The Department of Environmental Quality has told Dominion Virginia Power to add nine new monitoring wells at its Possum Point Power Station and submit samples on a bi-weekly basis to get a better read on whether groundwater from its coal ash pits is contaminating neighbors’ drinking water.
Tests in private wells near the power station have indicated potentially dangerous levels of heavy metals associated with coal ash. However, the evidence is not conclusive enough for DEQ to rule out contamination by other sources.
“It’s really an effort to delineate what the groundwater looks like now and make an effort to see what it will look like in the future,” said Bill Hayden, a DEQ spokesman, as reported by Inside NoVa.
Environmental groups are pressing Dominion to remove the coal-combustion residue from the site, suggesting that some of the material could be recycled and the rest buried in a sealed landfill. Dominion argues that such a remedy would be enormously expensive, burdening electricity rate payers with unnecessary costs. DEQ must decide whether or not to grant Dominion a solid waste permit for buying and capping the coal ash on site.