Coal ash removal bill clears first Virginia Senate committee

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A bill requiring the disposal of coal ash stored in Dominion Energy ponds across Virginia has cleared its first General Assembly committee.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the Senate committee handling conservation and natural resources moved the bill ahead Thursday, voting 9-5. Its next hurdle is the Senate Finance Committee, which asked to also take it up because costs could likely be passed to Dominion customers.

Gov. Ralph Northam supports the bill Sen. Scott Surovell introduced. It requires Dominion to dig up its coal ash, recycle as much as possible and haul the rest to modern landfills.

Coal ash is heavy metal-laden waste left from burning the fossil fuel to produce electricity.

Bill Murray, Dominion’s vice president of public policy, says mandating recycling or anything tends to make it more expensive.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com

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