For Immediate Release: January 28, 2019
Contact: John Swenson, EnCAP-IT,
Richmond-Based EnCAP-IT Asks Governor Northam
To Ensure Consumer Protection by Including “Alternative Solutions” in Coal Ash Clean-Up Bill
RICHMOND, Va. — While Gov. Ralph Northam and his administration have made significant, positive progress in ensuring that a bipartisan compromise bill to clean up Dominion’s coal ash moves forward within the Virginia General Assembly, Richmond-based company EnCAP-IT is asking the governor to encourage policymakers to take it one step further to ensure consumer protection.
EnCAP-IT – which has more than eight years of national experience working to resolve environmental issues related – is asking the governor and policymakers to consider including language in SB 1533 that allows for alternative solutions to be considered through a RFP (Request for Proposal) process.
“We are excited about the progress that has been made on this important environmental issue,” said John Swenson, managing partner of EnCAP-IT. “By deleting a couple of words to the current legislation, ‘optionality’ will become a consideration, which ensures that all solutions to coal ash clean-up are on the table, therefore creating a win-win for the environment, the commonwealth, and Dominion Energy.”
Currently, the proposed bill calls for two remedies to clean up Dominion’s coal ash. Those include encapsulated beneficial use of a minimum of 25% and then disposal. According to EnCAP-IT, unencapsulated beneficial uses (what EnCAP-IT refers to as “Macroencapsulation”) exist that should also be considered, not as a substitute alternative, but in addition to the bill’s predestined methods.
Macroencapsulation would allow coal ash to be recycled in synthetically-lined berms above the water table at a power plant site. This technique is just as safe as landfilling, however with the benefit of leveraging existing footprints. VA DEQ has already determined that this method is safe at two landfills in Virginia, positioning the Commonwealth as an industry leader.
“Macroencapsulation is a large-volume beneficial solution to this problem that is not currently on the table,” Swenson added. “It’s the most practical solution because roadway logistics, transportation costs and risks are all minimized. In addition, it is a more affordable option for the ratepayer.”
“Before legislation is finalized, let’s at least ensure that optionality and alternative solutions are not determined in legislative process, but in RFP process,” Swenson said. “No matter who gets the job in the end, it’s important that all options are considered. There is a lot of work to do.”
EnCAP-IT was founded in 2009 in Glen Allen, Virginia, as a consulting and design firm. The company works to resolve environmental issues for waste management, power and other industries with our proprietary macroencapsulation technology. By using combustion residuals and other production byproducts to create eMSE berms, EnCAP-IT can achieve beneficial reuse and dramatically reduce construction costs for its clients. For more information, visit: https://encap-it.net