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Dominion Makes a Pollution Deal, But Maryland Opposition Lingers 

Dominion's Bremo Power Station

Scott Elmquist

Dominion's Bremo Power Station

Dominion Virginia Power seems to be resolving its problems with local environmentalists by compromising on the levels of pollutants in its treated coal ash wastewater bound for the James River at the Bremo Power Station.

But it still has a problem with the state of Maryland and the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, regarding its Possum Point Power station near Dumfries. The plant will dump treated coal ash wastewater into Quantico Creek, which flows into the Potomac River.

Wastewater discharge permits issued by the State Water Control Board in January have drawn intense outcry from green groups and local residents. Protests in Richmond during the last several weeks have resulted in more than two dozen arrests, with activists occupying the lobby of the Virginia department of Environmental Quality and the State Capitol steps.

Last week, Dominion and the James River Association announced that the association would drop its appeal of the Bremo permit because Dominion added legally binding stipulations that it would increase monitoring and decrease the level of pollutants it would release into the James.

Dominion issued another news release asserting that a similar deal had been worked out at Possum Point. Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, changed his mind about fighting the permits after Dominion made concessions.

But those weren’t enough for Maryland to drop its opposition to the Possum Point permit. “At this point, we are continuing our review of the contested permit,” Ben Grumbles, Maryland’s secretary of the environment, said in a statement. And as the Washington Post reported, the Potomac Riverkeepers will continue to fight the permit.

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