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 summers 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

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

06.30.15 - Lawsuit against state says livestock manure finding its way into watershed

06.29.15 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation sues state over livestock dung

06.29.15 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation Sues Va. Over Livestock Rules

06.29.15 - CBF sues Virginia for not making livestock stream exclusion mandatory

06.29.15 - CBF Press Release CBF Lawsuit Challenges Virginia for Not Protecting Streams from Farm Livestock

06.17.15 - EPA: Virginia doing well overall in bay cleanup goals

06.16.15 - Scientists take biannual survey of Lafayette River's health

06.12.15 - CBF Press Release CBF Encouraged by Virginia's Bay Cleanup Progress, Warns of Major Challenges Ahead

06.10.15 - Volunteers help keep West Point's rivers clean

06.09.15 - NWS Yorktown Sailors Help Clean the Bay

06.09.15 - Workshop being held Tuesday for volunteer oyster gardeners

06.07.15 - Virginia shoreline gets cleanup from volunteers

06.06.15 - CBF Press Release Clean the Bay Day Draws Thousands of Volunteers to Pick up Shoreline Litter and Debris

06.06.15 - Video Local volunteers join statewide Clean the Bay Day

06.04.15 - Audio available Clean the Bay Day: Clean Virginia, Part 2

06.03.15 - Video Joe's Job: Oyster Restoration

06.03.15 - Beautiful diamondback terrapins are on the move. Watch out for them!

06.03.15 - Clean Water Rule benefits the Bay

06.02.15 - Civic Leadership Institute names Darden Award winners

06.02.15 - Video Volunteers needed for 27th annual Clean the Bay Day

05.27.15 - Video Thousands of oysters find new home in the Lafayette River

05.27.15 - Audio available Not All Cattle Farmers in Virginia are Embracing State's Stream-Fencing Program

05.22.15 - Train to be an Oyster Farmer

05.19.15 - CBF Goes Off the Power and Water Grid. Will You?

05.19.15 - Audio available Opening the Gate: Farmers on Fencing

05.11.15 - CBF's new Brock center in VA goes off power, water grids

05.08.15 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation Continues Tradition of Building with the Bay in Mind

05.07.15 - Fisheries commission relaxes limits on menhaden

05.06.15 - Menhaden vote means jobs in Reedville

05.04.15 - CBF Press Release "Stories of the Shore" Promises Lively Evening at Historic Ker Place in Onancock

04.30.15 - Coastal Conservancy: The new Chesapeake Bay Foundation Brock Environmental Center

04.28.15 - Gov. stops in PG for Earth Day

04.27.15 - Chesapeake's crab numbers rise first time in three years

04.22.15 - Governor McAuliffe Signs Environmental Literacy Executive Order

04.22.15 - Teaching stewardship

04.22.15 - The Brock Center is our star to reach for this Earth Day!

04.18.15 - Floating classrooms foster love of nature

04.18.15 - 'Legends of the Fly' event expanding in second year

04.18.15 - "Anti-gardens" at Brock Environmental Center conserve water, lessen run-off

04.17.15 - Faith & Values: Dreaming green brings a rain garden

04.17.15 - Earth Day Across America

04.14.15 - Lowly oyster says a lot about health of Chesapeake Bay

04.11.15 - Good Samaritans help find Chesapeake Bay oyster floats

04.11.15 - Virginia's aquaculture oyster, clam harvests set records

04.05.15 - Tangier oystermen thank those who helped them recover lost oyster cages

04.03.15 - Good Samaritans help recover lost Tangier oyster cages

04.02.15 - VCU Rice Rivers Center partners with Charlottesville restaurants in oyster restoration program

04.02.15 - Hampton Roads shows 'Environmental Excellence'

04.01.15 - CBF Press Release CBF Starts Clock to Meet Living Building Challenge

04.01.15 - CBF Press Statement Chesapeake Bay Foundation Honored to Receive Governor's Environmental Excellence Award

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