After Dominion’s big overhaul, how much oversight do regulators retain over utility spending?

BY: - September 24, 2018

It’s no secret that the State Corporation Commission didn’t like this year’s big energy bill, the Grid Transformation and Security Act. SCC staff testified against SB 966 in committee, and their objections played a major role in amendments removing the “double dip” provision that would have let Dominion Energy Virginia get paid twice for infrastructure […]

Northam appoints first cabinet member to focus on coastal protection

BY: - September 22, 2018

A retired Navy admiral will serve as the state’s first special assistant to the governor for coastal adaptation and protection. Ann C. Phillips of Norfolk is tasked with finding a way to address the effects of sea-level rise and land subsidence along Virginia’s coast across state departments. Lawmakers in the eastern part of the state […]


Are state utility regulators at last ready to embrace customer-owned solar?

BY: - September 20, 2018

Almost four years ago, Virginia’s State Corporation Commission approved a request from Appalachian Power to impose “standby charges” on grid-connected homeowners who installed solar arrays between 10 and 20 kilowatts. The approval came not long after the SCC had given the same authority to Dominion Power (now Dominion Energy Virginia). The standby charges, dubbed a […]

Environmental groups sue over ‘rushed permits’ that allowed Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction to resume

BY: - September 19, 2018

The Southern Environmental Law Center filed the suit on behalf of the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Virginia Wilderness Committee. Construction of the 600-mile pipeline ground to a halt the beginning of August when the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled permits issued by the National Park Service allowing the pipeline to […]

New report says Virginia could be a leader in coming offshore wind boom

BY: - September 19, 2018

A new report says Virginia’s port infrastructure, experienced maritime workforce and geographical advantages make it an ideal candidate for becoming a hub for the East Coast offshore wind supply chain. The report, by BVG Associates and commissioned by Virginia’s Sierra Club chapter, says the window for action won’t be open forever, however. “A number of […]

FERC allows construction to resume on Atlantic Coast Pipeline

BY: - September 17, 2018

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave permission Monday for construction to resume on the Dominion Energy-led Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Work on the 600-mile natural gas pipeline, which is planned to run though West Virginia, Virginia and eastern North Carolina, had been halted after a pair of decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the […]

Dominion’s community solar program approved by Virginia regulators

BY: - September 14, 2018

The State Corporation Commission has approved Dominion Energy Virginia’s so-called community solar pilot program, under which the utility will offer its residential and commercial customers the output of solar farms to be built by independent solar developers here in Virginia. Customers will have the option to meet either all or part of their entire electric […]

Dominion's power station in Chesterfield in Sept 2017.

Appeals court overturns ruling, sides with Dominion over coal ash ponds

BY: - September 13, 2018

A federal appeals court sided with Dominion Energy over environmental groups Wednesday, reversing a lower court’s decision that arsenic seeping into the Elizabeth River from the company’s coal ash ponds in Chesapeake is a violation of the Clean Water Act. The Chesapeake Energy Center operated from 1953 to 2014, creating about 3.4 million tons of […]

Gov. Ralph Northam

Northam administration says it will move to regulate methane leaks, unveils other new climate initiatives

BY: - September 12, 2018

Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration announced Wednesday that it would seek to regulate methane emissions from natural gas infrastructure and join a regional group of northeastern and mid-Atlantic states to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles as well as an alliance to fight ocean acidification. “More than one third of all carbon pollution comes from transportation,” Northam’s […]

‘As if we don’t exist:’ Opponents call on air board to reject pipeline compressor station permit

BY: - September 12, 2018

BUCKINGHAM — Scores of people came out Tuesday night against a proposed compressor station in rural Buckingham County for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The public hearing, held by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, was intended to solicit input on a draft air quality permit to construct and operate a 54,000-horsepower natural gas compressor […]


Hey environmentalists, maybe he’s just not that into you

BY: - September 11, 2018

Two weeks ago, Gov. Ralph Northam’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice sent him the final version of a letter long in the works — the latest in a lengthy series of attempts to push Northam’s administration somewhere it steadfastly refuses to go. The council had telegraphed its recommendations months ago on the ultra contentious Atlantic […]

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)

What’s causing toxic algae blooms in Lake Anna?

BY: - September 10, 2018

For swimmers at Lake Anna, summer ended early this year. The lake, located about an hour northwest of Richmond, has been home to algae blooms that can cause rashes and gastrointestinal illness, particularly in the northern Pamunkey and North Anna branches in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties. A bloom was also identified farther south, at […]