Maryland seeks review of Virginia decision on pollutants that could affect Potomac

By Mark Iandolo | Feb 18, 2016

RICHMOND, Virginia (Legal Newsline) — In an appeal filed with the commonwealth of Virginia, the state of Maryland is calling for an official review of a recent Virginia Department of Environmental quality decision that approves a coal ash water discharge permit for Dominion Virginia Power.

Maryland believes the permit would authorize the release of possibly toxic pollutants into the environment, specifically at Quantico Creek and the Potomac River. The appeal will go before the Circuit Court of Richmond.

"Being good stewards of the Potomac watershed means taking extreme caution so that that untreated or improperly treated coal ash does not foul waterways," said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. "Any plan to dump waste in or near the river needs heightened scrutiny and rigorous analysis, and that is what this legal step is ensuring."

Maryland asked for a review that would ensure pollutants from Dominion Virginia Power Plant do not negatively impact the environment near the Potomac River.

"Maryland's Department of the Environment and Department of Natural Resources are focusing on metals in the ash, water quality monitoring in the river, where freshwater and saltwater are mixing, and additional measures for the closure of the ash ponds, including the types of protective liners and ground water monitoring wells," said Maryland Environmental Secretary Ben Grumbles.

Maryland’s Department of Energy informed Virginia of the appeal in a letter from Grumbles.

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