Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League  PO Box 88  Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 (336) 982-2691 office   (336) 977-0852 cell




JANUARY 2, 2008



Louis Zeller 336-977-0852




Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and the People’s Alliance for Clean Energy announced the filing of their appeal in Circuit Court in Richmond opposing the state water quality permit for the North Anna nuclear power station.  The groups want the court to revoke the permit because it is causing serious harm to Lake Anna.  The damages listed in the petition include injurious heating of the lake, fish kills and the growth of dangerous microorganisms. 


State and federal laws require limitations on thermal pollution discharged into Virginia‘s waters.  The complaint which was filed on Friday, December 28th states:  “[R]e-issuance of this Permit was in violation of Virginia’s State Water Control Law, the federal Clean Water Act, and the Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination System, as well as other laws and regulations governing water quality.” 


Louis Zeller, of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, stated the appeal is largely based on longstanding complaints from people living around the lake.  He said, “Environmental organizations and area residents presented evidence to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the State Water Control Board which showed that hot water from the nuclear plant is polluting Lake Anna.”  He continued, “Despite these legitimate concerns raised at public hearings, the state ignored our pleas.”


Lakeside residents who joined the appeal listed their concerns.  Gary Muller said, “We call the area around Dike One the ‘hot tub.’  When water temperatures are high, I often see ‘floaters,’ or dead fish, in the lake.  When the lake water is very hot, I have seen a brown scum on the surface.”  


High temperatures may cause the growth of amoebae.  Barbara Crawford said, “I believe the growth of a dangerous amoeba in the lake makes it unsafe to swim and I will not go into the lake water again.” 


Tersh Norton, another lakeside resident, added, “Lake water temperatures have increased.  When the power plants are taken off line, the temperature temporarily drops 6-8 degrees-F and lake levels rise several inches.  Temperatures rise and the lake drops when the power plants come back on line.” 


The December 28th petition cited the inappropriate efforts by the Virginia Attorney General to influence the State Water Control Board.  Before the board voted, Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell wrote: “It is my opinion that the State Water Control Board does not have the legal authorization to impose limitations on thermal effluent involved in discharges by Dominion Nuclear North Anna, LLC, from its reactors at its North Anna Power Station.”


Louis Zeller responded, “The people in communities throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia rely on the integrity and the independence of the citizens’ boards which represent their interests.  If the State Water Control Board cannot control Dominion’s pollution, who can?  Virginia’s citizens’ commissions must be allowed to make decisions which are free from political influence.”


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