The Possum Point Power Station in Dumfries. (Kate Patterson /The Washington Post)

The Chesapeake Bay watershed faces a new environmental threat as Virginia’s State Water Control Board considers final approval of Dominion Virginia Power’s request to empty more than 200 million gallons of treated toxic coal-ash wastewater from the Possum Point Power Station in Dumfries into Quantico Creek, a Potomac River tributary [“Va. water regulator to decide on permit,” Metro, Jan. 11].

Dominion’s proposal offers less protection than afforded in other states, which is concerning especially because several households near Quantico Creek rely on wells for drinking water. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality approved an arsenic limit 15 times higher than the limit allowed in North Carolina and does not require Dominion to test groundwater for coal-ash byproducts such as chromium and hexavalent chromium.

The Virginia Department of Health has agreed to test area wells for these carcinogens. Virginia should require the best available technology in closing the Possum Point coal-ash ponds. Dominion notes that it is operating within Virginia guidelines, but those guidelines don’t go far enough. Our residents deserve the same protections offered elsewhere.

Frank J. Principi, Woodbridge

The writer, a Democrat, represents Woodbridge
on the Prince William
Board of County Supervisors.