PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. -- A town hall in Dumfries on Tuesday night attracted concerned residents and environmentalists from Prince William County.
Residents are concerned about the removal of coal ash from the Dominion Energy Possum Point Power Station.
WUSA9 has covered the issue of coal ash in Prince William County extensively.
A group of neighbors living in Possum Point, Virginia has been afraid to drink, brush their teeth and shower using their own well water for years.
They fear the multi-billion-dollar energy company, Dominion Energy, that is less than a mile away, is polluting their water. The company denies their claim and points out two tests show there was no impact to drinking water in Possum Point.
Tuesday’s town hall was hosted by Virginia State Senator Scott Surovell of the 36th District, Delegate Jennifer Foy and Delegate Luke Torian. Dominion’s Director of Environmental Services presented on a recent report on recycling options for the coal ash as required by 2018 legislation sponsored by Surovell.
“What I’d like to see with this coal ash is it either recycled into products, or that it be dug out and put in a safe properly monitored and lined landfill,” said Surovell on Tuesday. “That’s sort of the bottom line.”
Dominion stopped producing coal ash at the Possum Point Power Plant in 2003. The energy company said Tuesday at the town hall it could consider a hybrid option to removing the coal ash. The hybrid option would include a combination of enhanced cap and closure in place techniques, recycling and landfilling.
Through Surovell’s bill passed in 2017, a moratorium continued prohibiting Dominion from doing anything with the ash until all recycling options had been researched.
“I think over the next 5 to 10 years you’re going to see a whole bunch of new options come up to recycle the ash,” said Surovell. “So I don’t think we should tie our hands down to one specific approach. I think we should just mandate that we recycle as much as humanly possible and hold off on landfilling this stuff until there is no other choice but to do that.”
A coal ash subcommittee of Virginia House and Senate members will take up this issue on Monday, December 12.