ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a ‘Product of USA’

BY: - July 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “The EO directs […]

Researchers eye coal ash as a possible source of critical minerals — and Southwest Virginia jobs

BY: - July 7, 2021

Coal as a source of power generation may be headed toward the dust heap of history, but its ashes are destined to be considerably longer-lived — and, some hope, could become a building block of tomorrow’s electricity and many other crucial products.  The byproducts of burning coal for electricity are a widely recognized environmental liability. […]

COMMENTARY

Hampton Roads is on its way to becoming a wind capital

BY: - July 7, 2021

By Katharine Kollins  In the year since the enactment of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, Virginia has been on its way to achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, aided by a planned 5,200 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. As a testament to VCEA’s success, Virginia has become one of the national leaders in […]

Army Corps of Engineers issues wetlands permit for massive Wegmans distribution center

BY: - July 6, 2021

The Army Corps of Engineers has signed off on the construction of a massive Wegmans distribution facility on a site containing protected wetlands in Hanover County, angering residents who have been fighting the project for several years. Neighbors took particular umbrage at the corps’ decision late last month to issue the wetlands permit at the […]

Air Board pushes decision on Lambert compressor station permit to September following complaints

BY: - July 3, 2021

The State Air Pollution Control Board has deferred consideration of a permit for a controversial compressor station in Pittsylvania County to September following complaints about the scheduling of a midday, midweek meeting in Richmond to consider the issue. “This provides the board with additional time to ensure a thorough review and full consideration of the […]

COMMENTARY

Mountain Valley Pipeline follows familiar playbook: Push pollution into poor and minority communities

BY: - July 2, 2021

By Elizabeth Jones and Queen Shabazz As we prepare to give much-needed attention to our national infrastructure and align federal energy policy with the escalating climate crisis, we should remember former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas’s observation that infrastructure projects seem always to cut “through the poor area of town, not through the area […]

Potomac River Generating Station/Mirant power plant

Judge weighs manufacturers’ lawsuit to overturn Virginia carbon market regulation

BY: - July 1, 2021

Despite Virginia’s participation in two carbon auctions netting the state almost $90 million, Virginia manufacturers are continuing to fight an environmental regulation outlining the carbon-trading program.  “This rule has been transformed completely, with a much higher price tag,” said Elizabeth Williamson, an attorney with Williams Mullen representing the Virginia Manufacturers Association, at a hearing before […]

Ban on pet box turtles takes effect in Virginia

BY: - July 1, 2021

Generations of Virginians have taken box turtles from forests and yards to keep as pets. As of today, that’s illegal. Experts say the docile, colorful turtles are in decline, and new state regulations taking effect ban turning them into pets. The rules also impose tough restrictions on keeping common native reptiles and amphibians such as […]

Water board approves guard rails on coastal fill with new climate change regulations

BY: - June 30, 2021

After major changes to an earlier proposal that sparked concern from environmental groups about the use of fill by coastal landowners facing sea level rise, the State Water Control Board approved new regulations incorporating climate change into the long-standing Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act. “I have heard words like ‘effective compromise,’ ‘proper balance’ and ‘substance,’” said […]

Unlike some hunting dogs, ‘right to retrieve’ debate keeps on coming back 

BY: - June 29, 2021

A unique Virginia law dating to 1938 that allows hunters to go on other landowners’ property without permission to retrieve hunting dogs continues to raise hackles throughout the eastern part of the state and could be put in jeopardy by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.  “Right to retrieve” has been causing strife for more […]

The smooth coneflower makes a comeback

BY: - June 23, 2021

The smooth coneflower, a droopy, lavender-pink flower whose petals fall away from its head like a skimpy skirt, has a tendency to look like it’s on death’s doorstep.  For years that wasn’t far from the truth: In 1992, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found only 21 populations of the flower (Echinacea laevigata) still existed […]

Virginia’s oyster industry squeaks through the pandemic

BY: - June 23, 2021

Don’t break out the champagne to go with those oysters — at least not just yet.  Virginia’s oyster industry, the largest on the East Coast, has survived the pandemic, but growers and producers throughout the commonwealth’s eight oyster regions are still facing a long road to recovery, industry representatives said.  After decades of overharvesting throughout […]