Water Quality

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Environmental projects in Virginia are getting a big boon. The state is receiving nearly $8 million in funding to help clean the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

In addition to matching support from private companies, the funds come largely from the federal government.

“Restoring the bay is imminently doable, we just need to ramp up our efforts and we need to think creatively and we need to think innovatively," says Jeff Corbin with the EPA.

For the first time in years the health of Virginia’s largest river is considered above average. That’s the word from the The James River Association. The non profit advocacy group released its annual State of the James Report.

On a grading scale that takes into account wildlife, pollution, and habitat... the James earned a B-minus, better than the C-plus of 2013.

Bill Street is CEO of the James River Association.

“The biggest reason for that improvement is addressing pollution from wastewater from our sewage treatment plants and industry.”

Matt Wasson, Appalachian Voices/Creative Commons

Burning coal to make electricity isn’t its only impact on the environment. The mining process has also been shown to pollute nearby waterways.

New rules proposed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement to protect that water, will be debated over the next several months. Some see them as a potential threat to dwindling coal jobs and others, as not strong enough to protect the environment.


The level of environmental pollution rose in Virginia for the first time in seven years. And once again, Montgomery County in the southwestern part of the state, tops the list for the largest amount of toxic emissions. But some say the numbers are misleading.

If You Smell Something, Say Something

Jan 19, 2015

Scientists say 50-year old water regulations are out of step with modern challenges to the country’s drinking water. Urban and agricultural runoff, fracking, and water shortages, have changed what gets into the water. Scientists are calling for a fresh look at the smell and taste of the country’s drinking water.


Municipal drinking water safety is carefully regulated by cities and towns; on up to the federal government, but when it comes to the taste of that water, not so much.