The Issues Facing Hampton Roads

Commercial menhaden harvesting. Photo by John Surrick/CBF StaffCommercial menhaden harvesting. Photo by John Surrick/CBF Staff

Map showing location of proposed ODEC power plant. Lucidity Information DesignMap showing location of proposed ODEC power plant. Lucidity Information Design

Plans for ODEC's Proposed Cypress Creek Coal Plant Suspended

On August 8, 2012 it was announced that plans to build a coal-fired power plant in Surry County had been suspended. According to statements, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) asked the Army Corps of Engineers to cease the permitting process needed for the plant to proceed. CBF hopes ODEC officials stand true to these statements. If they do, it will be a great win for the Chesapeake Bay, its rivers and streams and the citizens of Hampton Roads who have so vigorously opposed the facility.

As proposed, the plant would have been the largest coal-fired power plant in Virginia and, by ODEC's own accounts, emit millions of pounds of nitrogen oxides (smog-causing chemicals) and carbon dioxide (a major greenhouse gas), as well as soot, mercury, lead, benzene, and other toxic air pollutants.

Read the CBF report, "A Coal Plant's Drain on Health and Wealth," which explains the impact ODEC's plant would have had if the plant had been built.

Numerous human health organizations, environmental groups, nearby localities, and hundreds of local citizens have publicly opposed the plant due to its likely harmful environmental, economic, and human health impacts on the Hampton Roads region. CBF broadly applauds their unyielding opposition.

ODEC's continued ownership of the property where the plant was proposed and changes in local zoning authority from Sussex County, Surry County, and the Town of Dendron, leave unresolved questions about what will happen next. CBF hopes that a usage of the property can be found that can benefit both the economy and environment of the region. 

For now, we are grateful for this apparent victory! CBF will continue to closely monitor any future permitting actions associated with the property.

See the sidebar for more information and read our report, "A Coal Plant's Drain on Health and Wealth."


Farm fields. Photo courtesy NRCS MarylandWhat role do farms and agricultural production play in the health of our waters? Learn more

Chemical Contamination

An osprey in its nest in the James River right next to a chemical plant. Photo © Krista Schlyer/iLCP.Toxic chemicals are entering our waters every day. What can we do about them? Learn more

Land Use

Sprawl development. Photo copyright Nikki DavisWhen the watershed's land suffers from pollution and poor management so, too, does the water. Learn how

Sewage & Septic Systems

Easton Utilities sewage treatment plant. Photo courtesy City of EastonUpgrading wastewater treatment is key to cleaning up the Bay. Learn more

Stormwater Runoff

Residential stormwater runoff. Photo copyright 2010 Krista Schlyer/iLCPDid you know that stormwater runoff is the fastest growing source of Bay pollution? Learn more

Find out what other issues are affecting the health of the Bay. >>

In the News

10.07.15 - Officials face Fones Cliffs question: Development or preservation?

10.04.15 - CBF's Brock Center gives 'green' new meaning

09.27.15 - VIMS study shows blue crabs tolerate low oxygen better than previously thought

09.25.15 - Conservationists seek to protect cliffs overlooking Rappahannock

09.25.15 - Elizabeth River Project targets Eastern Branch in clean-up efforts

09.21.15 - CBF Press Release Farm Bureau Prepares to Ask Supreme Court to Throw Out the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint

09.20.15 - Wading in, as an act of faith

09.20.15 - Editorial: True conservatives support environmental protection

09.18.15 - Saturday festival celebrates Va. Beach environment

09.13.15 - For Chesapeake Bay Foundation manager, the oyster is her world

09.13.15 - Chesapeake school principals bring home lessons from Tangier Island

09.03.15 - Stafford wastewater system has leaked 1.5 million gallons of sewage in past year

09.01.15 - Exploring the Chickahominy River

08.10.15 - The power of motivation and collaboration in rural communities

08.09.15 - Bay Foundation won't appeal lawsuit regarding stream exclusion

08.08.15 - Virginia agriculture, farmers plow ahead for the Bay

08.08.15 - Crabby governors duel over Chesapeake delicacy

07.30.15 - CBF Press Release Brock Environmental Center Earns Top Green Building Stamp

07.27.15 - Jordan's Branch shows that small streams can be beautiful, bothersome

07.15.15 - Charlottesville teacher sole Virginia representative of environmental education workshop

07.14.15 - Richmond court dismisses suit involving cow dung in streams

07.14.15 - CBF Press Statement CBF Issues Statement on Court Decision Not to Require Fencing Cattle out of Streams for Largest Animal Operations

07.14.15 - CBF Press Release Bay Milestone Assessment Finds Virginia Falling Short on Key Practices

07.13.15 - Corps begin rebuilding Great Wicomico sanctuary reef

07.09.15 - Lawsuit challenges cattle practices in effort to save Chesapeake Bay

07.07.15 - Arlington: On a Mission to Improve Water Quality

07.07.15 - Court upholds Chesapeake Bay cleanup program

07.06.15 - Court upholds EPA's Chesapeake Bay cleanup authority

07.02.15 - The EPA helps to restore the Bay

07.02.15 - Case explores whether cows "apply" their waste to streams

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