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Staff Report

Staff Report

Virginia Mercury staff report. For questions, comments or concerns, contact [email protected]

Virginia’s barrier islands’ normal resilience to sea-level rise is hurt by climate change, VCU researchers find

By: - April 9, 2019

A study from the Coastal Plant Ecology Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University found that a naturally occurring process that has made barrier islands resilient to sea-level rise has been affected by climate change and is making the islands more susceptible to the impact of rising water levels. Typically, Virginia’s barrier islands off the coast of […]

Report: Many cattle aren’t fenced out of waterways, increasing pollution in the Shenandoah Valley

By: - April 4, 2019

After examining Google Earth images of 1,676 livestock farms with rivers or streams in the Shenandoah Valley, two environmental groups determined that 81 percent are failing to fence their cattle out of streams, according to a new report. Allowing cattle to access waterways contributes to high fecal bacteria and pollution not only in local rivers […]

Virginia Mercury

Appeals court vacates Dominion’s James River transmission line permit

By: - March 1, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to follow federal legal requirements when it gave Dominion Energy a permit to build a massive power line and 17 towers across the James River near Historic Jamestowne, according to a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The transmission lines run from Surry […]

Water Control Board sets meeting to reconsider Mountain Valley Pipeline water certification

By: - February 15, 2019

More than two months after it voted to hold a hearing to consider revocation of a key certification for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, sued by the state over several hundred alleged environmental violations, the State Water Control Board has finally scheduled a meeting for March 1 on the topic. However, the March 1 meeting will […]

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

Dominion says it will cut methane emissions. Environmental group: What about that pipeline?

By: - February 13, 2019

In a news release, Dominion Energy announced Tuesday its plans to reduce methane emissions by 50 percent over the next decade. Under its new initiative, the company will prevent more than 430,000 metric tons of methane, the primary component of natural gas, from entering the atmosphere, “the equivalent of taking 2.3 million cars off the […]

Virginia Mercury

Budget amendments would expand Medicaid access for immigrants

By: - January 30, 2019

Virginia’s rules on allowing legal immigrants to access Medicaid coverage are twice as onerous as most other states, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Institute. While 44 states require immigrants to legally reside in the country for five years before, in Virginia the individual must have worked 40 quarters in the U.S., or […]

Former State Water Control Board member talks with EPA criminal investigators

By: - January 23, 2019

Former State Water Control Board Member Roberta Kellam says she has provided a statement to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criminal investigators. The news, first reported by The Roanoke Times and confirmed by the Mercury, comes as a pair of Roanoke attorneys are seeking a criminal investigation into alleged violations of civil and criminal laws by the Mountain […]

Bill meant to level the playing field for pipeline takings passes Senate

By: - January 18, 2019

New legislation that would level the playing field for property owners in an eminent domain taking lawsuit sailed through the Senate on Thursday. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax City, would eliminate provisions in the assessments of costs in eminent domain proceedings for some condemnors, such as public service companies like utilities. Property […]

Virginia Mercury

Study: Allowing immigrants to pay in-state tuition is cost-effective for Virginia

By: - January 16, 2019

A new study by the Commonwealth Institute suggests that allowing students with deferred action immigration status to pay in-state tuition at Virginia colleges and universities does not create a cost burden for the state. In the fall of 2017, there were only 418 students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status at the […]