The Issues Facing Hampton Roads

Commercial menhaden harvesting. Photo by John Surrick/CBF StaffCommercial menhaden harvesting. Photo by John Surrick/CBF Staff

Map showing location of proposed ODEC power plant. Lucidity Information DesignMap showing location of proposed ODEC power plant. Lucidity Information Design

Plans for ODEC's Proposed Cypress Creek Coal Plant Suspended

On August 8, 2012 it was announced that plans to build a coal-fired power plant in Surry County had been suspended. According to statements, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) asked the Army Corps of Engineers to cease the permitting process needed for the plant to proceed. CBF hopes ODEC officials stand true to these statements. If they do, it will be a great win for the Chesapeake Bay, its rivers and streams and the citizens of Hampton Roads who have so vigorously opposed the facility.

As proposed, the plant would have been the largest coal-fired power plant in Virginia and, by ODEC's own accounts, emit millions of pounds of nitrogen oxides (smog-causing chemicals) and carbon dioxide (a major greenhouse gas), as well as soot, mercury, lead, benzene, and other toxic air pollutants.

Read the CBF report, "A Coal Plant's Drain on Health and Wealth," which explains the impact ODEC's plant would have had if the plant had been built.

Numerous human health organizations, environmental groups, nearby localities, and hundreds of local citizens have publicly opposed the plant due to its likely harmful environmental, economic, and human health impacts on the Hampton Roads region. CBF broadly applauds their unyielding opposition.

ODEC's continued ownership of the property where the plant was proposed and changes in local zoning authority from Sussex County, Surry County, and the Town of Dendron, leave unresolved questions about what will happen next. CBF hopes that a usage of the property can be found that can benefit both the economy and environment of the region. 

For now, we are grateful for this apparent victory! CBF will continue to closely monitor any future permitting actions associated with the property.

See the sidebar for more information and read our report, "A Coal Plant's Drain on Health and Wealth."


Farm fields. Photo courtesy NRCS MarylandWhat role do farms and agricultural production play in the health of our waters? Learn more

Chemical Contamination

An osprey in its nest in the James River right next to a chemical plant. Photo © Krista Schlyer/iLCP.Toxic chemicals are entering our waters every day. What can we do about them? Learn more

Land Use

Sprawl development. Photo copyright Nikki DavisWhen the watershed's land summers from pollution and poor management so, too, does the water. Learn how

Sewage & Septic Systems

Easton Utilities sewage treatment plant. Photo courtesy City of EastonUpgrading wastewater treatment is key to cleaning up the Bay. Learn more

Stormwater Runoff

Residential stormwater runoff. Photo copyright 2010 Krista Schlyer/iLCPDid you know that stormwater runoff is the fastest growing source of Bay pollution? Learn more

Find out what other issues are affecting the health of the Bay. >>

In the News

04.01.15 - CBF Press Release CBF Starts Clock to Meet Living Building Challenge

04.01.15 - CBF Press Statement Chesapeake Bay Foundation Honored to Receive Governor's Environmental Excellence Award

03.31.15 - Natural Bridge conservation fund receives gold award from Gov. Terry McAuliffe

03.31.15 - Pleasure House point environmental center wins award

03.30.15 - CBF Press Release Volunteers Sought to Plant Native Trees, Shrubs, at CBF Brock Center at Pleasure House Point

03.24.15 - Reports: PA, VA must add to, strengthen animal agriculture programs

03.18.15 - Hopewell plant to help stem pollution

03.16.15 - Free breakfast workshop to discuss conservation programs

03.14.15 - Q&A with Chesapeake Bay Foundation scientist Chris Moore

03.11.15 - Video The Brock Environmental Center is Alive

03.09.15 - Audio available Cleaning Chesapeake "Investments Toward a Huge Clean Water Payoff"

03.06.15 - Oyster cages from Tangier adrift in Chesapeake Bay

03.05.15 - Hard winter sets oyster-growing cages adrift in Chesapeake Bay

03.04.15 - CBF Press Release CBF Commends Runoff Permits for Henrico, Fairfax, But Calls for Mandatory Benchmarks and Monitoring

02.26.15 - Virginia receives federal grant to advance Chesapeake Bay cleanup

02.23.15 - Powered By Nature

02.19.15 - CBF Press Release March 10 Blue Planet Forum to Focus on Economic Value of a Clean Chesapeake Bay

02.16.15 - Clean-water advocate will be first speaker in nature series

02.08.15 - CBF Press Statement Bay Foundation Issues Statement on Budget Proposals for Bay Cleanup

02.05.15 - Obama budget is mixed for Chesapeake Bay

02.03.15 - Full Chesapeake Bay cleanup could take decades

02.02.15 - Offshore Drilling Puts Fragile Virginia Coast at Risk

01.30.15 - On the Front Lines of Mitigating Climate Change

01.28.15 - Virginia General Assembly tackles issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed

01.27.15 - Obama's oil drilling proposal draws fire from environmentalists

01.27.15 - Environmental groups question drilling off Va. coast

01.24.15 - A new watering hole

01.15.15 - Bay's grade unworthy of cheer

01.13.15 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation to focus on importance of grasses

01.08.15 - Video Creating one of the world's greenest buildings

01.06.15 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation report gives bay a D+ for health

01.04.15 - Ken Cuccinelli's post-politics endeavor: oyster farming

12.22.14 - Whatever happened to...ex-EVMS leader Harry Lester?

12.16.14 - Research, environmental efforts in Hampton Roads benefit from federal spending plan

12.16.14 - Thousands of miles of Va. rivers are polluted, report shows

12.16.14 - CBF Press Statement Chesapeake Bay Foundation Issues Statement on Virginia Water Quality Report

12.14.14 - Gov. McAuliffe selected to head Chesapeake Executive Council

12.12.14 - Virginia's governor chosen to head bay restoration council

12.11.14 - CBF Press Statement Bay Foundation Congratulates Gov. McAuliffe on Becoming Chair of Bay Executive Council

12.09.14 - Study: Warming imperils Chesapeake Bay aquatic life

12.04.14 -Audio available New Model for Green Building Opens in Virginia Beach

11.22.14 - Virginia is open for oysters

11.09.14 - Building a seaside future

10.30.14 - CBF Press Release CBF Issues Statement Following ASMFC Decision to Reduce Harvest of Striped Bass

10.28.14 - Voyage of discovery

10.27.14 - This Building Is Made From Trash. Yes, Really

10.24.14 - A Conservation Story: Restoring Chesapeake Bay

10.23.14 - Important lessons taught

10.22.14 - Volunteers needed to create oyster reef balls

10.19.14 - Saving the Bay Will Be an Economic Boon to Virginia

10.19.14 - Hundreds donate time to lift the community

10.10.14 - Chesapeake Bay's worth outweighs cost of cleanup

10.10.14 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation announces economic report

10.07.14 - Audio available Cleaning the Chesapeake Bay

10.07.14 - CBF's Brock Environmental Center Will Soon Be the Most Sustainable Building in Virginia

10.06.14 - Report says benefits of bay cleanup four times greater than costs

10.06.14 - Report: Restored bay could mean $50 billion a year to Va.

10.06.14 - Va. Rep. Rigell to host Chesapeake Bay discussion

09.25.14 - A Tipping Point for the Good

09.18.14 - Virginia's first lady announces renewal of environmental literacy program for Beach students

09.15.14 - Virginia is for (oyster) lovers

09.10.14 - Chesapeake Bay group seeks students for conservation course

09.04.14 - Volunteers needed to grow baby oysters

09.03.14 - Virginia's lower bay dodges the record dead zone of the upper bay

09.02.14 - Nationally recognized Peasley science teacher takes hands-on approach

09.02.14 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation plans adult education course

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