ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

Led by Roanoke, Virginia cities and counties begin taxing plastic bags 

BY: - September 24, 2021

Less than a year after a 2020 Virginia law allowed local governments to impose a five-cent tax on certain disposable plastic bags, cities and counties are opting in to cut down on plastic waste.  “We’ve had a longstanding commitment to get rid of the bags,” said Nell Boyle, the sustainability outreach coordinator for the city […]

Proposed Chickahominy Pipeline map released; county officials complain about lack of information

BY: - September 24, 2021

A map of the proposed Chickahominy Pipeline through Louisa, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Charles City County was released this week, although officials from several counties complained they have been unable to obtain more details about the project.  “We have attempted to reach out to the company’s representatives to get no response, and the only […]

Tennessee lawmaker says Virginia needs to do more to fix Bristol landfill’s malodorous emissions

BY: - September 23, 2021

Not satisfied with how Virginia officials are handling the complaints, a Tennessee state senator wants his state agencies to investigate a Bristol, Virginia, landfill linked to air pollution and foul odors plaguing residents on both sides of the border. “In addition to the landfill causing odor nuisance issues, I believe it presents a health and […]

Strickler to step down as natural resources secretary

BY: - September 22, 2021

Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew Strickler is stepping down from his post in the waning months of Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration.  A release from the governor’s office said Strickler, a former Democratic congressional policy adviser on natural resources and legislative assistant to then-Sen. Northam, will be “pursuing new opportunities.”  He will be replaced by […]

COMMENTARY

Why the Transportation Climate Initiative makes sense

BY: - September 22, 2021

By Andrew Savage If you thought the vibrant, blood orange sunsets over Virginia in July were striking, you weren’t alone. Unfortunately, those sunsets were caused by wildfire smoke out of the West that engulfed the state in a hazy smog and triggered a public health alert. Now, constant natural disasters are clear evidence of an […]

Dominion accelerates solar and storage buildout plans 

BY: - September 21, 2021

A plan filed by Dominion Energy with state regulators last week for how it intends to comply with the Virginia Clean Economy Act, a 2020 law that will require the electric utility to be carbon-free by 2045, calls for an acceleration of the company’s deployment of solar and storage.  The company is proposing the development […]

Can Southwest Virginia remake itself as a laboratory for renewables?

BY: - September 20, 2021

NORTON — In September 2020, the highwall came crashing down.  For decades, the more than 75-foot-high remnant of surface mining had dominated the eastern entry to Norton, looming over the intersection of Routes 23 and 58. Officials had long since forgotten what company had left behind the structure, which predated both the state’s mining agency […]

Hampton Roads aquifer recharge project gets $477 million EPA loan

BY: - September 14, 2021

A Hampton Roads-wide project intended to recharge the Potomac aquifer that supplies drinking water to much of Virginia’s population east of Interstate 95 received a $477 million loan from the Environmental Protection Agency last week.  Ted Henifin, general manager of the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, said in a news release that the loan will be […]

Part of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, funding scholarships at HBCUs

BY: - September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges, including Virginia State University, and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in […]

In Southwest Virginia, farmers and brewers hope for a grain renaissance

BY: - September 14, 2021

ST. PAUL — On a quiet Thursday afternoon in St. Paul, a town of about 850 that sits on the banks of the Clinch River straddling Wise and Russell counties, Greg Bailey was filling a growler of Scotch ale.  Beer has a colorful history in these parts. Once it flowed like water: so rowdy was […]

COMMENTARY

Tired of subsidies?

BY: - September 14, 2021

Some while back I was engaged in an online discussion with other solar advocates about renewable energy — specifically, how to get more of it built. Some of the participants I knew, others I did not. The conversation was lively, ranging from the need for better education to public policy and incentives. But then one […]

Groups say racially-charged Northam administration report misrepresents tax credit program

BY: - September 13, 2021

Land conservation groups angered by the Northam administration’s portrayal of a popular tax credit program as inequitable say that instead of diverting its funding to more targeted grant programs, the General Assembly and the governor need to channel more money to conservation broadly.  “We agree we should fully fund the grant programs, and the land […]