Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bombshell accusations linking Va. DEQ and Dominion Power

If these allegations by former Virginia Department of Environmental Quality groundwater expert Allen Brockman hold up, the effects could be far reaching.  It would call into question every ruling or favorable report issued by the Va. DEQ for energy producers and even bio-solid companies. 

While fly ash (byproduct of burnt coal from coal fired power plants) is used widely in construction materials, like cinder blocks and even in road construction, if it is used as construction fill without the proper containment process and sealant materials, the leeching from the heavy metals left in the ash will seep into the water tables. 

At this point all the information that has been released to the public, as well as reported in the Virginian Pilot, indicate Dominion Power was just trying to unload this stuff on anyone that would take it and as fast as possible.  It appears they also knew there would be problems, but chose to mislead the public about an internal report that said this very thing and presented the Chesapeake Planning Commission and City Council with a second report that was much more favorable for the use of the fly ash. 

For the latest on the Battlefield Golf Club groundwater contamination, and the allegations by Allen Brockman about the Va. DEQ's role in all this, click here.  

Image found at:,%20PA.JPG 


  1. Thanks for this, Barry. A story that needs telling.

    More and more, the issue with toxic byproducts is not midnight dumping, but perfectly legal ways (such as sludge spreading) that polluting industries use to get rid of these embarrassing liabilities.

    Often, as in this case, they are referred to as "recycling." Actual recycling involves taking a benign product -- paper, aluminum, glass, certain plastics -- and using it again. These processes take products recognized as toxic and, through the magic of legal definitions, turn them into "safe" products. This only works as long as agencies like VA DEQ collaborate.

  2. What stood out the most for me in the article was how the DEQ deemed the fly ash use at the Battlefield Golf Course site "exempt from such requirements because the fly ash was deemed a 'beneficial use.'"

    Anyone with some basic knowledge of chemistry understands that the heavy metals left over in the fly ash are poisonous, hazardous, lethal, carcinogenic, etc... It's unbeliveable that Dominion actually thought that they might be able to stroll past these issues like nothing could happen.

    What's even worse is DEQ helped them out. These people are suppose to be working for us, to ensure the best interests of the public health and overall environmental integrity.

    If these allegations are verified, this calls into question the integrity of the whole DEQ. What other relationships and "understandings" do they have with virginia corporations? Can the DEQ be trusted anymore?