ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

Virginia farmers get money to help clean up the bay

BY: - January 11, 2019

A Virginia region that is an unlikely but critical partner in the commonwealth’s efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay has been selected as one of the recipients of more than $1.7 million in federal and matching funds: the Shenandoah Valley. Last month, the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced that it would channel […]

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Appalachian Power gets approval to sell 100 percent renewable energy to customers. Hold the champagne.

BY: - January 10, 2019

This week the State Corporation Commission  approved a request from Appalachian Power Company  to offer its more than 500,000 Virginia customers the option of buying electricity entirely from renewable sources. The sources will be primarily wind and hydro, with some solar to be added as it gets built. Participants who opt in will pay a premium […]

NC Policy Watch reposts Indian tribe pipeline story, with an apology

BY: - January 9, 2019

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Mercury published a blog post here on Jan. 9 with a link to a NC Policy Watch story on settlement agreements with American Indian tribes related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. That story was taken down for review by the site’s editors and has now been reposted with a lengthy editor’s note […]

Air board unanimously approves Buckingham compressor permit

BY: - January 8, 2019

The State Air Pollution Control Board unanimously approved a controversial permit that will allow a compressor station in Buckingham County for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  “I support this project without reservation,” said board member William Ferguson, after explaining he thinks the larger pipeline project would benefit Hampton Roads, where he’s from. The board had […]

COMMENTARY
Dominion's power station in Chesterfield in Sept 2017.

LOOKING AHEAD: Coal ash cleanup, another fish fight and a potential mystery package on renewable energy

BY: - January 8, 2019

Last in a series looking ahead to the General Assembly session that starts Wednesday. Expect much of the environmental debate this session, for the third year in a row, to center on Dominion Energy’s plans to close coal ash impoundments containing millions of tons of the potentially toxic by-product of decades of power generation. This […]

Report: In 2018, the Chesapeake Bay ‘suffered a massive assault’

BY: - January 7, 2019

For the first time in 10 years, a biennial report meant to measure the Chesapeake Bay’s recovery shows that its overall health declined last year, receiving a D+ grade compared to a C- in 2016. “The bay suffered a massive assault in 2018,” said William Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, during a press […]

COMMENTARY

How will air board weigh site ‘suitability’ on major compressor station vote?

BY: - January 7, 2019

Is an African-American community in rural Virginia the right place to put a massive compressor station for a natural gas pipeline? This is the question the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board will consider at its meeting Tuesday. The compressor for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is one of only three along the 600-mile planned pipeline route […]

Air board will reconsider Buckingham permit Jan. 8

BY: - December 31, 2018

After a second short public comment period, the state Air Pollution Control Board will again consider a permit to build a natural gas compressor station in Buckingham County that is part of Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The Board will meet Jan. 8 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Richmond-Midlothian at 10 a.m. The meeting will […]

A LOOK BACK: Coal ash, pipelines and renewable energy were dominant environmental issues in 2018

BY: - December 26, 2018

Editor’s note: The Virginia Mercury launched in July to provide a sustained focus on statewide issues that have fallen through the cracks as traditional news outlets shrink. Here’s the first in a holiday-week series looking back on how we’ve spent our time since then.   Natural gas pipelines The year began with Virginia’s most controversial infrastructure […]

Trump’s trade-war bailout is sending $4.4 million worth of pork to Virginia food banks

BY: - December 24, 2018

Tractor trailers loaded with $10 million worth of apples, beans, cheese, potatoes, milk and pork — lots and lots of pork — will begin heading to Virginia food banks next month. The unprecedented bounty, which represents a more than 40 percent increase in donations for some regional food banks, comes courtesy of President Donald Trump’s […]

Public comment period on Buckingham compressor permit will go through holidays

BY: - December 24, 2018

The Department of Environmental Quality will hold a written public comment period for a controversial compressor station permit until Jan. 4. The public can share their thoughts on documents that were submitted to the State Air Pollution Control Board after it first delayed a decision on the permit in November. The permit would allow a […]

COMMENTARY

All I want for Christmas is a 500 megawatt offshore wind farm

BY: - December 24, 2018

Yes, you will say I have expensive taste. But it’s not for me, it’s for the children! Picture their shining faces on Christmas morning when they find Santa has delivered 62 Siemens Gamesa 8-megawatt, pitch-regulated, variable speed offshore wind turbines, sporting a rotor diameter of 167 meters each, to a patch of ocean 27 miles […]