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Bill to Force Coal Ash Pond Closure Advances in Virginia General Assembly

A bill that would require Dominion Energy to shut down four coal ash ponds throughout Virginia passed its first Senate committee on Thursday. The Senate bill backed by Governor Ralph Northam would prohibit Dominion from burying the coal ash in place and would require them to recycle it or transport it to a landfill. That applies to any site on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, including one in Chesterfield County. Senator Scott Surovell of Fairfax, who is sponsoring the bill, told the Senate Agriculture Committee that doing nothing about the coal ash ponds is no longer an option. “We’re not going to solve this problem by leaving it where it is in these leaky ponds. I think it’s undisputed that every single one of the four sites are leaking heavy metals into the groundwater. They aren’t in violation, but they are leaking.” The bill will now head to the Senate Finance Committee, who will work out who will pay for the coal ash removal.

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