Bay Journal

Whitney Pipkin

Power line across James River one step closer to approval

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A new transmission line that would carry electricity across a four-mile span of the James River has received a federal agency’s long-awaited nod of approval. But the $270-million undertaking still needs to earn permits at the state and local level this summer, and it is expected to continue facing vocal opposition from environmental and historic preservation groups.


Washington diplomats plant grasses in the Potomac, earn bragging rights 

Representatives from about a dozen nations got a lot more than their feet wet recently when they waded into the Potomac River to plant Bay grasses they had personally cultivated. But after a six-month competition only one country got to claim the esteemed prize for raising the “best grass.”

Those bragging rights went to China in a friendly contest to see who could grow the...

VA group buys land to ensure carnivorous plant stays in the picture

One would think that the purple pitcher, a bug-eating, water-collecting plant — like the Venus flytrap but without its reflexes — could fend for itself.

But the carnivorous Sarracenia purpurea, which is native to portions of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, has been no match for the convergence of factors altering its historic stomping grounds — rapid development, reforestation...

Localities not buying into nutrient trading – for now

Despite being touted as a less costly approach to curbing stormwater pollution, nutrient trading has yet to catch on among Chesapeake Bay localities. A recent report by the World Resources Institute and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation details the hurdles that are keeping the market-based approach from getting off the ground.

The report’s authors worked alongside officials in...

Dominion reconsidering coal ash storage plans in VA

Earlier this year, it seemed inevitable that Dominion Virginia Power would be permanently storing coal ash underground at a power station near the Potomac River. The site is the first of four along Chesapeake Bay tributaries where the utility is looking to entomb the accumulated residue from decades of burning coal for power. What happens at Possum Point near Quantico could set a...

Dark skies shed light on Shenandoah stars

Astronomers say that the Milky Way — that thick swath of stars that stretches across the dark night sky — isn’t visible for 80 percent of the people who live in North America. For many, the bright city lights cause the beauty overhead to disappear.

If you live in a light-flooded landscape, consider leaving the lights behind, perhaps on a one-with-nature trip to a national park,...

SAV Olympics: Foreign embassies seek laurels for growing grasses for Bay

Blair Blanchette was halfway through her demonstration on growing underwater grasses indoors when she stopped midsentence, assessing her audience.

“I’m getting faces from everyone that say, ‘This isn’t gonna work,’” said Blanchette, the Virginia grass-roots coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “But we’ve had 2,500 participants in this program, and they’ve all grown...

Virginia lawmakers act on Alexandria sewage overflows, coal ash

Virginia’s General Assembly took final action on two measures that could impact water quality in the Chesapeake Bay during a one-day veto session on Wednesday.

In response to several amendments Gov. Terry McAuliffe proposed to bills passed earlier this year, Virginia lawmakers refused to give the city of Alexandria more time to reduce polluted overflows from its sewer system...

Lynchburg takes new tack on decades-old overflow problems

Like hundreds of cities in the country, Lynchburg’s earliest sewer infrastructure was built to get the water — and whatever else might be flushed or flowing into it — out of the Virginia city and into the nearest stream or river as quickly as possible.

In 1955, the city added a wastewater treatment plant that greatly reduced the amount of raw sewage flowing into the nearby...

Governor proposes giving Alexandria more time to fix sewage overflows

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proposed giving the city of Alexandria three additional years to fix its chronic sewage overflows into the Potomac River. 

The Northern Virginia city has been working for several years to reduce the amount of rain-diluted waste that pours untreated from its antiquated combined sewer system, but environmentalists have complained that local...

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About Whitney Pipkin

Whitney Pipkin's avatar Whitney Pipkin writes at the intersection of food, agriculture and the environment from her home base in Northern Virginia. Her work for the Bay Journal often focuses on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, and she is a fellow of the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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