This article by Steve Szkotak at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a great summary on the continuing discourse between Virginia Dominion Power, planning to release coal ash waste into the Potomac and James River from two of their facilities, and environmentalists concerned with water quality at these two locations.
To review, two Dominion Power facilities, one in Fluvanna County, and one in Prince William County, recently gained permit approval from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to release coal ash wastewater into neighboring bodies of water. These two facilities have stopped burning coal for energy, but have millions of gallons of coal ash left over from previous operations. Dominion Power wants to release this waste into the James River, (from the Fluvanna County facility), and Quantico Creek, which flows into the Potomac River (from the Prince William County facility).
Dominion Power claims release will be slow, and in volumes the watersheds can manage. Environmentalists, however, are concerned over wastewater discharge loads, and the impacts this wastewater will have on the local creeks and rivers. The health of the greater Chesapeake Bay watershed and its species are also a concern.