Lawyer up, animals!

BY: - August 22, 2019

By Diane Roberts Remember back when some Americans thought Barack Obama was the antichrist, hell-bent on wrecking everything from the oil industry to Christmas? Good times! Compared to Donald Trump, Obama was an amateur. The haystack-headed Current Occupant is much more convincing as a Destroyer of Worlds, as is his minion David Bernhardt, secretary of the […]


On climate change, we’re all in this together

BY: - August 21, 2019

Chances are, the people you know who call themselves environmentalists also celebrate racial diversity and think the U.S. should welcome immigrants and refugees. What, then, are we to make of white nationalists who invoke environmental concerns to justify acts of violence against immigrants? Recent news articles tell us the suspect in the El Paso massacre […]

‘Farmer’ Northam says Trump’s trade war has cut profits for growers

BY: - August 20, 2019

President Donald Trump’s trade war with China threatens profits for Virginia’s soybean farmers, a group that includes Gov. Ralph Northam, he said during a financial update to lawmakers. Northam, speaking at a presentation to the Joint Money Committee, owns and leases about 50 acres of farm land on the Eastern Shore. “I’m a farmer,” said […]

In effort to ‘modernize’ agency, DEQ is hampered by lack of funding, outdated laws, report finds

BY: - August 19, 2019

Even as the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s scope of work has broadened to include such critical concerns as climate change and environmental justice, the agency has seen its funding cut and its programs hamstrung by outdated state regulations, a report by the Office of the Secretary of Natural Resources says. According to DEQ Director […]

Franklin International Paper mill

In James City County, a water crisis by 2.83 million (gallon) cuts 

BY: - August 18, 2019

JAMES CITY COUNTY — From Sandy Bay Bridge, a stone’s throw from Jamestown, an eye cast in any direction lands inevitably upon water. During the summer in this part of James City County, where the county seal shows three sails floating atop a blue wave, the Jamestown-Scotland ferry crosses the James River 86 times a […]

Wet weather prevented thousands of acres of crops from being planted last year in Virginia

BY: - August 15, 2019

Virginia’s amber waves of grain are short 40,000 acres this year thanks to an unusually wet past year. Compared to a record 19.4 million acres of land nationwide that couldn’t be planted due to weather or natural disaster, that’s a drop in the bucket. But it’s also about eight times higher than the 5,500 acres […]

Mountain Valley Pipeline voluntarily suspends construction that could harm endangered species

BY: - August 15, 2019

Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC has voluntarily suspended all construction activities that could negatively impact four endangered or threatened species, according to a letter the company submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Thursday. The developer of the controversial pipeline through West Virginia and Virginia wrote that it had […]

Virginia joins coalition suing Trump administration over Clean Power Plan replacement

BY: - August 13, 2019

Virginia joined 21 other states, the District of Columbia and six major metro areas on Tuesday in suing the Trump administration over its “unlawful” repeal of the Clean Power Plan. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that the Obama-era plan’s replacement, the Affordable Clean Energy rule, violates […]

The upper reaches of Lake Anna have been hit by algae blooms that can cause illness, prompting state officials to warn visitors against swimming and wading. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Cyanobacteria blooms can be fatal for pets

BY: - August 13, 2019

Late summer is the “bloom” time for harmful cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, and some of Virginia’s ponds and streams are under advisories, the state Department of Health says. From the Flannagan Reservoir in Dickenson County to parts of Lake Anna, you check where advisories have been posted here. “Be aware of algae blooms […]

Northern Virginia continues to dominate advanced energy jobs, report shows

BY: - August 8, 2019

Advanced energy jobs continue to be largely clustered in major metro areas in eastern Virginia, a report released this week by a national energy industry business group shows. According to data from Advanced Energy Economy, the largest number of advanced energy jobs in Virginia are found in Fairfax County, the state’s largest locality. Fairfax, population […]

‘The pig bomb’: Feral hogs make a great meme, but they are a serious pest in Virginia

BY: - August 7, 2019

The frequently asked questions page on the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ website says it best. “Feral hogs are four-legged ecological disasters.” Earlier this week the “30-50 feral hogs” meme swarmed the internet, an unexpected by-product of the nationwide gun debate. But in many parts of the country, including Virginia, feral hogs have […]

Despite legislative blocks, one form of carbon cap-and-trade is alive and well in Virginia

BY: - August 7, 2019

Carbon cap-and-trade ended with a whimper in Richmond this past spring when Republican budget additions blocked the state from participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Gov. Ralph Northam declined to issue a veto. But in southwestern Virginia, it’s business as usual. In the Appalachian Mountains that surround the Clinch River Valley, vast forests […]