Author

Sarah Vogelsong

Sarah Vogelsong

Sarah is Editor-in-Chief of the Mercury and previously its environment and energy reporter. She has worked for multiple Virginia and regional publications, including Chesapeake Bay Journal, The Progress-Index and The Caroline Progress. Her reporting has won awards from groups such as the Society of Environmental Journalists and Virginia Press Association, and she is an alumna of the Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative and Metcalf Institute Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact her at [email protected]

Recreational anglers ask Youngkin to close Chesapeake Bay menhaden fishery

By: - July 6, 2022

A coalition of recreational fishing and conservation groups are asking Gov. Glenn Youngkin to close down a major portion of the Chesapeake Bay menhaden fishery “until science demonstrates” that it will not negatively affect the estuary’s ecosystem. In a June 14 letter, 21 groups including the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and the Virginia Saltwater Sportfishing […]

Youngkin appoints Wheeler to head new Office of Regulatory Management

By: - July 1, 2022

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has tapped Andrew Wheeler, the chief of the Environmental Protection Agency under former President Donald Trump, to lead a new Office of Regulatory Management that aims to reduce Virginia’s regulatory requirements by 25 percent.  The appointment was announced in a Thursday night executive order mandating the creation of the new office, which […]

Youngkin administration warns feds new wind areas could hurt commercial fisheries

By: - July 1, 2022

Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration told federal officials that large areas of ocean off Virginia being considered as potential offshore wind sites could cause “millions of dollars of negative impact to Virginia’s commercial fishing industries.” “While supportive of the growth of the offshore wind industry and the opportunities for the commonwealth to provide critical support to […]

Virginia declines to join federal-state offshore wind partnership

By: - June 29, 2022

A partnership announced last week between the federal government and 11 East Coast states that aims to speed up offshore wind development has one noticeable absence: Virginia.  A press release from President Joe Biden’s administration describes the Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership as a joint effort between the White House national climate adviser, four cabinet […]

Record funding to reduce agricultural pollution expected to aid Bay cleanup

By: - June 29, 2022

A surplus of dollars in Virginia’s coffers this year means record funding for state programs that help farmers pay for practices like streamside fencing that decrease the amount of pollution running into the Chesapeake Bay, but nationwide inflation could blunt some of the long-sought money’s impacts. The flood of funding is “phenomenal,” said James Martin, […]

Virginia took in less trash from out of state in 2021 (but still a lot)

By: - June 28, 2022

The amount of solid waste Virginia accepted from other states dipped in 2021 compared to the prior year, but the commonwealth still took in more than 5.3 million tons of out-of-state trash.  According to an annual report on solid waste issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Monday, 23.6 percent of the state’s 22.7 […]

No further bird flu spread in Virginia, but danger hasn’t passed, says state vet

By: - June 27, 2022

Virginia has so far eluded widespread outbreaks of a highly pathogenic strain of avian flu, but the state veterinarian cautions poultry owners that they’re “not out of the woods yet.”  State vet Charles Broaddus urged poultry owners “to continue implementing high biosecurity measures as an everyday practice” in a June 10 letter to industry members, […]

As feds eye more wind leases off Virginia, fishing industries fear losses

By: - June 23, 2022

Today, two wind turbines turn off Virginia’s coast. But by the middle of the next decade, hundreds more may have joined them.  With a major push underway by President Joe Biden’s administration to develop 30 gigawatts of offshore wind as a way to reduce U.S. reliance on fossil fuels, federal officials are looking to dramatically […]

General Assembly hands Youngkin wins, losses on budget amendments

By: , and - June 17, 2022

Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s budget proposals drew a mixed response Friday in the General Assembly, where Democrats blocked some of his most contentious proposals but allowed others to pass thanks to a handful of defections on important votes. In one of the day’s biggest surprises, three Democratic senators sided with Republicans to approve a significant rollback […]

electric vehicle charging station Henrico

Under new law, some of Virginia’s government fleet is poised to go electric

By: - June 17, 2022

A new state law could jump-start the conversion of much of Virginia’s government vehicle fleet from gas-powered to electric cars by asking state officials to look at a vehicle’s lifetime costs rather than just its sticker price before buying.  “We believe this will drive more electric vehicles out there,” Sen. Monty Mason, D-Williamsburg and the […]

Environmental group sues to protect species of mussel found in Virginia

By: - June 16, 2022

Federal courts will again put a species of freshwater mussel native to Southwest Virginia under the microscope.  On Tuesday, the national environmental nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit in an Oregon federal court against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its failure to determine or finalize protections for four species that have […]

Study: Virginia could lose 42 percent of tidal wetlands to sea level rise by 2100

By: - June 13, 2022

Without state conservation measures or global emissions reductions that could slow the pace of sea level rise, Virginia could lose 42 percent of its tidal wetlands by 2100, researchers with research nonprofit Climate Central found in a study published last week in Environmental Research Communications journal.  State and local government decisions about whether to conserve […]