CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – The coal bi-products that come out of Dominion Virginia's Chesterfield Power Station are stored in a landfill. But space is limited. So a project to build a new one is quickly picking up steam.
"We are running out of space to store a bi-product or the fly ash, bottom ash and some scrubber waste that comes out of the process of burning coal to turn it into electricity," said Jim Norvelle, spokesperson for Dominion Virginia Power.
The current on-site landfill is set to reach capacity in 2019. A new one must be operating before then.
"The new landfill that we're proposing can last 20 years, maybe longer, depending on how much of it can be recycled," he said.
Some bi-products can be recycled into asphalt or concrete; others into drywall. The rest is deemed toxic waste. It will sit in a lined landfill located in these woods which stretches 190 acres. But the landfill itself will only be 92 acres. The rest of the property will serve as a safety buffer.
"We'll have monitoring wells around the perimeter to make sure that it's not leaking out into the environment," said Norvelle.
Right now, Dominion has reached out to the 80 nearest land owners and the commercial community. Debbie Harrison's house is about five miles away. She didn't get the memo until we showed up.
"It's definitely a surprise. I mean I haven't heard anything about it," said Debbie Harrison.
Even though the project is far off, this mother of six wants details.
"That's the James River back there. There's a lot of fishing, the kids go back there and play in the woods," she said.
The $50 million project has the approval of the county's planning department. It now has to get the okay from the board of supervisors and the state department of environmental quality.