Bay Journal

Whitney Pipkin

Atlantic Coast Pipeline wins qualified VA go-ahead

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A divided Virginia regulatory panel has given a qualified go-ahead to building a controversial natural gas pipeline across the state, but made its approval contingent on further review of the project’s water-quality impacts.

The State Water Control Board’s 4–3 vote on Tuesday, coming at the end of a tense two-day public meeting in Richmond, prompted opponents of the Atlantic Coast...

Virginia board approves first of two pipeline projects despite fervent opposition

A proposed natural gas pipeline through mountainous western Virginia cleared a key hurdle last week, as the State Water Control Board approved water-related permits needed to begin building the 106-mile segment through the state.

The board’s approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline on Thursday, after two days of meetings in Richmond, was seen by environmentalists as an indicator...

Dominion’s review of coal ash ‘alternatives’ still favors on-site storage

After a year’s worth of study dictated by Virginia lawmakers, Dominion Energy still thinks burying millions of tons of coal ash in nearly a dozen pits across the state is the best way to prevent it from polluting nearby rivers and streams.

That’s the upshot of a presentation that the Richmond-based company made this week to the State Water Commission, a joint House-Senate...

DC Water leader’s initiatives cleaned up utility’s reputation as well as runoff

George Hawkins doesn’t need a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate the hurdles he faced when he took the helm of DC Water in 2009.

He just needs his fist.

“This is what I felt was coming at us,” Hawkins said in his office at the utility’s Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in the District of Columbia. He balled up the fingers of one hand to deliver the symbolic...

Endangered sturgeon’s return to James River could be hurdle for industry

In the James River south of Richmond, endangered Atlantic sturgeon have become so common that observant spring and fall boaters are nearly guaranteed to see one breach. It’s hard to miss — a 6– or 7-foot fish exploding out of the water, as if shot from a cannon, wiggling for a split second in midair, then belly-flopping back into the river with a theatrical splash.


After decades of progress, James River earns a B- in latest report

The James River has come a long way in the last 40 years, when it was once so polluted that the state outlawed fishing in its waters. And, in the decade since the James River Association began tracking its progress, recovery has continued for Virginia’s largest source of drinking water and major tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.

The Richmond, VA-based nonprofit gave the river a...

Poultry expansion on VA Shore draws scrutiny after Tyson plant pollution

The poultry industry’s growing footprint on Virginia’s Eastern Shore is getting new scrutiny from regulators and activists after a head-turning decision by a state regulatory body to demand harsher punishment for pollution violations at a chicken-processing plant.

The Virginia State Water Control Board, a citizen body appointed by the governor, this summer rejected state...

Imagine a flight from slavery on Woodlawn Manor trail

Dr. William Palmer married his second wife, Cleorah Duvall, shortly after moving to Woodlawn Manor in Sandy Spring, MD, in the mid-1820s. The marriage came with a dowry gift that would change his plantation’s future: its first slave.

Woodlawn Manor, now a Montgomery County park, would eventually depend on the labor of more than a dozen enslaved people.

The choice to become a...

Virginia board to hear pipeline arguments over four days in December

The fate of two sprawling pipeline projects in Virginia will be decided by the State Water Control Board at a pair of meetings in December, each expected to last two days.

The Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines, which would carry natural gas across portions of West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina have faced steep opposition from citizens and environmental...

VA gubernatorial hopefuls vow to stay course on Bay cleanup

Virginia’s two major gubernatorial candidates vow to stay the course on the state’s efforts to curb Chesapeake Bay pollution — even if it means dipping into the state’s coffers to replace federal funding cuts.

Speaking at a candidates’ forum in Richmond Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, and Republican Ed Gillespie each pledged to strike a balance between growing...

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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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