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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in coal ash spill

WDBJ7 Interview with Del. Edmunds About Coal Ash Spill

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The coal ash spill on the Dan River had the attention of state lawmakers Thursday morning, as they questioned environmental officials about the long term effects and the costs of the contamination.

Delegate Edmunds is interviewed by WDBJ7 in this video. Click here for the full story.

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Newsletter, February 21, 2014

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HALIFAX:
- My questions about the safety of the water in the Dan River continue this week as it was revealed that the second pipe at the site was leaking. I, and the entire House Agriculture Committee, attended a briefing by DEQ on Wednesday updating us on the spill. There are still a lot of unanswered questions that I fear will remain unanswered until the long term effects can be more closely studied.

Briefly, both pipes have now been plugged. Water samples continue to meet minimum requirements. Fish sampling has begun by DEQ. VDH has released an updated coal ash fact sheet which is available on their website: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/news/pdf/Coal%20Ash%20Release%20Fact%20Sheet%202-20-14.pdf. I will continue to monitor this situation as long as necessary.

- This week was dominated by discussions on the budget. Session on Thursday lasted well into the evening while discussing various budget amendments. The House of Delegates introduced its Biennial Budget which totals a little over $99 Billion. In the proposed budget there are no provisions for Medicaid Expansion, however, I do believe that a compromise will be reached with the Senate's version of the budget which includes a Medical Exchange to handle Medicaid Expansion. The Senate plan has merit and it is my hope that all of the issues associated with any expansion can be ironed out during the conference process. Our obligation is to the core functions of government – education, public safety, transportation and healthcare. Our budget puts an emphasis on investments in K-12 and higher education, mental health services, hospitals and healthcare, and state employees

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Update on Coal Ash Spill

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Please be advised that the EPA and the Commonwealth of Virginia are hosting a public briefing on the Duke-Energy coal ash release at the Washington Coleman Community Center, 1927 Jeffress Blvd., South Boston, VA. on Thursday, 02/20/2014 at 6:30 pm.

I would encourage anyone interested in this situation to attend this very important meeting.

Newsletter, February 14, 2014

Posted in Newsletters

HALIFAX:
- I am continuing to monitor the third largest coal ash spill in U.S. history in the Dan River. My questions about harmful results of the spill on fish and wildlife are still somewhat unanswered. The Virginia Department of Health Office of Drinking Water has received drinking water quality results from the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services. These results are from samples collected following treatment at the City of Danville and South Boston water treatment plants. These results indicate, including the heavy metals of concern due to coal ash, that the treated water quality remains in compliance with the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Commonwealth of Virginia Waterworks Regulations. The water treatment plant operators and utility staffs have performed extremely well, under adverse circumstances, to ensure that a safe and adequate supply of water continues to be provided.

- This Tuesday marked a much anticipated day in the life of the General Assembly – Crossover. Each bill introduced in the House is now in the Senate and vice versa. We are now officially half way through the 2014 session.

- I voted for HB 930, a bill that reduces the number of SOLs in schools from 22-17, a 23% reduction, and it passed the House this week.

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Update on Coal Ash Spill

Posted in News

This is an update on the most recent information regarding the coal ash spill in the Dan River by Duke Energy. I participated in a press conference in the General Assembly building yesterday with the heads of DEQ, Virginia Department of Health, Secretary of Health Dr. William Hazel and affected legislators to get the latest information available on the coal ash spill on the Dan River.. While it appears that the drinking water in South Boston remains safe, I am still following very closely the environmental aspects of this incident, especially on fish and wildlife. It should be noted that the PCB warning issued by the Virginia Department of Health some time ago on catfish over a certain size is still in effect.

The leakage has been stopped, however the repercussions of this spill are not immediately apparent. As for the current incident, while there is no immediate threat to consuming other fish such as crappie, the long term effects are not quite as clear and I would just simply use good common sense when deciding for yourself whether or not to eat it. Any measurable increase in methylmercury in fish would not occur immediately from this spill but could accumulate over time.

I am also concerned about activities such as stirring up the ash on the bottom, swimming in it, and ultimately ingesting contaminated water. Those questions remain unanswered at this point and, again, I would exercise caution when swimming this summer.

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