James Hawkins 
Member since Jan 15, 2016



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Re: “Dominion Gets Approval to Dump Treated Coal Ash Wastewater in James River

I attended the Water Board meeting to determine if the permit to allow Dominion Power to pump toxic clay ash water into the James was adequate and would be allowed as amended.
After all the presentations by the DEQ, Dominion and the public were heard. What followed made my jaw drop.
Two board members, one Ms. Dean and the other Mr. Nash tried to get an answer to the following question or were at least getting slowly there.

What is needed to achieve and why can't we make the runoff toxicity at the end of the pipe the same as the toxicity level you hope to achieve 2000 feet down stream at the edge of the mixing zone?

It was never answered!
It wasn't a complicated question. It can't be a difficult engineering problem to solve or one that would be a financial burden for Dominion.
Just mix the river water...on land (pump) to the same level you are attempting to achieve with the ever changing river flow with all it's natural variables, down stream from the pipe.
If you clean the water to X level on land, you remove all of the variables of drought, flood, spawning times and the possibility of mixing with other runoff to create an even worse hazard.
All they had to do was listen to the concerned, EDUCATED public who was getting this issue right.
But the DEQ and the permit writers (lawyers) spewed some convoluted information that didn't answer that question directly.
They merely said they had it (the toxicity levels at the edge of the mixing zone) all calculated very carefully to conform or improve on the rules and regulations on the books. Also saying it would take a "once in a lifetime event" to interfere with their formula.
There is a once in a lifetime winter hurricane (Alex) heading here now.
Also, we are dealing with climate change and the two warmest years in Virginia EVER were the last two years.
How likely were these events to happen 2 years ago?
By cleaning and filtering the clay ash water with river water on land and getting the toxicity level you are shooting for at the edge of the mixing zone attained BEFORE it is released into the river, you even cover the "once in a generation" event from wreaking havoc.
I don't know what factors prevented the water board from listening to the public and from putting their heads together to come up with a SIMPLE solution and getting rid of the mixing zone altogether.
Aborting the use of a mixing zone is not prevented from an engineering or financial standpoint.
Dominion created the problem and has the money needed to fix the problem to the public's satisfaction. The cost would have been insignificant to Dominion and their shareholders.
Filter and clean the water BEFORE it hits the river.
What could be more simple?
All of the board members except Ms. Kellam were remiss in their obligation to listen to and respond appropriately to reasonable, intelligent, logical requests for protection for the James from very concerned citizens.

81 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by James Hawkins on 01/15/2016 at 12:49 PM

Re: “Dominion Gets Approval to Dump Treated Coal Ash Wastewater in James River

Nice touch Adam. You're way ahead of the silly "protect the river" game.
Unfortunately, without regulation, the river would be a sewer or so toxic you couldn't stand beside it.
The free market, that you apparently have blind faith in, can't determine between good and evil.
So it HAS to be battled out among us humans to protect nature and each other.
Luckily there are people willing to fight the good fight while you stand around watching your stocks go up and down.

71 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by James Hawkins on 01/15/2016 at 12:27 PM

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