Bay Journal

Whitney Pipkin

Virginia lawmakers keep coal ash recycling on the table, feds try to loosen regs

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Virginia requirements for the disposal of ash produced by coal-burning power plants could soon be more stringent than rules set by the federal government.

The General Assembly approved a bill at the end of session last week that requires companies with coal ash pits in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to take another step toward recycling their contents, though the measure stopped...

Waterfowl break winter silence at VA wildlife refuge

Laid bare of its sound-absorbing foliage, the forest of lanky hardwoods becomes a cacophony of sound. On this cool morning, the leaves crunch underfoot and rustle nearby as a squirrel digs for hidden treasure. 

The din of a waterfowl gathering in the Great Marsh, though still a hundred yards away, swells quickly as we walk toward the Potomac River through the woody peninsula. From...

Counting chickens: Poultry farms on VA Shore breed resistance

One frigid evening this winter, 170 people crowded into a high school auditorium in Onley, a small town on Virginia’s rural Eastern Shore. They didn’t come to see a student theater production or watch a basketball game between rival schools — but to talk about chickens. Many came to ply state regulators with concerns about local water quality and their health amid the poultry...

Panel with Virginia governor will detail state’s opposition to offshore drilling

A coalition of Virginia officials now opposes federal leasing plans that would permit oil drilling in waters off the coast of the state. Gov. Ralph Northam — who has said he will use “every tool at his disposal” to derail the drilling plans — will share the specifics of his stance during a forum at Old Dominion University in Norfolk at 6:30 p.m. on March 5.

Northam will return to...

Historic DC cemetery digs up pavement to curb stormwater pollution

A gravesite at the historic Mount Olivet Cemetery, overlooking national monuments in the District of Columbia, is prime real estate, only available to families that already own plots on the 160-year-old grounds.

But the cemetery’s costliest asset has become its network of paved roads winding between gravesites. Covering more than 10 acres in all, the roads have triggered a large...

High Tide in Dorchester: A new documentary from the Bay Journal

Though it begins with aerial shots of the seemingly endless tidal marshes in Maryland’s Dorchester County, the latest Bay Journal documentary is about a fast-approaching future in which that landscape could be entirely underwater.

High Tide in Dorchester is the second collaboration between Bay Journal columnist Tom Horton, Bay Journal photographer and videographer Dave Harp and...

Cliffside golf course along Rappahannock River gets off on the wrong foot

A golf resort that developers pledged to construct with a “soft touch” on environmentally sensitive cliffs along Virginia’s Rappahannock River got off to a portentous start late last year. Its owners cleared more than a dozen acres of trees near erosion-prone banks and prime eagle habitat without acquiring the proper permits, heightening ongoing concerns among environmental groups...

Environmental groups file legal challenges to VA pipeline

A coalition of environmental groups and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation have each appealed a state board’s decision to approve the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the largest of two controversial natural gas projects, for which Dominion Energy is seeking approval to build across Virginia.

The Bay Foundation and the Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of more than a dozen...

Is organic farming good for the Chesapeake?

Organic agriculture is the fastest growing sector of the food industry in the United States, and its footprint in the Chesapeake Bay watershed is growing in kind.

The brand of agriculture that eschews the use of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and genetically engineered ingredients now makes up 20 percent of Perdue Farms’ poultry production on the Delmarva Peninsula, where the...

State lawmakers face continuing Bay debates in 2018

As they return to their chambers this month, state legislators across the Chesapeake watershed face some of the same Bay-centric environmental issues they’ve seen before.

In Maryland, they’ll debate what more, if anything, should be done to conserve the state’s forestland from development and whether air pollution from chicken houses deserves a closer look. In Virginia, lawmakers...

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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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