Charlie Paullin

Charlie Paullin

Charles Paullin covers energy and environment for the Mercury. He previously worked for Northern Virginia Daily in the Northern Shenandoah Valley and for the New Britain Herald in central Connecticut. An Alexandria native, Charles graduated from the University of Hartford initially wanting to cover sports. He's received several Virginia Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, local government and state politics.

House District 97: Democrat Feggans vs. incumbent Republican Greenhalgh

By: - September 21, 2023

In the Virginia Beach-centered 97th House District, a close race is shaping up between Republican incumbent and entrepreneur Del. Karen Greenhalgh and Democratic Air Force veteran Michael Feggans.  Greenhalgh, who is finishing out her first term in office, has founded several cabinet manufacturing and cybersecurity businesses, as well as managing a pregnancy crisis center. While […]

After Hurley and Whitewood floods, Virginia considers state relief fund

By: - September 20, 2023

Over the past two years, two major deluges in the towns of Hurley and Whitewood in Southwest Virginia have caused catastrophic flooding that left dozens of homes destroyed and one woman dead.  But as the communities have struggled to rebuild, federal relief has been limited. In response, state legislators have dipped into state funds earmarked […]

Dominion to seek air permit for proposed Chesterfield gas plant

By: - September 14, 2023

Dominion Energy’s plans to build a new natural gas plant in Chesterfield will require a state permit for major new sources of emissions, state air quality regulators said Wednesday. Mike Dowd, the Department of Environmental Quality’s director of air and renewable energy, told the State Air Pollution Control Board the plant will require a prevention […]

Virginia starts requiring poultry litter producers and brokers to report sales

By: - September 13, 2023

Virginia farmers who produce poultry litter for sale and brokers who transfer it must now send the state Department of Environmental Quality annual information about those transactions to better track what pollutants may be entering the Chesapeake Bay. Poultry litter is the combination of manure, leftover bedding and uneaten feed from flocks that can be […]

State funding for Richmond sewer project stripped out of budget deal

By: - September 6, 2023

Earlier proposals to put an additional $100 million in state funds toward upgrades to Richmond’s combined sewer overflow system got edged out of this year’s budget deal to fund other initiatives, top budget negotiators said Wednesday. Gov. Glenn Youngkin as well as the Republican-controlled House of Delegates and Democratic-controlled Senate all included the funding in […]

After six years of inaction, Virginia Commission on Electric Utility Regulation reconvenes

By: - September 5, 2023

Virginia’s Commission on Electric Utility Regulation met for the first time in six years Tuesday, following legislation during the last General Assembly session that requires it to now meet twice every year. The CEUR is tasked with reviewing the impacts of legislation on electric utility regulation, which can be hundreds of pages in length and […]

Invasive plants have spread all over Virginia. Some groups say that needs to stop.

By: and - September 5, 2023

Bradford pear trees’ delicate white petals and odor of rotting fish or urine didn’t always signal the start of spring throughout Virginia.  Beginning in the 1960s, the Asia native’s attractive flowers made it increasingly popular, resulting in its rapid spread through the commonwealth, said Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation biologist Kevin Heffernan.  But while […]

Utility regulators suspend Dominion’s rules for connecting solar projects to grid

By: - September 1, 2023

Virginia’s electric utility regulators told Dominion Energy Wednesday that it is no longer allowed to impose its rules for connecting smaller solar projects to the grid because it doesn’t have the authority to do so. The order from the State Corporation Commission was issued after a group of solar developers called the Distributed Solar Alliance […]

Virginia water board OKs pilot for new way to test selenium

By: - August 30, 2023

Virginia water regulators are moving forward with plans to allow a coal company to use an alternate method of testing for selenium discharges in Buchanan County waters as a way to consider whether the change should be made statewide.  Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality, which oversees water testing, proposed the pilot approach after concerns about […]

Virginia AG asks for dismissal of suit over menhaden fishing in the Chesapeake Bay

By: - August 29, 2023

The Virginia Office of the Attorney General is asking a Richmond judge to throw out a lawsuit from recreational fishers that says state regulators illegally increased menhaden catch limits.  The increase, the recreational fishers say, is having a negative impact on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. ”This Court cannot issue the requested relief when that relief […]

Proposed settlement in Appalachian Power rate case would reduce bill impacts

By: - August 25, 2023

If regulators sign off on a settlement agreement proposed this week by Appalachian Power Company and consumer protection, environmental, municipal and other groups, utility customers will see their rates rise, but not by as much as initially thought. On Aug. 22, eight parties involved in Appalachian Power’s latest rate case asked the State Corporation Commission […]

After case dismissals, work on Mountain Valley Pipeline resumes in Virginia

By: - August 24, 2023

Construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline has resumed in Virginia following the dismissal of several legal challenges that had been holding it up for years. Matthew Stafford, a manager with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, told the State Water Control Board Wednesday the company resumed work on the pipeline on Aug. 4 and has […]