Author

Robert Zullo

Robert Zullo

Robert spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers before becoming editor of the Virginia Mercury in 2018. He was a staff writer and managing editor at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., before spending five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]

A LOOK BACK: Coal ash, pipelines and renewable energy were dominant environmental issues in 2018

By: - December 26, 2018

Editor’s note: The Virginia Mercury launched in July to provide a sustained focus on statewide issues that have fallen through the cracks as traditional news outlets shrink. Here’s the first in a holiday-week series looking back on how we’ve spent our time since then.   Natural gas pipelines The year began with Virginia’s most controversial infrastructure […]

COMMENTARY
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Herring tells Blue Virginia he won’t take Dominion money

By: - December 18, 2018

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who threw his hat into the ring last month for the 2021 gubernatorial race, has evidently been reading some tea leaves about the Democratic electorate’s dimming view of state-regulated monopolies like Dominion Energy and the influence they wield. In a wide-ranging interview with Blue Virginia published today, Herring says he […]

COMMENTARY

‘If I were Dominion I’d be panicked:’ Federal court vacates another Atlantic Coast Pipeline permit

By: - December 13, 2018

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, vacated another permit for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline Thursday, this time concluding that the U.S. Forest Service lacked the authority to allow the pipeline across the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, among other findings. An environmental attorney who worked on the case says […]

COMMENTARY

Environmental groups find something to cheer about from the Northam adminstration

By: - December 13, 2018

For much of his first year in office, Gov. Ralph Northam has gotten himself crosswise with the environmental groups that were big backers of his 2017 campaign. The relationship has steadily devolved — from the reappointment of Department of Environmental Quality Director David Paylor in the spring to the governor’s steadfast determination to do as […]

Jury recommends life sentence for Fields in ‘Unite the Right’ attack

By: - December 11, 2018

Our news partners at NBC 12 report that a jury has recommended a life sentence for James Fields for the first-degree murder of Heather Heyer plus more than 400 years for other counts stemming from the Aug. 12, 2017 attack at the ‘Unite the Right’ rally. Last week, a jury found Fields, who expressed neo-Nazi […]

Groups sue over seismic testing decision that could pave the way for Atlantic oil drilling

By: - December 11, 2018

A coalition of environmental groups sued the federal government today over its decision late last month to permit seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean, a potential precursor to oil drilling. “This extremely loud and dangerous process, which is used to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean’s surface, is the first step […]

Compressor station permit meeting postponed

By: - December 10, 2018

Today’s much-anticipated meeting of the State Air Pollution Control Board, which saw two members replaced by Gov. Ralph Northam as it weighed a crucial permit for a compressor station that is part of Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline, has been postponed because of the snow. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality says the meeting will […]

COMMENTARY
Dominion Energy's downtown Richmond building. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

For the first time, regulators reject Dominion Energy planning document, invite utility to refile

By: - December 7, 2018

The State Corporation Commission, which regulates Virginia utilities, has shot down for the first time ever a long-range plan filed yearly by Dominion Energy and intended to outline how the company will meet its electric service obligations. “The commission finds, based on the record of this proceeding and applicable statutes, that the company has failed […]

Herring takes aim at robocalls

By: - December 7, 2018

Evidently, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring hates robocalls just as much as you. Herring’s office said in a news release Thursday that he has joined a group of 40 state attorneys general who are reviewing available technology “to stop or reduce annoying and dangerous robocalls.” “Robocalls have become a daily occurrence for many Virginians, including […]

Elections officials push back on request to move primary season; medical marijuana in Portsmouth; disorderly conduct over free cheesecake in Arlington & more headlines

By: - December 6, 2018

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. ♦ James Fields’ car was going 28 miles per hour when it rammed into a group of counter-protestors at last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. The crash killed Heather Heyer and injured dozens of other people. – The Daily Progress ♦ […]

COMMENTARY
Gov. Ralph Northam

Northam’s struggle to explain air board move suggests it’s exactly what it appears to be

By: - December 5, 2018

Can Gov. Ralph Northam’s decision to yank two members off the State Air Pollution Control Board as it weighs a permit for the compressor station Dominion Energy plans for Buckingham County be seen as anything other than what it appears to be: a clumsy attempt to tip the scale for the influential utility? In the […]

Major permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline suspended

By: - November 21, 2018

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline hit another permitting snag Tuesday when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspended the 600-mile project’s authorization to cross hundreds of waterways and wetlands. “Following requests from Appalachian Mountain Advocates (Appalmad) attorneys, the Norfolk, Huntington, and Pittsburgh districts of the Army Corps of Engineers have each suspended its authorization of the […]