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Environment Archive

Chesapeake airs concerns about proposed trash port

By MIKE GRUSSThe Virginian-Pilot
CHESAPEAKE — A proposed trash port on the Portsmouth waterfront could sit across the Elizabeth River from luxury condos in South Norfolk, one of a series of scenarios that alarms and frustrates Chesapeake leaders. Chesapeake City Council members say the trash port will redefine South Hampton Roads as an East Coast dumping ground and hinder the city’s economic development efforts.Covanta Energy Corp. wants to develop 10 acres in Portsmouth, just north of the Jordan Bridge, according to a permit . . .

Off-road issue tops list for Outer Bank's park chief

By catherine kozakThe Virginian-Pilot
Mike Murray has taken charge of the National Park Service Outer Banks Group with threats of two lawsuits hanging over his head and unfinished projects to complete. Not to mention the tight budget, the overworked staff and a spitting-mad public. As the new superintendent of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial, Murray’s first task is tackling the considerable challenge of creating an off-road-vehicle management plan that . . .

Second phase of Superfund cleanup to begin soon

By Janie BryantThe Virginian-Pilot
PORTSMOUTH — Three years after the Environmental Protection Agency began testing soil outside the original 700-foot radius of the Abex Superfund site, preliminary information is being mailed to city and state officials and residents. The EPA still has not determined how many properties will become part of the second phase of cleanup for the Abex site, which spurred the relocation of residents and the 2003 demolition of the Washington Park public housing complex. But Hilary Thornton, . . .

Garbage port proposed on Portsmouth waterfront

By SCOTT HARPER and meghan hoyerThe Virginian-Pilot
PORTSMOUTH — A New Jersey company has asked state regulators to approve a new trash port on the Portsmouth waterfront, where barges would unload an average of 2,200 tons of out-of-state garbage each day , beginning as early as 2008 . Covanta Energy Corp. wants to develop 10 acres of city-owned land on the Elizabeth River, just north of the Jordan Bridge, as part of a plan to import household garbage from New York City and elsewhere for disposal in southeastern Virginia.According to a permit application . . .

Controls may be needed before drilling off coast

By SCOTT HARPERThe Virginian-Pilot
Virginia should allow exploration of natural gas and oil deposits off its coast, but only after thorough and careful attention to potential environmental harm, a study prepared for Gov. Mark Warner and state lawmakers concludes. The report released late Tuesday by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Michael J. Schewel recommends that no drilling occur within 50 miles of the coast, that no pipeline or infrastructure be built on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and that any exploration seek both natural . . .

Lawmaker sees bill as the future of energy in Va.

By SCOTT HARPERThe Virginian-Pilot
Offering tax refunds to Virginians who buy hybrid cars and energy-saving appliances. Choosing new sites for a nuclear power plant, a wind farm and a liquid natural gas port.Attempting to mine natural gas deposits off the Virginia coast. Creating a research center at Old Dominion University for frozen methane-gas crystals buried in the bottom of the sea.Requiring all new state buildings to be environmentally friendly.All of those items are included in a draft Virginia Energy Bill , which state . . .

Va. Marine Science Center's new care center project

By Gillian GaynairThe Virginian-Pilot
VIRGINIA BEACH — They have performed necropsies under a white tent in biting cold and suffocating heat. Stored animal carcasses outside, in freezers. Housed stranded marine animals under the same roof as healthy ones. It’s been an ongoing struggle for the animal care center at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, but those cramped conditions are about to change.The city plans to spend $5 million to buy 38 acres adjacent to Owl Creek, where it will build a new animal care center.After . . .

Legislators seek to expand renewable energy use

By carolyn ShapiroThe Virginian-Pilot
RICHMOND — The state legislative commission overseeing electricity deregulation pushed forward Friday a proposal that would require a percentage of Virginia’s power supply to come from renewable sources. The Commission on Electric Utility Restructuring stopped short of endorsing the draft bill for a “renewable portfolio standard.” It would increase over a decade the portion of renewable power used by Virginians, starting at almost 4 percent and growing to 20 percent by 2016.Renewable sources include . . .

Calm winds yield a swell swell in Outer Banks

By catherine kozakThe Virginian-Pilot
Clean, overhead swells reached the Outer Banks early Thursday, gifting hearty surfers with a rare day of glassy winter wave riding. Originated in a low pressure system in the North Atlantic, the 4- to 6-foot breakers weren’t spoiled by winds that usually make for choppy conditions, said Lynn Shell, owner of the Outer Banks Boarding Co. in Nags Head. Fog hovering over the ocean cloaked the surf in an ethereal mist. The 48-degree water temperature didn’t discourage what Shell guessed was about . . .

Common reed preys on Shore land

By Earl SwiftThe Virginian-Pilot
OYSTER — The common reed is a good-looking plant. It grows tall and slender, its feathery crowns glowing golden in the late-afternoon sun, and bobbing as one in the gusts that sweep this seafaring village. It’s been here for as long as people can remember, its stems making soft music around the town harbor and out by the boat ramp, along roadsides and on the low islands that guard Oyster from the sea. It’s so familiar a part of the scenery that it’s hard to imagine Virginia’s Eastern Shore without . . .

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