Dominion Energy Outlines Plans to Remove and Recycle Coal Ash

Dec 2, 2019

 

Power lines tower over a coal ash pond from an abandoned coal fired power plant in Chesapeake.
Credit Steve Helber/AP Photo

Dominion Energy is coming up with plans to remove and recycle coal ash from four sites around the state. Lawmakers got their first update on the new legislative mandate. 

 

Coal ash is the toxic residue created by coal-burning power plants, and it’s sitting in ponds at four sites around the state. A new law requires Dominion remove the ash, recycle much of it, or build new modern landfills for it on-site. 

According to a presentation given to the state water commission Monday, Dominion is considering a landfill at Bremo Power Plant, in Central Virginia. The company hasn’t made any decision yet about Possum Point, in Northern Virginia. 

At the sites in Chesterfield County and in Chesapeake Dominion is beginning the search for companies that can recycle much of the ash -- into things like cinderblocks or cement. 

“We have cooperated with a few (companies), and given them coal ash samples, especially if they want to run studies and things like that,” Dominion’s Mark Mitchell told lawmakers. “I think the number that have contacted us is 36 companies.”

The state has given Dominion 15 years to deal with the problem. Mitchell said that timeline “looks doable.” 

Mitchell also told lawmakers Monday that the cost of the project could be anywhere from $2.5 billion to upwards of $5 billion. The law allows Dominion to charge the cost of the clean-up to ratepayers. 

  This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.