Landmark coal ash cleanup legislation will eliminate a toxic threat to clean water

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019

Lee Francis | Deputy Director
Virginia League of Conservation Voters
(804) 225-1902 |


RICHMOND – Today, Governor Northam, alongside a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers from both chambers, announced consensus legislation to comprehensively address Virginia’s toxic coal ash problem in a way that protects clean water and minimizes impacts to ratepayers and adjoining communities.

The legislation requires all of the nearly 30 million tons of coal ash stored in the Bay watershed at Dominion Energy power plants to be removed from unlined, leaking ponds and transferred to a modern, lined landfill or recycled – the only approaches guaranteed to safeguard clean water going forward.

In response to today’s announcement, Michael Town, executive director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, offered the following statement:

“This is an important, historic step forward for clean water. One of Virginia’s largest environmental threats will now be addressed in a comprehensive way that gets this toxic waste off our riverbanks once and for all and safeguards public health in the long-term.

Responsible coal ash cleanup has been a top priority of Virginia LCV over the past several years, and we’ve seen steady progress. However, 2019 was the year we needed a final, safe coal ash solution and lawmakers and the Northam Administration delivered.

We are grateful for the Governor’s leadership on this issue as well as the dogged efforts of lawmakers at the General Assembly, including Senators Scott Surovell, Amanda Chase, and Rosalyn Dance, and Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy. We look forward to helping get this consensus legislation across the finish line at the General Assembly and signed into law.”


About us:
The Virginia League of Conservation Voters serves as the political voice of the state’s conservation community, working to make sure Virginia’s elected officials recognize that our natural heritage is an environmental and economic treasure for all. Virginia LCV works with conservation leaders across Virginia and strives for a conservation majority in state government. We secure good public policies on the state level and hold public officials accountable for their positions on environmental issues. For more information, visit