Monday, August 25, 2014

Tell Governor McAuliffe: No fracking, Keep the Ban, Curb Climate Change, No gas/tar sands pile lines



Tell Governor McAuliffe to Help Curb Climate Change

Governor McAuliffe has a critical choice to make right now: support the EPA's crackdown on carbon pollution from power plants, or let corporate polluters sacrifice our future.
Which would you prefer? Tell Governor McAuliffe to protect the people of Virginia, not polluters—send a message now:

Governor McAuliffe is essential to making sure the EPA’s historic new limits on dangerous carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants are a success. But Big Coal will stop at nothing to kill these protections before they can ever be implemented.

Stand up to Big Coal and add your voice in support of limiting carbon pollution.

This action is for Virginia residents only. Please do not attempt to take action without a Virginia mailing address.
KM comments:  Will exploratory permitting for fracking be as NON-TRANSPARENT as uranium exploration? 
2 Virginia agencies to coordinate fracking reviews
The Associated Press
August 13, 2014
Two state agencies will coordinate their reviews of potential permits for hydraulic fracking for natural gas in Virginia's coastal plain.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday that the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Department of Environmental Quality have signed a Memorandum of Agreement.
McAuliffe said the move will help ensure the state focuses on protecting the Potomac Aquifer, which supplies about half of Virginia's water.
There's an estimated 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Taylorsville Basin. A Dallas energy company plans to drill in tens of thousands of leased acres south and east of Fredericksburg.
Some local officials have expressed concerns about some of the chemicals used in fracking being injected into an area near the Chesapeake Bay.
Commonwealth of Virginia Office of Governor Terry McAuliffe
For Immediate Release
August 13, 2014
Office of the Governor
Contact: Brian Coy
Virginia Agencies to Coordinate Review of Potential Permits for Oil and Gas Drilling
RICHMOND, VA. – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that two Virginia agencies have signed an agreement on coordinating environmental reviews of potential permits for oil and gas drilling in the Coastal Plain that includes Tidewater.
The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy regulates oil and gas drilling, and the Department of Environmental Quality ensures the protection of people’s health and the environment. The agencies have committed to ensuring a transparent process that includes a thorough environmental impact review and incorporates public comment.
“This agreement recognizes the unique environmental challenges of oil and natural gas development in the Coastal Plain,” Governor McAuliffe said. “As Virginia continues to seek development of energy resources, we also are focusing on protection of our water and other resources.”
The agreement will help the agencies and the public address the distinctiveness and complexity of the Coastal Plain aquifer system, including the Potomac Aquifer, which supplies water for about half of Virginia’s population for drinking, agricultural use and industrial use.
DEQ and DMME will communicate closely on activities related to permit applications, environmental impact assessments, and involvement by local governments and the public. The agencies also will develop a process for addressing the potential cumulative environmental impacts from multiple permits for oil or gas drilling.
“This Memorandum of Agreement is a crucial step forward in our efforts to protect the Potomac Aquifer and ensure we are responsible stewards of the Northern Neck’s natural resources,” said Senator Richard Stuart.  “I am grateful for the leadership Governor McAuliffe has shown on this important issue.”
To read the entire Memorandum of Agreement visit
 Natural gas pipeline plan riles Floyd County
Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 11:30 pm

By Duncan

Longtime Floyd County resident Mara Robbins said routing an interstate natural gas pipeline though the bucolic rural county would be akin to running an open sewer through a cathedral.
  Fred First likened the growing opposition among county residents to the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline project to the reaction of the human body’s immune system to a potential pathogen.
  Robbins, First and others involved with the freshly minted Citizens Preserving Floyd County have raised concerns about the pipeline’s potential impacts on, among other things, groundwater, safety, aesthetics, agriculture, tourism and property values.

The group is hosting a public meeting today at the Floyd EcoVillage to share information gleaned to date about the pipeline. The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

On Tuesday morning, Jane Cundiff, who said her husband’s roots in the mountainous region date to the 1700s, told Floyd County’s board of supervisors that the companies backing the pipeline want to “plow a deep wound right across our property.”
Case Clinger, chairman of the board of supervisors, said local government has not been contacted by the pipeline companies and intends to remedy that situation. The board asked county staff to draft a resolution requesting that route surveying cease until a public meeting can be arranged with the pipeline companies.
In June, EQT Corp., based in Pennsylvania, and Florida-based NextEra Energy announced plans to assess building a 330-mile, high-pressure natural gas pipeline from a site in West Virginia to a delivery point in Pittsylvania County.
As envisioned, the pipeline, which would convey natural gas extracted through fracking in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in the Appalachian Basin, would pass through Giles, Pulaski, Montgomery, Floyd, Franklin and Henry counties before ending in Pittsylvania County.
EQT and NextEra have said the pipeline will help meet growing demand in the Southeast for natural gas, especially as electric utilities abandon coal as a fuel source for power generation.
Recently, residents of Floyd County whose properties are apparently within a possible route for the buried pipeline received a letter advising them of the need to survey their land. The letter, which included the logos of EQT and NextEra Energy, was signed by Phil Novak of Coates Field Service, a right-of-way acquisition company based in Oklahoma.The letter informed recipients that “as a local property owner, you have been identified as having property that is located within the proposed survey corridor.”
Jane and Ken Cundiff, both teachers who are semiretired, own and live on about 77 acres near the intersection of New Haven and Shooting Creek roads. Jane Cundiff said the proposed pipeline could damage mountain wetlands on the couple’s property that are key throughout the region to groundwater quality, wildlife and biodiversity.
Cundiff told supervisors that the pipeline threatens the quality of life long cherished by residents of Floyd County.
Nick Piazza, also a landowner in the Shooting Creek Road area, said the pipeline companies’ lack of communication with people in Floyd County at this early stage does not bode well. Piazza, a psychologist, elicited laughter Tuesday with a related observation.
“You’ll never be treated better than you are at the start of a relationship,” he said.
Rick Huff, county administrator in Franklin County, said Tuesday that local officials have heard from some landowners who have also received survey-related letters but have not had direct contact with the pipeline companies. He said the county has requested a meeting.
David Roper, a retired physics professor in Blacksburg who once taught at Virginia Tech, has long been interested in energy sustainability. He said Monday that he questions the wisdom of building a pipeline dedicated to a fossil fuel whose extraction through fracking could soon peak and then decline.
“Fracking” is a slang term for hydraulic fracturing, a controversial procedure that involves injecting fluid at high pressure into cracks in rocks and rock formations to force them open further to facilitate the extraction of gas or oil.
Elizabeth McCommon of Blacksburg, who has been involved in efforts in years past to block a dam on the New River and transmission power lines, said the new emphasis on natural gas extraction and related power generation is shortsighted.
“We’re not looking forward,” she said. “I guess it’s naive to think we really could.”
The proposed pipeline would have to be sanctioned by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is charged by Congress with evaluating the need for interstate natural gas pipelines proposed by private companies.
A FERC brochure advises landowners that if a pipeline is approved and they fail to reach an easement agreement with the companies involved, a decision about access to and compensation for the use of the landowner’s property will be determined by a court.
Dominion Transmission, a subsidiary of Dominion Resources, is considering building a similar pipeline that would route through central Virginia. Dominion held a public meeting Tuesday in Nelson County to talk about its plans after being pressured for more information by the county’s board of supervisors.
Robbins said utility companies seeking easements sometimes try to pit neighbor against neighbor. She said she hopes people and local officials in Floyd County will work together to block the pipeline and she congratulated supervisors on their responsiveness to date to residents’ concerns.
On Tuesday, county resident Diane Giessler told supervisors that the pipeline could undermine efforts to attract tourism, cause drops in property values and lead to other problems without offering anything in return.
“I haven’t heard of one positive thing this pipeline will do for this county,” Giessler said.
Robbins acknowledged that all efforts to block the pipeline’s passage through Floyd County might fail. But she said vigilant monitoring of the review process, pipeline routing, construction and maintenance could yield a safer, less environmentally destructive pipeline.
First said Floyd County’s history and identity have long valued natural beauty, agriculture and a sense of well-being tied to rural living.
“Other communities have given all of that away,” he said.


Daily Progress

Concerned Augusta County citizens jammed the county government center Wednesday night to learn about a proposed natural gas pipeline that would be routed through more than 40 miles of the county. Dominion Resources offered information Wednesday. The company has not made a final decision on the 550-mile route of the Southeast Reliability Project, but expects to decide in the next 60 days.

N.C. agency issues directive to clean up coal ash

The Associated Press
August 14, 2014
North Carolina's environmental agency is asking Duke Energy to submit plans for moving coal ash from four of its waste pits.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources also issued Duke a directive Wednesday to increase drinking water testing at the company's ash dumps. Duke has 14 plants with 33 unlined ash pits.
It's part of an executive order Gov. Pat McCrory issued after lawmakers adjourned without agreement on a proposed plan requiring the company to dig up or cap its 33 pits. But environmental groups said the legislation would have done little to stop Duke's ash pits from leaking toxic waste into the state waterways.
The governor's order gives Duke until Nov. 15 to submit plans for excavating ash from the company's Asheville, Riverbend, Dan River and Sutton plants.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Coal Ash Stories

Damage from Dan River spill still unfolding

More than two weeks after a massive leak of coal ash from a Duke Energy power plant poured into a river along the North Carolina-Virginia border, the full extent of damage to the environment is still unfolding.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 7:53 PM

  • News

    Communities along Dan River demand quick cleanup

    Communities along the Dan River on the North Carolina-Virginia border north of the Triangle are calling on Duke Energy to immediately employ a fleet of vacuum dredgers to clear the waterway of coal ash.
    Friday, April 11, 2014 at 4:52 PM
  • News

    DENR sampling fish from Dan River spill

    North Carolina's Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Monday began collecting fish in the Dan River to determine if they are safe to eat following the Feb. 2 spill of up to 39,000 tons of coal ash.
    Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:26 PM
  • Videos

    Dan River landowners worry about effects of coal ash spill

    Therit Winstead talks on the banks of the Dan River on land Winstead has owned for decades in Danville, Virginia. Winstead and his neighbors are worried about the long-term, unseen effects of the coal ash spill 20 miles upstream. Video by Craig J...
    Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 3:36 PM
    Dan River landowners worry about effects of coal ash spill
  • News

    Duke Energy finishes ash cleanup in Dan River

    Duke Energy says it has finished a cleanup of 2,500 tons of coal ash and sediment from the Dan River in Danville, Va., downriver of a Feb. 2 ash spill.
    Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 6:23 PM
  • News

    Safe drinking water could be only part of the Dan’s story

    Test results show drinking water is safe downstream of Duke Energy’s coal ash spill this week, but that doesn’t mean the Dan River is unscathed.
    Friday, February 7, 2014 at 9:23 PM
  • News

    Federal case looking at Duke Energy and state regulators begins to unfold

    Federal subpoenas outline the path investigators are taking to determine if there was an improper relationship between Duke Energy and North Carolina environmental regulators.
    Friday, February 21, 2014 at 11:25 PM
  • News

    Duke Energy’s $1 billion cleanup: Who would pay?

    The company has tried for years to avoid cleaning up the coal ash pits. It is now likely to ask that ratepayers cover the cost.
    Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 8:00 PM
  • News

    Duke Energy begins coal-ash dredging in Dan River

    Duke Energy’s contractor will use a dredge that vacuums ash off the river bottom while disturbing sediment as little as possible. About 2,500 tons of ash and sediment will be sucked up by the end of June.
    Monday, May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM
  • News

    NC regulators expect to fine Duke Energy for coal ash spill

    North Carolina environmental regulators said Friday they have given Duke Energy 15 days to make their best case against paying the maximum fines for its coal ash spill into the Dan River earlier this month.
    Friday, February 28, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Lack of coal-waste oversight is under fire after giant spill
    A massive North Carolina coal waste spill into a major river is increasing pressure on the Obama administration to start policing the more than 1,000 such waste storage sites across the nation.
    Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:00 AM
  • News

    DENR considering making Duke Energy move coal ash to lined landfill

    North Carolina's environmental agency said Tuesday it intends to modify the permit that regulates Duke Energy's retired coal-powered operation along the Dan River, possibly requiring the utility move its coal ash into a lined landfill.
    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:49 PM
  • News

    Dan River coal-ash pollution angers and worries Virginians

    Virginians who live along the Dan River are angry and worried about the long-range effects of the tons of coal ash that spilled from the Duke Energy plant in Eden.
    Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 6:08 AM
  • News

    State wants you to experience Mayo River – if you can get to it

    The state’s new park runs along the Mayo River, but finding a way in can be a challenge. Many locals like it that way.
    Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 8:00 PM
  • News

    Unexpected Piedmont paddling

    Discovering the DanRiver is mostly placid, but if you want rapids, just keep moving.
    Sunday, August 21, 2005 at 3:00 AM
  • News

    Month after Duke Energy spill, Dan River doesn't meet standards

    Contaminants are fading from the Dan River downstream of a huge coal-ash spill at a retired Duke Energy coal plant in Eden, but the water still didn't meet standards, according to the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
    Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 5:46 PM
  • News

    Coal ash pipes at Duke's Dan River plant have long been a concern

    The troublesome pipes that ran beneath the Duke Energy coal ash ponds at the Dan River plant caught the eye of third-party inspectors as far back as 1986.
    Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 6:17 PM
  • News

    Vote out Duke Energy directors, investors urge

    Two major investors in Duke Energy are urging fellow shareholders to boot out four directors over the company's coal ash problems.
    Monday, April 14, 2014 at 6:18 PM
  • News

    DENR rejects Duke's coal ash plan, amid accusations of leniency

    An advocacy group on Thursday stepped up its efforts to portray the state's environmental regulators as too close to Duke Energy. Yet at the same time, a public rift widens between the agency and the utility.
    Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 4:09 PM
  • News

    DENR fights images as too cozy with Duke Energy

    DENR Secretary John Skvarla pushes back on accusations that the agency is too cozy with the energy industry.
    Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    Read more here:

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

    Coal Ash Stories

    Ben Adkins: How the Dan River coal ash spill has changed his life

    Ben Adkins has been fishing and recreating on the Dan River for his entire life, now he's worried that his children won't be able to ...

    1. 82,000 Tons Of Coal Ash Spills Into Dan River Threatens Virginia Drinking Water

      Five days after coal ash began leaking into the Dan River in North Carolina last weekend, Duke Energy still can't say if the mess ...
    2. Unedited interview with NCDENR's Jamie Kritzer re Dan River coal ash spill, day five 020614

      This is the full, unedited phone interview made available in the spirit of information sharing and because you deserve to know ...
      • HD
    3. Duke Energy media tour 2-4-14 at Dan River re: coal ash spill

      The beginning of a media tour conducted by Duke Energy at its Dan River coal plant in Eden, N.C. It is the site of what is being ...
      • HD
    4. Duke Energy Coal Ash Spill Dan River North Carolina

      Video by dale briggs footage Pamela Francies Maynard shared a link via Waterkeeper Alliance. ONE FULL WEEK AFTER THE ...
      • HD
    5. Dan River Ash Spill Model Fly-Over

      Check out this video with narration on the New York Times website: ...
      • HD
    6. Eden, NC Coal Ash Spill - UNEDITED FOOTAGE

      Duke Energy said that 50000 to 82000 tons of coal ash and up to 27 million gallons of water were released from a pond at its ...
      • HD
    7. Dan River Coal Ash Spill Testing Trip Feb 4

      On Tuesday, February 4, Waterkeeper Alliance took water samples from a stretch of the Dan River downstream of the spill located ...
    8. Dan River landowners worry about effects of coal ash spill

      Therit Winstead on the banks of the Dan River on land Winstead has owned for decades in Danville, Va. Winstead and his ...
      • HD
    9. Dan River stained gray after coal ash spill at Duke plant

      Duke Energy said Tuesday that an estimated 50000-82000 tons of coal ash and water was released from a pond at its retired ...
    10. April 2014 North Carolina Dan River Coal Ash Disaster Last days news

      April 2014 North Carolina Dan River Coal Ash Disaster Last days news February 7 2014 Los Angeles Times Tons of coal ash spill ...
      • HD
    11. Dan River Runs Black After Coal Ash Spill - North Carolina - Feb 4 2014

      Coal ash continues to leak from the damaged stormwater pipe as of February 4, 2014. Waterkeeper Alliance & local Waterkeepers ...
    12. Feb. 19, 2014 - Community Briefing - Coal Ash Spill - Dan River - Rockingham County

      On February 19, 2014, EPA Representatives, along with other agencies held a Public Briefing at Eden City Hall, to discuss the ...
      • HD
    13. DEQ Update - Duke Energy Coal Ash Spill - Dan River - Danville, Virginia

      The Department of Environmental Quality provides citizens of Danville, Virginia an update on the Duke Energy Coal Ash Spill.
    14. Dan River Coal Ash Spill

      Tommy cowett discusses the coal ashe spill and how to bio remediate the situateion. Companies are now comming to eden nc ...
      • HD
    15. WNCN Investigates | Dan River suffers major coal ash spill

      • by WNCN
      • 1 month ago
      Subscribe to our main channel! Check out our latest content! Like us on Facebook!
      • HD
    16. Unedited: Riverkeeper in detailed interview about Dan River coal ash spill

      The Catawba Riverkeeper, Sam Perkins, discusses the coal ash spill in Eden, N.C., and its implications for his organization's ...
      • HD
    17. EPA meeting in South Boston, Va., re Dan River coal ash spill

      Hear the people speak for their selves at an EPA meeting held in South Boston, Virginia, following Duke Energy's Dan River coal ...
    18. Duke's Dan River coal ash spill

      Less than a month later, Duke Energy was filmed illegally and purposefully (with industrial pumps) discharging water from a ...
      • HD

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      1. Dan River's Coal Ash Spill

        Joe Beaman, President of Highlands Environmental Solutions, discusses the Coal Ash Spill.
      2. Duke Energy Coal Ash Spill Press Conference - Danville, Virginia

        Duke Energy officials provide an update on the coal ash spill into the Dan River that occurred at their shuttered coal plant in Eden, ...
      3. WNCN Investigates | Duke Energy spills coal ash into Dan River

        • by WNCN
        • 2 months ago
        Subscribe to our main channel! Check out our latest content! Like us on Facebook!
        • HD
      4. Coal Ash Spill on the Dan - Feb. 4, 2014

        Eden, NC -- Another huge coal ash spill has polluted a river and currently threatens public drinking water supplies. Late Monday ...
      5. UNEDITED: Coal ash contamination in Dan River since 1970s

        Dr. Dennis Lemly began investigating coal ash on the Dan River when he realized that the fish he was trying to study were dying.
        • HD
      6. Coal Ash splii Dan River NC

        Bad News Millions of gallons of coal ash spill from North Carolina coal ash pond into Dan River.At least one of the worst releases ...
        • HD
      7. The Deadly Effects of Fly Ash | Duke Energy Dan River Spill

        Video 2 of 7: March 31st, 2014 - Walnut Cove resident Annie Brown discuses the deadly effects of fly ash in the wake of the North ...
        • HD
      8. North Carolina Toxic Spill Spews Tons Of Coal Ash Into River!! Arsenic Levels Up 30x !!

        The Feb. 2 coal ash spill at Duke Energy's Dan River Steam Plant in Eden, NC is now a big problem for the Commonwealth of ...
        • HD
      9. Dan River Coal Ash Spill Meeting Excerpt

        The spilled ash is toxic to humans.
        • HD
      10. UNEDITED: Coal ash contamination in Dan River since 1970s

        Note: full version has now been uploaded: Dr. Dennis Lemly began investigating coal ash on the ...
      11. NC river turns to gray sludge after coal ash spill

        ON THE DAN RIVER, N.C. (AP) - Canoe guide Brian Williams dipped his paddle downstream from where thousands of tons of coal
        • HD
      12. Coal ash from power plant spills into North Carolina river

        Originally published on February 7, 2014 As many as 82000 tons of coal ash have spilled from a retired Duke Energy coal power ...
        • HD
      13. Duke Energy coal ash leak creates concerns for Dan River

        Mark Bishopric, a managing partner of Three Rivers Outfitters in Eden, NC, paddled the Dan River. He's concerned with how the ...
      14. NCDENR rep explains initial water testing results from Dan River coal ash spill 2-6-14

        Raw audio of a phone interview with Susan Massengale, a spokesperson for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural ...
      15. Coal Ash Spill Hearings The North Carolina General Assembly's Environmental Review Commission hears testimony ...
        • HD
      16. North Carolina: TONS of Coal Ash Leak into Dan River!

        Yet another dangerous chemical leak! Tons of Coal Ash leak into the Dan River. The leak started Sunday. Source: ...
      17. Major Polluter Inspected! (After It Destroys 70 Miles Of River)

        "North Carolina regulators have cited five more Duke Energy power plants for lacking required storm water permits after a massive ...
        • HD
        • CC