In March 2016, after months of public outcry and concerted effort by elected officials, county staff and environmental groups, Dominion Virginia Power and the Prince  William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) agreed to terms for better protecting Quantico Creek and the Potomac River when the company begins closing its five coal ash ponds at Possum Point in Dumfries. The agreement (full text) has six major provisions:

  • Reduction of levels for six heavy metals, including arsenic
  • More frequent testing
  • Independent lab testing firm
  • Test results available to the public online
  • Reimbursing Prince William County for expense of third-party subject matter expert
  • Enhanced collaboration in developing the solid waste permit

“This agreement brings greater transparency and accountability; both of which I sought from day one,” said Supervisor Frank Principi. “The second phase of the pond closure comes with its own environmental challenges. Now Prince William will be part of the dialogue.” (Read the full press release.)

Dominion Virginia Power had indicated it wishes to use the “cap in place” method for the solid waste that will remain once dewatering is complete, which would leave the remaining waste product on site. Untreated, coal ash is known to have unacceptably high levels of carcinogenic heavy metals such as aluminum, arsenic, chromium and selenium. Now, County officials will have a seat at the table in how the solid waste should be treated. 

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