Environmental group fights coal ash drainage ruling

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- A local environmental group is fighting Dominion Virginia Power's plans to drain water from coal ash ponds into Virginia rivers.

The Southern Environmental Law Center wants the state to reconsider its decision to allow Dominion to put the treated water into Virginia rivers.

SELC announced it is appealing the ruling about the Potomac River and representatives say they are planning to appeal the decision to drain water into the James River as well.

That would happen from the Bremo Power Station in Fluvanna County. Environmental groups say the water pulled from the coal ash ponds will pollute the river and the state's standard is not strict enough.

However, Dominion says it is mandated to empty the coal ash ponds. Environmental groups have a few other suggestions for what Dominion could do with the coal ash.

"So what needs to happen is that we take this coal ash that is sitting in unlined pits and leaching pollution into our ground water and our rivers and our streams and take that coal ash and put it in dry line storage," said Brad McLane, SELC senior attorney.

The SELC says it doesn't have a problem with Dominion's methods at Bremo, but representatives are worried the state does not have strict enough standards.

Dominion representatives say they feel the standards are adequate, but that they strive Dominion to exceed the standards nonetheless.

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