How we got started

In the latter part of 2017, a group of environmentally-conscious York County citizens began meeting to discuss the coal ash deposits in our community, specifically toxicity issues related to the Chisman Creek Superfund site and the Coal Ash Landfill. These discussions focused on accurate, comprehensive monitoring and effective clean-up, as well as­­­­ future land use, once the Power Plant and Oil Refinery are retired in the near future.

 

On April 25, 2018, our group of concerned citizens met with Board of Supervisors (BOS) member Chad Green, District 3, to request the establishment of an "advisory committee" that could work with the BOS to achieve the above goals. A letter addressed to all members of the BOS and signed by many additional concern citizens was also presented. Supervisor Green then suggested we attend an upcoming BOS meeting and present our request publicly.

 

During the Public Comment Period at the May 15, 2018 BOS meeting, we raised several devastating issues related to our local coal ash deposits, e.g., the continuing contamination of our soil and groundwater, atypically high rates of disease in adjacent populations, and the sites’ vulnerability to sea level rise and increasing numbers of extreme weather events. We expressed the hope that a citizens’ advisory committee might help oversee remediation and clean-up efforts and ensure an open and transparent process regarding future uses of these environmentally problematic sites.

 

On October 25th, as a result of our BOS presentation, several of us met with York County Administrator, Neil Morgan, and several other staff members. It was agreed that our group of concerned citizens should continue its efforts as an “ad hoc” committee, one that would interface with a designated York County liaison and meet on a quarterly basis. It was also agreed that, as needed at future meetings, the County would facilitate participation from the state Department of Environmental Quality, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, and Dominion Virginia Power and Plains All American Pipelines. The County further agreed to provide timely access to all information it should receive regarding the properties in question, including any and all environmental concerns, disposition, remediation, and maintenance.