ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

Uranium mining ban upheld as Supreme Court of Va. declines to reopen lower court ruling

BY: - September 30, 2021

In a terse decision issued Thursday, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled it would not take up an appeal of a lower court’s decision to uphold the state’s uranium mining moratorium.  “The Court is of the opinion there is no reversible error in the judgment complained of,” SCOVA ruled. “Accordingly, the Court refuses the petition […]

‘Wildfire year’ meant record days at the highest preparedness level, Forest Service chief says

BY: - September 30, 2021

The U.S. Forest Service spent more consecutive days this summer at the agency’s highest level of preparedness for wildfires than in any previous year, Forest Service Chief Randy Moore told a U.S. House subcommittee Wednesday. Moore’s comments reflected the growing danger from more intense and harder-to -control fires that have swept Western and Midwestern states […]

Mountain Valley Pipeline water permit arguments tread familiar ground

BY: - September 29, 2021

RADFORD — It could have been 2017 or 2021.  For three hours Tuesday night, a crowd of Southwest Virginia residents, pipeline workers and environmental activists batted back and forth the same arguments the State Water Control Board has been hearing for the past four years as the Mountain Valley Pipeline project has ground forward, stalled, […]

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 […]