ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

COMMENTARY

‘If I were Dominion I’d be panicked:’ Federal court vacates another Atlantic Coast Pipeline permit

BY: - December 13, 2018

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, vacated another permit for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline Thursday, this time concluding that the U.S. Forest Service lacked the authority to allow the pipeline across the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, among other findings. An environmental attorney who worked on the case says […]

COMMENTARY

Former water board member: Lawsuit over pipeline violations is also an indictment of DEQ’s regulatory approach

BY: - December 13, 2018

After months of citizen complaints about deleterious impacts to waters of the commonwealth from Mountain Valley Pipeline construction, many cheered when Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that an enforcement action had been filed last week. Upon closer inspection, however, the complaint filed by Herring is as much a critique of Department of Environmental Quality […]

COMMENTARY

Environmental groups find something to cheer about from the Northam adminstration

BY: - December 13, 2018

For much of his first year in office, Gov. Ralph Northam has gotten himself crosswise with the environmental groups that were big backers of his 2017 campaign. The relationship has steadily devolved — from the reappointment of Department of Environmental Quality Director David Paylor in the spring to the governor’s steadfast determination to do as […]

Proposed rollback of federal water protection rules would leave wetlands along Chesapeake Bay at risk, report says

BY: - December 12, 2018

President Donald Trump’s administration’s proposed rollbacks to federal clean water regulations would strip some wetlands, as well as headwater streams, in Virginia of federal protections and leave them vulnerable to pollution and real estate development, a report says. The new rules would redefine which “waters of the U.S.” are protected under the Clean Water Act […]

Groups sue over seismic testing decision that could pave the way for Atlantic oil drilling

BY: - December 11, 2018

A coalition of environmental groups sued the federal government today over its decision late last month to permit seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean, a potential precursor to oil drilling. “This extremely loud and dangerous process, which is used to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean’s surface, is the first step […]

Compressor station permit meeting postponed

BY: - December 10, 2018

Today’s much-anticipated meeting of the State Air Pollution Control Board, which saw two members replaced by Gov. Ralph Northam as it weighed a crucial permit for a compressor station that is part of Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline, has been postponed because of the snow. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality says the meeting will […]

Omega Protein is up for a sustainable fishing certification, but an environmental group is not having it

BY: - December 10, 2018

Virginia’s most politically contentious fishery — Omega Protein’s Reedville menhaden reduction operation — is up for a Marine Stewardship Council certification, which recognizes sustainable fishing practices, but an environmental group argues that the recommendation is misplaced. Omega Protein harvests thousands of tons a year of menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay, turning them into oil and […]

Pipeline problems: State sues over MVP environmental violations and another permit vacated for ACP, which suspends construction

BY: - December 7, 2018

Two contentious Virginia pipeline projects hit more snags Friday, with Dominion Energy voluntarily agreeing to stop construction on its Atlantic Coast Pipeline after another permit was vacated and the separate Mountain Valley Pipeline smacked with a state lawsuit over environmental violations. Attorney General Mark Herring and the Department of Environmental Quality filed a lawsuit in […]

COMMENTARY
Dominion Energy's downtown Richmond building. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

For the first time, regulators reject Dominion Energy planning document, invite utility to refile

BY: - December 7, 2018

The State Corporation Commission, which regulates Virginia utilities, has shot down for the first time ever a long-range plan filed yearly by Dominion Energy and intended to outline how the company will meet its electric service obligations. “The commission finds, based on the record of this proceeding and applicable statutes, that the company has failed […]

COMMENTARY

It’s time for the General Assembly to side with customers, not utilities, on solar

BY: - December 7, 2018

Last year, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation giving utilities the green light to develop 5,000 megawatts of wind and solar energy. This marks a milestone for Virginia, offering the possibility for an amount of solar equal in output to Dominion Energy’s newest gas-fired power plant in Greensville. Dominion projects the 1,588 megawatt Greensville plant […]

Environmental group receives $1 million to reduce stormwater pollution in Richmond’s waters

BY: - December 6, 2018

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay in Richmond received a $1 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to speed up a plan meant to reduce stormwater pollution in Richmond’s waterways and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay. The grant funds the Green Infrastructure Master Plan, which focuses “on identifying green infrastructure projects on public […]

COMMENTARY
Gov. Ralph Northam

Northam’s struggle to explain air board move suggests it’s exactly what it appears to be

BY: - December 5, 2018

Can Gov. Ralph Northam’s decision to yank two members off the State Air Pollution Control Board as it weighs a permit for the compressor station Dominion Energy plans for Buckingham County be seen as anything other than what it appears to be: a clumsy attempt to tip the scale for the influential utility? In the […]