REMOVE COAL ASH FROM OUR RIVERS
In 2014 we gathered samples of coal ash from multiple Dominion Energy waste sites. Private tests confirmed that these coal ash samples contained toxins that would harm our water security and river ecosystems. Join us and let's get coal ash removed from locations that threaten our rivers and water sources. Start by signing the petition and coming out to our next meeting or protest!
WHAT IS COAL ASH?
Coal ash is the waste left after burning coal. All coal-fired power plants generate coal ash, as a result coal ash is the second largest industrial waste stream in the United States. Coal ash has been tested and contains arsenic, mercury, lead, hexavalent chromium, and over a dozen other heavy metals, many of them identified as carcinogenic and neurological toxins.
WHY IS COAL ASH ON OUR RIVERS?
Dominion Energy has been dumping coal ash for years in ponds and pits along Virginia rivers. Coal ash regulations have allowed energy companies like Dominion to use the property surrounding their power stations as coal ash disposal sites. This practice is done by mixing coal ash with water so it can be pipelined from the power station to settlement ponds. In the ponds, the ash settles from the water and is then scooped and hauled to coal ash pits. Some of these pits are older than others, some look more like large landfills, most are on the banks of rivers, and some are even on wetlands.
IS COAL ASH A THREAT TO OUR WATER?
Yes. Coal ash is a threat to our water security, rivers, communities, and the other 3,600 species we share with the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Many of these coal ash pits are old and unlined, and allow coal ash to leach and percolate through water. The contaminated water then carries toxic substances into above-ground waterways such as rivers, streams and wetlands, and into underground water supplies or aquifers that supply drinking wells. Many coal ash sites are reliant upon dike systems that have failed in the past. In Kingston, Tennessee a dike failed and the 40-acre pond spilled more than 1 billion gallons of coal ash into the adjacent river valley. The spill covered 300 acres with the toxic sludge, destroyed homes, and contaminated the Emory and Clinch Rivers.
HOW DO WE GET IT REMOVED?
Energy companies such as Dominion Energy have proposed closure plans that would permanently leave coal ash pits in their current place. These permits have to be approved by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The Virginia River Healers are advocating for the full removal of all coal ash from our rivers and communities. Poor energy regulation practices have left states and communities with toxic sites in the past and we want to see that the legacy of coal in Virginia does not follow this path. Join us, sign the petition, come demonstrate, and see that coal ash waste sites are properly closed. DIG IT UP!
Water is a commons - No one holds the right to destroy