David Paylor, head of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, attended the famed Master’s golf tournament at Dominion Virginia Power’s expense in 2013.
His department recommended approval in January of a controversial permit for Dominion Virginia Power to pour treated coal ash wastewater into the James River.
Financial disclosure records show that Dominion paid $2,300 for Paylor to attend the golf tournament for which tickets are hard to come by. The utility also footed a $1,200 bar bill at an Irish pub called O’Toole’s in Augusta, Georgia, with Paylor in attendance.
News of the outings was first reported by WAMU in Washington, D.C.
Asked about the disclosure, DEQ spokesman William Hayden said: “The only comment is that all employees of DEQ take their environmental stewardship responsibilities very seriously.”
Paylor has come under attack by environmentalists and other activists for his leadership of DEQ, which they see as too cozy with big corporations such as Dominion.
At a Feb. 20 demonstration, activists held signs listing hashtags leading to an electronic petition demanding that Paylor resign. Seventeen protesters were later arrested for refusing to leave the lobby of the DEQ building in downtown Richmond. They asked that Paylor speak with them. He did not.
Dominion and DEQ are under fire for two permits that allow treated wastewater to be released from coal ash ponds at the Bremo and Possum Point power stations.
Last week, the James River Association agreed not to appeal the Bremo permit after receiving legally-enforceable assurances from Dominion that it will take extra steps to ensure that wastewater will contain little to no heavy metals or other hazardous chemicals.