Nine months after 39,000 tons of coal ash spilled into the Dan River from a decommissioned power plant in North Carolina the ultimate environmental, economic and legal consequences remain unknown.
The community most immediately and most visibly affected by the spill was Danville in Southside Virginia where residents were shocked to see the river's surface covered with a sickly gray film the morning after the release.
Duke Energy – owner of the power plant – has been able to retrieve 3,000 tons of ash from the Dan and says the rest will dissipate.
Dominion is sending surveyors into the field, planning to build a 550-mile pipeline to transport natural gas from West Virginia to customers in Virginia and North Carolina. The company hopes to complete construction by 2018, but some landowners who live along the route are showing remarkable ingenuity in their fight to prevent the project.
Fred and Bonnie Powell own a farm in Augusta County that’s been in the family for generations.
“I literally was born in the house right over – you can see the roof right across there. That’s our home place.”
What would the nation’s energy policy look like if Republicans capture the Senate this fall? Capitol Hill reporter Matt Laslo caught up with Virginia lawmakers and energy analysts to find out the potential impact on the commonwealth.