Virginia Has 11 Coal Ash Ponds Along Rivers - WSET.com - ABC13

Virginia Has 11 Coal Ash Ponds Along Rivers

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Danville, VA - North Carolina is notthe only state with unlined coal ash ponds. Virginia has 11 of them right nextto several bodies of water. The Virginia Department of Environmental Qualitypointed that out in Tuesday night's public meeting with city council.

The recent spill started from anunlined coal ash pond that had a pipe underneath it. The pipe opened up andcoal ash leaked directly into the Dan River.

"The question comes, could thishappen in Virginia?" said David Paylor, DEQ Director.

Paylor addressed concerns aboutanother possible coal ash leak into our waterways. He said in Virginia 11 coalash ponds sit next to bodies of water. Dominion Power owns seven of those pondsand AEP has four.

"We maintain those things intop shape," said Dan Genest, Spokesperson for Dominion Power.

Genest said they only have plansright now to close one of the ponds at the Chesapeake Bay location. He addedthat four of their seven locations currently receive additional ash deposits.

When asked directly if they couldguarantee there will not be a leak into the waterways, all he said was, "Thesestations are maintained in top condition, they are inspected by the state, theyare inspected by us."

As for AEP, they said one of theirfour ponds has already been shut down. They plan to be in the process ofclosing the others by 2017.

They both said regular inspectionsoccur within the company and with state agencies. Paylor said they are all incompliance with regulations and the Clean Water Act.

"It would require some actualpollution for there to be a violation," said Paylor.

However, he said last fall theDEQ sent letters to both companies, citing 'deficiencies'.

"Those deficiencies have beenaddressed," said Paylor.

Of the seven Dominion Power coal ashponds, four are along the James River. However, Lynchburg is upstream fromthose locations.

Dominion Power said none of theirash ponds have any pipes under them. AEP says one of their ponds has a drainagepipe under it.

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