RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A federal judge has found Virginia’s largest utility violated the Clean Water Act because arsenic is flowing from a coal ash storage site in Chesapeake, polluting ground and surface water.U.S. District Judge John Gibney Jr. issued the ruling yesterday in a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club against Dominion Virginia Power. But the judge also found that the arsenic discharge poses no health or environmental threat. He didn’t order the ash removed to a lined landfill, as the Sierra Club wanted.Instead, Dominion must conduct testing and the two sides must submit a remediation plan.Dominion says it’s pleased the court found no threat resulting from the ash at the former Chesapeake Energy Center.An attorney representing the Sierra Club expressed disappointment the court didn’t order a “full cleanup.”
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) – Virginia’s governor has pledged to protect drivers from skyrocketing toll debts owed to a private company.Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in Portsmouth yesterday that a proposed budget amendment would cap debt at $2,200 for first-time offenders. Some drivers currently owe as much as $18,000 for crossing the Elizabeth River.The plan would essentially close a loophole. Currently, the Macquarie-Skanska partnership can charge unlimited fees to violators while the DMV withholds their registration. The proposal would require the firm to offer a settlement capped at $2,200 before the DMV can take action.McAuliffe said the skyrocketing debts stem from bad deal struck in 2012 under the previous administration. It was between the state and private firms Skanska and the Macquarie Group, which built and financed crossings of the Elizabeth River.