Dominion Energy will pay $1.4 million and improve environmental monitoring to address alleged violations of state environmental laws at Possum Point Power Station and Chesterfield Power Station.
Attorney General Mark Herring announced Friday the terms of the settlement, which also included coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
Under the terms of the settlement, Dominion will pay a total of $1.4 million in civil penalties, $990,000 will go to Virginia and $410,000 will go to the United States. The The company also will conduct multiple environmental compliance audits at numerous facilities; will put a comprehensive environmental management system in place; and will be liable for stipulated penalties for any future violations, Herring said in a news release.
“It is critical that massive energy companies, like Dominion, adhere to state and federal environmental protections at every one of their facilities,” he said. “I hope a settlement like this sends a strong message to other energy companies that noncompliance with both state and federal environmental protections will not be tolerated in Virginia.”
DEQ Director David Paylor said the settlement holds Dominion and its facilities accountable across the board.
“DEQ expects everyone to comply with the state’s environmental requirements at each and every facility they operate,” Paylor said.
According to the complaint, from about March 25, 2015, through April 28, 2015, Dominion violated its Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit by releasing approximately 27.5 million gallons of water from a coal ash impoundment at its Possum River Power Station without providing required specific advance notice.
Additionally, the complaint alleges that on two separate occasions, groundwater seepage was observed along the shoreline of the James River, adjacent to Dominion’s Chesterfield Power Station.
According to Herring, the settlement addresses seven state and federal alleged environmental violations including:
Violation of Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) Construction Stormwater Permits
Violation of VPDES Permit Effluent Limitations
Violation of VPDES Permit Notice Condition
Violation of VPDES Permit Discharge Prohibition
Virginia State Water Control Law Violations (State only)
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act Violations (Federal only)
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Federal only)
Under the terms of the settlement, Dominion Energy agreed to the following:
Civil penalties totaling $1.4 million – Virginia will receive $990,000 of that and the United States will receive $410,000
Stipulated penalties to both the United States and Virginia for any future violations
An Environmental Management Systems audit that will be conducted by an independent, third-party, Environmental Management System Auditor
A Third-Party Environmental Audit of the Chesapeake Energy Center, Chesterfield, Clover, Bremo, Possum Point, Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, and Yorktown Fixed facilities as well as three randomly chosen stormwater VPDES permitted facilities that will be conducted by a third-party Environmental Audit Consultant
At least monthly visual inspections of adjacent shorelines at low-tide at its Coal Ash Impoundment Facilities
Trainings on its standard operating procedures for notification of the release of any hazardous substances
Annual trainings for all individuals with environmental management responsibilities