A Richmond Circuit Court judge has upheld the state’s issuance of a water-discharge permit for Dominion Virginia Power’s coal ash pond at the Possum Creek Power Station.
The permit sets the effluent limits and monitoring requirements for the discharge of water from coal ash Pond D. The Potomac Riverkeepers Network had challenged the permit on two main grounds: (1) that the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) had failed to conduct an analysis of the best available technology to control the release of toxic compounds; and (2) that the discharge of “metals-laden” waste-water into the Quantico Creek added to the impairment of the creek in violation of the Clean Water Act.
Judge Beverly W. Snukals ruled that state regulators followed the law in issuing the permit. Also, she wrote, “DEQ had substantial evidence in its record to support its conclusion that the Permit protects existing instream water uses in Quantico Creek.”
Dominion is pleased with the court’s ruling, said Dominion spokesman Bob Richardson. “We’ve worked hard to design a system that treats the water better than the stringent limits set by DEQ and we prove our commitment to the environment everyday as we do the work required to safely close ash ponds at Possum Point and across our fleet.”
“We are still in the process of reviewing the Court’s opinion, but we are disappointed with the outcome,” said Greg Buppert, senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, which is representing the Potomac Riverkeepers. “We strongly believe Quantico Creek and the Potomac River deserve the highest level of protection from Dominion’s decades of coal ash contamination at Possum Point.”
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