seepage of water in puddles on the ground, and has shown how a “toe drain” underneath the coal ash ponds might have released contaminated water into the river. While such evidence supports his contention that the old regulations were inadequate, they do not address whether Dominion discharged surface water in violation of its permit.

The new EPA regulations and DEQ discharge permit will put a halt to the practice of discharging untreated surface water. Any water from the coal ash lagoons, including surface water, now must undergo extensive treatment and testing. Prince William County signed off on the DEQ permit after extracting concessions from Dominion to ensure closer monitoring and testing.

The Potomac Riverkeeper Network has appealed the permit on the grounds that the DEQ should set standards based on “best available technology” as opposed to criteria consistent with maintaining a fishable-swimmable water quality standard, as DEQ maintains. But that issue is unrelated to the release of coal ash lagoon surface water under the 2012 permit.

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32 responses to “Riverkeepers, Dominion Spar Over Year-Old Release of Coal Ash Water

  1. Per Google, the Potomac River has a normal flow rate of 10,810 gal/second.

    A cubic foot of water contains just about 7.5 gallons, so that translates to 81,000 gal/sec.

    In one minute, then, the Potomac moves 4.8 million gallons of water.

    27.5 million gallons of untreated water would represent about 6 minutes of normal river flow.

    • it does indeed but if it is pure poison…..not so good.

      • Well sure, no one wants 27.5 million gallons of “pure poison” anywhere. But that’s not at all likely. It’s probably 27.49 million gallons of water and .01 of hazardous material.

        My point was the enormous volume of water in the river puts into context the relative amount of the discharge.

        • “My point was the enormous volume of water in the river puts into context the relative amount of the discharge.”

          Right, but among this crowd who wants context? Not this bunch. Context uproots and destroys this crowd’s ideology and propaganda, replacing both with truth.

  2. I don’t understand Potomac Riverkeeper Network’s argument about granting or not granting the permit based on different standard. An administrative agency is supposed to follow the standards already adopted. Changing standards requires notice and comment rulemaking. And a permit granted under one standard cannot be compelled to follow a new standard absent a due process hearing – if then.

  3. What a tempest in a teapot! There are so many real environmental hazards Potomac Riverkeeper Network could be finding and challenging but they have to waste their time on this non-issue. Consider: it was the EPA that caused Dominion and every similar utility with a coal-fired generator to scrub their air emissions for particulates and dump them under water in a pond; Dominion dutifully complied. Then the EPA etc. waked up to the problem of groundwater pollution and said get rid of the ash ponds; Dominion is dutifully complying. Meanwhile, common sense says discharging rainwater quickly from the surface of the Quantico ash pond is the best maintenance practice given that (a) you can’t just let it accumulate there forever (we have over 30 inches of rain per year around here) and (b) there’s no indication it is in fact harmful to anyone or anything to let the untreated rainwater run off immediately into the river, and (c) the deeper retained pond water gets the greater the water pressure at the bottom, thus, the more the surface water gets forced into the ground through the ash layer below, the very thing they’re trying to avoid!

  4. Wait! Wait! what happened to the Communist EPA ?

    are people REALLY -DEFENDING the EPA standards?

    holy bat crap!

    but really, where does it say that a State cannot have higher standards than the EPA if they so deem it ?

    How do we hammer the EPA and it’s “job killing”regulations in one breadth then turn around and so “good enough” and folks should be satisfied with the EPA regs not DEQs?

    finally – does anyone remember the time frame of the Dominion GOlf trip for the DEQ head?

    just asking!..

  5. ya’ll need to think about what ‘swimmable” and “fishable” means.

    are we really being honest about this?

    would you REALLY want to go swimming where toxic metals are present?
    how about fish? would you want to eat fish that has toxic metals in their flesh?

  6. re: ” Consider: it was the EPA that caused Dominion and every similar utility with a coal-fired generator to scrub their air emissions for particulates and dump them under water in a pond; Dominion dutifully complied. Then the EPA etc. waked up to the problem of groundwater pollution and said get rid of the ash ponds; Dominion is dutifully complying. ”

    this is a bit amusing. Dominion is creating a by-product that is HARMFUL to the environment AND living things!

    Blaming the EPA for “making” Dominion do something about it is bizarre.

    Now, I realize the counter here that we have to have electricity but HOW we have it and and at what cost to health and environment is not the EPA’s “fault”.

    Now I think I’m starting to understand Conservatives thoughts about pollution.

    The EPA was CREATED – IN RESPONSE to .. pollution that was harming people and critters – the environment.

    Now, we hear that the EPA is at “fault” for it.

    so NOW.. I’m finally starting to understand HOW the very same folks who hammer the EPA over forcing their costly “job killing” on poor old companies like Dominion – those same folks hammer the EPA over not forcing expensive job killing regulations on Flint, Michigan to “do something” else with that bad stuff other than put it into their water system!

    so here it is – the EPA is BAD, BAD to the BONE … Because

    they force companies to do something with their pollution AND , at the same time they Don’t force them to do something with their pollution.

    Okay – so does this describe some Conservatives apparent philosophies these days?

    You betcha.

    Gawd Forbid – we actually have a self-consistent position on pollution and the EPA role, eh… or for that matter…

    Memo to EPA – ” stop messing with poor old Dominion and their coal ash and go to Michigan and DO YOUR JOB!

    Michigan to EPA: ” why didn’t you stop us from poisoning ourselves” and oh by the way – stay out of our business…. ”

    😉

  7. You have to love it!! “so here it is – the EPA is BAD, BAD to the BONE … Because they force companies to do something with their pollution AND , at the same time they Don’t force them to do something with their pollution.”

    Well, not exactly. The root problem here, of course, was choosing to burn coal for electricity in the first place. In the 1950s Dominion would have been foolish, costwise, to do otherwise. Nonetheless they, like most well-run electric companies, built their coal-burning power plant on a river so they could bring in barges of oil as a competitive fuel (nobody imagined burning gas to generate electricity in those days). OK, move ahead a few decades. EPA and DEQ jumped on coal’s particulate emissions and demanded scrubbers. Dominion complied. What to do with the scrubbed fly ash? EPA’s instruction at the time: put it in a pit and cover it with water. Dominion complied. But hey, scrubbing the coal was expensive and coal has other emissions problems under EPA current and future regs so Dominion converted the Quantico units to, voila: natural gas! Those old fly ash ponds were sealed off, mothballed. Now they are trying responsibly to maintain and clean up the site (something I don’t believe EPA made them do) and what do they get? Unmitigated grief, from the DEQ and the Dumfries town council(!) and yes, the EPA, for the water quality consequences. Which would have been zero if all that fly ash had simply been spewed up into the atmosphere.

    You don’t see any irony in that? All I hear is Dominion is “bad, bad, bad to the bone” — damned if they do or if they don’t! I don’t have to defend or blame Dominion’s equipment choices in the 1950s to say that, sixty years later, they now appear to me to be dealing with that fly ash legacy responsibly. They got caught in a web of shifting, conflicting environmental requirements and they are trying to work their way through them. I think it’s a cheap shot to blame well-intending people who try to balance competing objectives and don’t resolve the tradeoffs the same as you would like them to.

    You say, “Dominion is creating a by-product that is HARMFUL to the environment AND living things!” Well, do you want electricity or don’t you? There will always be an environmental consequence from creating electricity. The question is, is Dominion’s effort to limit that consequence reasonable? In this case the “by-product” as you call it is the ash residue from burning metamorphosed swamp muck. It was “made” by growing things millions of years ago, but concentrated and stored as the direct result of EPA policy in scrubbers and fly ash ponds. The release of all that fly ash in smoke would have been a lot less “harmful to the environment” in some ways, more harmful in others — why is it so much easier to take cheap shots at those who deal with such tradeoffs, rather than give them credit for trying?

    • Acbar, I would point out that not all coal ash went up the smokestack. “Fly ash” flew up the smokestack in the pre-scrubber days, but “bottom ash” collected at the bottom of the coal furnace. Coal companies have been disposing of the bottom ash for decades. Installing scrubbers might have added to the volume of material that had to be disposed of, but did not create the problem.

      But your larger point holds true. When power companies first disposed of coal ash in lagoons, no one then understood that it would pose an environmental hazard. Sadly, we usually learn things from hard experience, such as the collapse of impoundment dams and release of coal ash slurry into rivers and streams. Or we learn from the advance of science and technology, which allows us to measure heavy metals in parts per billion, levels that once might have been undetectable. But the fact that our environmental standards have changed does not make power companies evil for having failed to anticipate 2016-era scientific knowledge when they built coal-fired power plants back in 1956.

      • Quite right about the bottom-ash, Jim; coal consumption has always been dirty. In fact some of the most difficult-to-clean-up ground-pollution sites in the US have resulted from “manufactured gas” production in the late 19th century/early 20th centuries, before interstate gas pipelines, in which coal was brought in and cooked to drive off the methane (which then filled a city’s gas pipes in places like Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia), then the high-carbon residue was sold off as coke, and what was too poor quality to sell as fuel was used for urban land fill. When you find ravines and creeks on 18th century maps that have disappeared under today’s flat urban terrain, chances are it’s coal ash that filled them.

    • I’ve been practicing federal administrative law for more than 30 years now. One observation I’ve made and found to be true is: Federal agencies do a notoriously poor job of anticipating the future and the related costs and benefits. I don’t think it has anything to do with politics. Rather, it’s more because they are focused on the here and now (as bad as CEOs), rather than by looking at what is likely to occur and at what cost.

  8. The comments of Jim, Acbar, and TooManyTaxes strike me as fine indeed. These comments also bring to mind a book I just finished: “Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points that Challenge Every Company.”

    Written by Andrew S. Grove, the just deceased former President and CEO, and later Chairman of the Board, of Intel, Mr Grove emigrated to US from Hungary in 1956, and also participated in Intel’s founding.

    Chosen Time’s Man of the Year in 1997, he has written a valuable book. One that could just as easily have been titled ” How to Exploit the Crisis Points that Challenge Every LIFE.”

    Somehow I missed altogether what Andrew Grove accomplished in his life. His vast contributions to how we live and thrive today. The immensely demanding and complicated challenges he (and his Intel colleagues) overcame to achieve their stupendous results that we all now enjoy. And mostly take for granted, if ever we knew about them in the first place.

    Andrew Grove’s book is plain, direct, and honest. It is chock full of irreplaceable wisdom, insights, and advice. Its teachings come from learning that could be gained over a remarkably challenging lifetime. A life full of failure and heartbreak, set-backs and defeats, matched by implacable will and drive, incredibly hard work, and obstinate courage, that won its success against remarkable odds, as most all meaningful success demands.

    So Andrew Grove’s tells why fear properly harnessed is critical for achievement. How one’s own achievement will always bring trouble. How one’s success will most always draw the attention of other people and/or competitors, and/or governments, and/or most any other group. And how many of those people or interests will invariable try to destroy your success and bury it in an unmarked grave forever. And why they will do so for endless reasons. For example their need or desire to steal or otherwise co-opt your success for their own success, either in replacement of yours, or in lieu of yours, or so only their success, whether good or evil owns the stage for every one else to see, admire, or bow down too.

    Hence, Andrew Grove’s book is a perfect antidote to the whiner, complainer, and side line sitter, and one’s own dark-side, and the obsessive compulsive show off, and the power monger, or the jerk who tries to tell and convince you that “YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT!” Or alternatively, the hard nosed competitor in your marketplace who is tough and smart and determined as Andrew Groves himself was.

    Therein the reader finds in Andrew Groves book the wisdom to find safe passage through the minefields that litter that paths of all successful lives. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

    • Good book suggestion. I have also recently finished and highly recommend: The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution – by Walter Isaacson (2014) — Isaacson wrote a popular biography of Steve Jobs (later made into a movie), and this new volume grew out of his research and interviews with Jobs’ contemporaries. That “fear properly harnessed is critical for achievement” is a recurring theme. It’s long but a quick read.

  9. re: ” But the fact that our environmental standards have changed does not make power companies evil for having failed to anticipate 2016-era scientific knowledge when they built coal-fired power plants back in 1956.”

    that’s TRUE , BUT

    look at the politics of it NOW with Obama’s War on Coal, the “out of control EPA” and opposition to the EPA in general from Conservatives on a wide and deep variety of pollution issues and NOW what they are claiming are “state’s rights” issues.

    The other point – is that ONCE WE DID KNOW – what steps did the companies and the states take on their own and there would be no justification for the EPA to intervene?

    so that’s the deal – it’s not that we “did not know” – it’s what did WE do AFTER we knew that we took care of without an EPA?

    answer me that Acbar and Bacon and TMT!!!

    EPA gets the blame for what we won’t do ourselves.

  10. Larry, my beef with the EPA and federal agencies generally is that they are moving in a strong direction of ignoring the law. Statutes enable agencies to do certain things and also limit them from taking other action. For example, the FCC, which has broad authority, was slapped by the courts when the Agency tried to regulate video recording devices when they were not connected to a cable TV or other regulated video transmission. And, of course, the EPA was reversed when it tried to regulate storm water flow instead of certain pollutants. An agency simply cannot go beyond its authority set forth in, or reasonably implied by. its governing statutes. That is wrong when its done in a Republican or a Democratic administration.

    Agencies must also follow the APA. It must change its rules after providing notice and receiving comments from the public. In an adjudicative matter, an agency must provide the affected party a hearing and, if credibility is at issue, cross examination before a fact finder.

    Also an agency cannot simply change its mind on an existing rule or policy. It must take comments and then explain what has changed such that a policy change is appropriate.

    For the EPA to act, it must demonstrate that it has statutory authority to act, which becomes difficult when it had previously not acted in a specific area or when Congress has not acted to give it authority. An agency must also adopt new rules after notice and comment.

    If something was lawful in 1956 before the EPA acted and not addressed by the EPA since its creation 40 plus years ago, there is a very strong case that the EPA cannot now make what has been legal for 60 years illegal today. As I like to say, we live in a real world, not a Washington Post world.

  11. TMT – there is nothing new about Federal (or State or Local ) agencies pushing the envelope on regulations. It’s typical and normal and the courts are full of those who challenge – and the real bottom line is that most challenges – fail and only a few end up successful.

    The EPA, in particular has been sued every which way from Sunday by BOTH sides ever since it’s creation. And of the hundreds of lawsuits only a small handful have succeeded.

    the narrative that suddenly things have changed is simply not true.

    The reality is that folks on the right opposed the creation of the EPA and have fought them vociferously over the years – not so much on a specific item but more along the lines that they challenge the existence and authority of the EPA and have argued that it’s the State’s responsibility not the Feds.

    this is an old argument and it never ends.

    and the irony in this situation is that the EPA regs are actually LESS than what the actvists think they should be – which is also where a lot of lawsuits come from – from those who say the EPA is NOT exercising it’s legal authority when it should be.

    If your standard is that something that was not illegal before the creation of EPA should not be illegal now – then are you now presuming that the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts themselves are illegal?

    and if the EPA did not act prior on something they cannot now act?

    TMT- does that mean if they did not categorize something as a pollutant originally they cannot now do so – citing more evidence?

    that makes no sense guy.. that’s like saying because the Feds did not regulate drones when they first came out that they cannot do so now.

    please explain.

    th

    • Larry, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts have been on the books for many years; administered by the EPA and reviewed by the courts. We have a general and common understanding of what is legal and what is not. What is permissible and what is not. If X was reviewed and considered to be not a pollutant or Y was found to be an acceptable practice, the EPA cannot lawfully change its mind – without more – and declare X is now a pollutant and Y is no longer an acceptable practice.

      What if the EPA wants to go further? It must first determine that declaring X to be a pollutant is consistent with the law. It must first determine that declaring Y to be an unacceptable practice is also consistent with the law. If the answer is “no” to either, the EPA must stop. It must go to Congress and seek a change in the statutes.

      Assuming the changes are consistent with the statutes, the EPA must open a new rulemaking proceeding; set out all the reasons why it believes X is should now be considered a pollutant or all the reasons why it believes Y is no longer an acceptable practices. Advances in science or engineering can be used as evidence supporting a change. The proposal must be placed on public notice for comment; the comments must be reviewed and addressed by the Agency; and the EPA must provide a detailed and persuasive explanation for why the changed facts necessitate a changed rule or policy. It has to be hard for an agency to reverse itself or we live in a nation where the whims of a new president or new cabinet member can become a dictator.

      Isn’t this the federal government we want? Do you really want some unelected official changing rules and policy based on his/her whims?

      Moreover and more important, the American people deserve public officials who respect the law and will follow it. It is not a matter of an agency publishing a new rule and daring someone to challenge it successfully in the courts. We have a right to demand agencies respect and follow the law, even when that prevents them from doing what they think is needed or appropriate.

      My answer on regulating drones is the same. What do the statutes say? Same for regulating fantasy sports betting. The Governor and GA decided the Virginia Code was inadequate to address this type of betting. They worked together and passed legislation that regulated fantasy sports betting.

      This is certainly much better than the Attorney General Lynch, who, despite the United States Supreme Court holding that disparate impact doesn’t violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ordering states and local governments to stop applying fines to low level crimes more often committed by blacks proportionately. What’s the difference between Lynch and Stalin – both just made up the law? We need a government that follows the law even when they don’t like it.

  12. re: ” What if the EPA wants to go further? It must first determine that declaring X to be a pollutant is consistent with the law.”

    if the EPA makes that determination – isn’t that it’ lawful role?

    if more evidence become available and the EPA cites that evidence and in it’s mind – that’s justification – who would overrule them and on what basis?

    what I think I see on some of the court cases is challenges to EPA citing the new evidence and making a determination … that others disagree with.

    A good example is when the EPA declared CO2 to be a pollutant and it was upheld by SCOTUS – in large part because SCOTUS said that the EPA did have the authority to cite new evidence as the basis for their determination.

    I’m not trying to justify specific things that the EPA has done and been challenged on – I’m just trying to summarize the process … that seems to be the typical one they follow – and then often are challenged on.

    Some of these challenges are very technical nuanced arguments on the finer points of regulatory law .. as opposed to the more popular anti-EPA rhetoric which is not nuanced but rather claims that the EPA itself is “illegal” because it’s not in the Constitution , and all that stuff.

    The folks who oppose the concept of a Federal EPA – continuously challenge the EPA in court – at every turn – and they usually lose – and even when the EPA loses – it’s usually on a technical point where they go back and re-jigger their work to comply with the court ruling and then accomplish the original intent of the regulation – anyhow.

    so what’s defined is not the authority but the limits of it .. which basically is doing what the law did not do explicitly at the start

    For instance, Congress COULD explicitly pass exemptions that the EPA would have no authority – period rather than letting the EPA follow a process where it does make that determination.

    When you hear folks on the right say that on day one they will get rid of the EPA – you have some idea of what their real complaint is… it’s not some esoteric distinction about whether the EPA followed process or not – it’s about the existence of the EPA.

  13. Yup, you got it, the total utter destruction of the EPA, root and branch, Bro!

  14. yup… so the arguments against it’s implementation of regulations is really irrelevant it’s just a proxy for opposing the core concept of a Federal EPA…

    the folks that engage in this – you’ll never hear them say – “the EPA should not be doing this – instead they should be doing this” – because it’s not about what they think EPA should be doing (or not) in the first. place, it’s about it’s legitimacy as a Federal agency at all.

    as I have said previously. Hold your views, maintain your views but argue on the merits of the argument as to whether or not the EPA should exist or not – at all – and you’ll lose because most Americans want the EPA despite it’s perceived and exaggerated and propagandized flaws.

    If folks who oppose the concept of the EPA – actually ran on that promise in a general election – they’d lose -and they know this – so instead they engage in a different kind of warfare … to basically undermine and damage it’s reputation – in hopes that more folks will oppose it’s existence.

    But then something like coal ash in Va or drinking water in Flint or Kepone in the James, comes along and people realize what kind of environmental protection we’d actually have if it was left to the states. In a word -precious little.

    Pretty much the situation when the EPA was first created.. because it was obvious the States were not going to to it. We have a long, long history of the states doing nothing… and being in bed with industry…

  15. Larry,

    It’s Easter. HE HAS RISEN.

    Hallelujah!

  16. Pingback: Feds’ approval of ‘Clean’ power line draws ire of Arkansas lawmakers | Southeast Energy News

  17. Easter bunny notwithstanding, this blog post was covered here:
    http://southeastenergynews.com/

  18. re: ” • The Department of Energy signs off on a partnership to develop a 705-mile transmission line to carry wind-generated electricity to the Southeast. (New York Times)
    • Lawmakers from Arkansas, a state that has opposed the project, call the decision “unprecedented executive overreach.” ”

    when the right gets hold of a “narrative” these days – they chew on it like a dog on a bone!

    I wonder if they’ll call the pipelines from the Marcellus Shale “Federal “overreach”?

    looks like now days – everything the Feds do these days is “overreach”, eh?

    Lord have Mercy!

  19. Amendment X “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Ratified December 15, 1791.

    Canada did just the opposite. Powers not delegated to the Provinces by the Constitution Act of 1867 belong to the federal government of Canada.

  20. make a list of the agencies that would not exist if the rule really was that they had to exist in the Constitution.

    seriously – make that list… and then tell me that that is what the founding fathers really intended.

    this is silly …. either we do away with these agencies or we reconcile the reality that even the founding fathers woud find that idea just plain foolish.

    and again – once more – if you believe these agencies should not exist at all – then say that up front instead of arguing that some power they have is wrong.

    just be honest and say – that your belief is that those agencies should not exist – period.

    what say you TMT?

  21. What I was trying to say above, THIS current (coal ash blog post) was covered in Southeast Energy News

    Article in Southeast Energy News dot com:
    COAL ASH: A Virginia town is not giving up in pressing for a criminal investigation of how Dominion Virginia Power disposes of untreated wastewater. (Bacon’s Rebellion blog)

  22. oops… okay … I see it now… but also could not help to see the Headline Arkansas article claiming Fed govt “overreach” on a power line …

    a powerline? that’s a Fed Govt out of control?

    geezy peezy… That’s an example of just how nutty our politics have gotten!

  23. The challenge for capitalism is that the things that breed trust also breed the environment for fraud. And Amazon happens to be the best example.

    Amazon maybe the ecommerce giant with wide-ranging investment interests but as far as its social responsibilities are concerned it appears too inconsiderate and insensitive. Amazon is not willing to comply with the legal directives issued by Virginia’s Corporation Commission Staff. According to which Dominion’s proposed power line to Haymarket is for a single customer – Amazon Data Center – and it is this customer who is liable to pay for the line extension, and that placing the 230 KV extension partially underground is the least damaging for the environment and for the residents who live within this area.

    Based on the evaluations of SCC Staff, Dominion Power was unable to justify the need for the project without the Customers request for service to the Haymarket Project. The Staff also emphasized on the fact that the line extension may be viewed as an extension of electrical service to a new customer, therefore, may be subject to cost allocations. According to SCC Staff report, Amazon may have to pay the excess cost, estimated at $115 million.

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