Coal Ash - Our Commitment to Getting it Right

We are committed to closing our ash ponds

For well over 100 years, as America’s economy grew, it relied on coal to provide inexpensive, reliable energy. As we shift to cleaner, less carbon-intensive electric power generating technologies, we have closed or converted several coal power stations to clean burning natural gas.

As we now transition to cleaner energy sources of the future we will continue to be responsible for managing coal ash to ensure the communities we call home are safe and environmentally sound.

Coal ash ponds and landfills have been used for decades to store coal ash – a byproduct of producing electricity at coal power stations. Dominion Energy has 11 coal ash ponds at four facilities and six coal ash landfills at five facilities where we continue to produce ash.

In accordance with new EPA rules, Dominion Energy and all energy producers nationwide must close coal ash ponds on these sites. We are moving to safely and permanently close these ponds while meeting or exceeding all federal, state, and local regulationsIn 2018, we started the process of closing 6 of the 11 ash ponds where ash has already been or will be removed from the ponds.  Four ponds at Possum Point Power Station and two ponds at Bremo Power Station will be closed in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local environmental regulations and necessary permits. Once permits are obtained, the ponds are expected to be permanently closed by the end of 2019.  Groundwater monitoring and reporting will continue even after the ponds are closed.

In 2018, as required by Senate Bill 807, Dominion Energy is seeking proposals to determine the feasibility and costs of recycling ash from the remaining ponds and the facilities at Chesapeake Energy Center. The results of that analysis will be provided to stakeholders and the General Assembly by November 15, 2018.

After contacting regional firms and a national organization to solicit interest, an informational meeting for potential bidders was held June 5, 2018 and approximately 90 representatives of various businesses attended. That was followed by release of the full Request for Proposal (RFP) package, a pre-bid meeting, site visits for potential bidders to each facility and additional follow up site visits to each facility as well. 

Bids are due to Dominion Energy on September 14, 2018. The company intends to use bid data to prepare a Business Plan which describes the results of the bidding process for submittal to the Virginia General Assembly by November 15, 2018.

In 2017, at the direction of the Virginia General Assembly, Dominion Energy reported on closure options for 11 ash ponds at four of our Virginia power stations were assessed.

We hired AECOM, an engineering firm with broad experience in environmental engineering, including previous assessments of ash pond closure options in other regions of the U.S. to conduct the report.

We asked them to evaluate the environmental and community impacts, safety, costs and timeline for closing the ash ponds. This included capping and closing the ponds in place, placing the coal ash in a lined landfill as well as removing and recycling it.

The study was peer reviewed by a technical expert from Old Dominion University Research Foundation.

A link to the report is below. This included feasible options exist to manage the storage of coal ash, the costs associated with those options and the impacts to the community that are associated with the work.

Groundwater Monitoring Data

Mandy Tornabene, Vice President of Environmental Services talks about how Dominion Energy will responsibly manage the byproducts of coal powered generation.

Protecting Our Waters

Chief Environmental Officer Pam Faggert and Cathy Taylor, Director of Environmental Support, provide insight into the steps we are taking to protect our waters.

Material Recycling

From concrete to bowling balls, we safely recycle hundreds of thousands of tons of coal combustion byproduct material a year.

Coal Ash Pond Closure Report

Pam Faggert, Chief Environmental Officer and Josh Bennett, VP of Power Generation discuss takeaways from the 2017 report on closure options.

As we safely and permanently close our 11 coal ash ponds at four facilities in Virginia, we are committed to keeping the waterways in our communities clean, and no ash will be released into Virginia’s waterways at any time during the process of closing Dominion Energy’s coal ash ponds.

Process of closing coal ash ponds 

To close the coal ash ponds, we will treat and test the water before release. All testing data will be regularly updated and available to the public on our website. The closure approach is unique for each station.

Note that while the recycling analysis is conducted at Possum Point, at the last remaining pond with ash (Pond D), the company will temporarily cease the release of treated water from the pond. Therefore, water treatment will not be required while this assessment occurs. The current treatment system will be temporarily removed from the site.