RICHMOND – A bill that instructs the director of the Department of Environmental Quality to suspend the issuance of any permit to close coal ash ponds until July 1, 2019, other than those state permits where the ash has been removed, is being removed, or is already being recycled from existing onsite ponds, is on its way to the governor after passage by the state Legislature.
SB 807 requires Dominion Energy to issue a request for proposals to determine recycling options for coal ash that includes the cost and potential market demand.
House Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, has monitored the coal ash situation since early last year due to its significant in the 66th House District. In 2017, the General Assembly passed SB 1398 which placed a year’s moratorium on solid waste permits preventing closure-in-place of coal ash ponds and requiring Dominion Energy to identify long-term storage options.
This year’s legislation continues “our prudent approach on addressing coal ash,” Cox said in a press release.
“I supported the 2017 legislation and this year’s bill to ensure state oversight of the closure-in-place process for coal ash ponds, two of which are located at Chesterfield Power Station,” he said. “Our approach guarantees the process is both environmentally friendly and economically feasible to utility customers.”
The bill passed the Senate 37-3 and the House 97-0 with an amendment that was accepted by the Senate, 35-4. It was supported by several environmental groups.