ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

Nonprofit says federal program could be hurting endangered Atlantic sturgeon in James River

BY: - August 2, 2021

A national environmental nonprofit is threatening to sue the federal government over its failure to examine how a program that encourages the use of waterways for shipping affects endangered species, including Atlantic sturgeon in Virginia’s James River.  Increased vessel traffic on major U.S. rivers and coasts resulting from the America’s Marine Highway Program run by […]

Coal fuels less and less Virginia electricity. But when should utilities pull the plug on plants?

BY: - July 30, 2021

When Dominion Energy broke ground in 2008 on the largely coal-fired Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, then-Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling called it “the largest economic development project in the history of Southwest Virginia.”  Today, the facility, the last coal plant to be built in Virginia, remains a local economic force, tipping more than $8.9 million […]

COMMENTARY

Infrastructure investments can help the environment, improve health and create jobs

BY: - July 30, 2021

By Peggy Sanner The August special legislative session brings Virginia the greatest opportunity in years to invest in infrastructure that will restore the environment, improve public health and create green jobs. Legislators will determine how Virginia will use approximately $4.3 billion in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan. Conservation groups across the commonwealth urge […]

COMMENTARY

Pipeline’s carbon offsets don’t come close to adding up

BY: - July 28, 2021

By William Limpert The Mountain Valley Pipeline continues to try to divert attention from the destructive effects of its project. In a July 12 news release, MVP announced that it would purchase more than $150 million in carbon offsets to make MVP operational emissions carbon neutral for the first 10 years of operation through a […]

Federal review recommends leaving cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline pipe, felled trees in place

BY: - July 27, 2021

A federal review of a plan to restore land disturbed by construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline prior to its cancellation in July 2020 recommends that some 31 miles of installed pipeline and 83 miles of trees felled for the project be left in place to minimize further disturbance to wildlife and vegetation.  “Overall, we […]

Mosquitoes are adept at adaptation. Va. Tech scientists want to know how they do it.

BY: - July 26, 2021

Wherever you go in Virginia in summertime, there they are.  Mosquitoes are the nearly constant companion of every Virginian from late spring into the fall, breeding in pools of water and lying in wait for any chance at human blood. And some researchers say they may soon become even more omnipresent as climate change gives […]

Canadian and western wildfires bring hazardous smoke to Virginia

BY: - July 21, 2021

Massive wildfires near the Ontario-Minnesota border as well as blazes farther west in Canada and the United States are bringing smoke throughout Virginia, causing state officials to issue a health alert Wednesday morning due to high levels of particulate matter.  “It’s basically all over the state at this point,” said Virginia Department of Environmental Quality […]

Some water systems push back on treatment costs for ‘forever chemicals’ regulation

BY: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — Local water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, and Fred Upton, a […]

COMMENTARY

 For Virginia, climate action is a matter of faith

BY: - July 20, 2021

By Karen McElfish This past year has challenged Virginia in unforeseeable ways. Our faith communities have been tested by not one, but four converging crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic recession, racial inequalities and the climate crisis. As the nation hoped and prayed for a better future, it was the wisdom and guidance of our […]

COMMENTARY
living shoreline

As coastal flooding worsens, some cities are retreating from the water

BY: - July 19, 2021

By A.R. Siders, University of Delaware and Katharine Mach, University of Miami When the tide gets exceptionally high in Charleston, South Carolina, coastal streets start to run with seawater. Some yards become ponds, and residents pull on rain boots. The city also gets a lot of rain. After homes in one low-lying neighborhood flooded three times […]

Court rejects challenge to Virginia’s carbon rule

BY: - July 16, 2021

Richmond’s circuit court has a rejected a challenge filed by a group representing Virginia manufacturers who sought to thwart the state’s entry into a regional carbon-trading network. The Virginia Manufacturers Association alleged the state Department of Environmental Quality had violated the state Administrative Process Act when it revised regulations that brought Virginia into the Regional […]

U.S. House to vote next week on expanding PFAS regulation, backers say

BY: - July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress and Biden administration officials at a conference on Wednesday outlined how they’re attempting to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water—including an upcoming vote in the U.S. House. EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a former top environmental official in North Carolina, said the agency is currently in the process of regulating […]