Who’s right in fight over carbon compliance costs?

BY: - April 9, 2019

The House of Delegates, on a party line vote last week, rejected amendments by Gov. Ralph Northam aimed at undoing budget language that would bar Virginia from linking to a network of carbon-trading states, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, without approval from the General Assembly. The outcome leaves the Democratic governor with the option of vetoing […]

Virginia’s barrier islands’ normal resilience to sea-level rise is hurt by climate change, VCU researchers find

BY: - April 9, 2019

A study from the Coastal Plant Ecology Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University found that a naturally occurring process that has made barrier islands resilient to sea-level rise has been affected by climate change and is making the islands more susceptible to the impact of rising water levels. Typically, Virginia’s barrier islands off the coast of […]

Draft bay plan calls for ‘accelerated’ action on cutting pollution

BY: - April 5, 2019

Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration has released a draft of a new Chesapeake Bay restoration plan along with a commitment for Virginia to achieve its pollution reduction goals by 2025. “The commonwealth has made significant progress in reducing pollution, and the bay’s living resources are responding. Cleaner waters are supporting more fish and oysters and underwater […]

Report: Many cattle aren’t fenced out of waterways, increasing pollution in the Shenandoah Valley

BY: - April 4, 2019

After examining Google Earth images of 1,676 livestock farms with rivers or streams in the Shenandoah Valley, two environmental groups determined that 81 percent are failing to fence their cattle out of streams, according to a new report. Allowing cattle to access waterways contributes to high fecal bacteria and pollution not only in local rivers […]


Rappahannock Sierra Club: Support the Spotsylvania solar farm

BY: - April 2, 2019

By Richard Eggeling and Bill Johnson  The Rappahannock Group of the Sierra Club has taken awhile in arriving at our position on sPower’s proposed Spotsylvania solar farm because we wanted to complete our own analysis of the issues. On the one hand, it is critical that we stop spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to […]

Va. pipelines set off ‘an alarm bell’ for skeptical energy regulator

BY: - April 1, 2019

WASHINGTON — Most Americans have no idea who Cheryl LaFleur is. The wonkish attorney, a Massachusetts native and electricity expert, has spent nearly a decade as a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a federal agency that regulates the transmission of oil, electricity and natural gas pipelines, among other responsibilities. It’s not often that […]

‘Prohibition is over;’ Va. farmers see hemp grown for CBD as major cash crop

BY: - March 31, 2019

Virginia farmers haven’t had much to smile about recently. Trade wars sent crop prices plummeting. Dairy farms closed at a rate of more than one a week. The weather has sucked. But legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor last month offers a rare recent win for the industry: It’s now […]


In a last-ditch effort to stop climate regulations, Virginia Republicans try legislating by budget amendment

BY: - March 31, 2019

Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration is finalizing regulations to reduce the carbon pollution from Virginia power plants by 30 percent between 2020 and 2030. The Department of Environmental Quality estimates the move will cost consumers only about a dollar per month while accelerating the transition to clean energy. (Virginia’s State Corporation Commission has a very different […]

Senators decry administration’s ‘lack of urgency’ on toxic chemicals

BY: - March 28, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has failed to act swiftly enough to protect the public from harmful contaminants present in drinking water throughout the country, U.S. senators told senior administration officials Thursday. Democrats and Republicans alike expressed frustration over the federal government’s response to the widespread drinking water contamination by chemicals known as per- and […]

Softer tone emerges in meetings between community, military over munitions plant pollution

BY: - March 28, 2019

CHRISTIANSBURG — Lt. Col. James Scott’s first community meeting as commander of the Radford Army Ammunition Plant two years ago began as a standoff. Armed police officers stood watch around the perimeter of the room. Community members sat in chairs on one side.  Army officials and staffers from BAE Systems, the private contractor that operates the […]


As he talks equity, Gov. Northam continues to ignore Union Hill

BY: - March 28, 2019

In the weeks since Gov. Ralph Northam was condemned for the racist activities he engaged in in the past, I’ve not been happy, nor comfortable. I’ve struggled to find the way to say what I need to say without alienating the people I want to work with. I’ve walked a rhetorical high wire, trying to […]

Governor signs coal ash cleanup bill

BY: - March 22, 2019

By Adrian Teran-Tapia/ Capital News Service Environmental and consumer groups applauded Gov. Ralph Northam after he signed legislation this week that aims to protect water quality by cleaning up more than 27 million cubic yards of coal ash from unlined ponds in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Northam signed into law SB 1355, sponsored by Sen. Frank […]