Victory in Landmark Clean Water Act Challenge

PO Box 88 ~ Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone (336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~ Email:

FEBRUARY 20, 2009

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Louis Zeller (336) 982-2691 or (336) 977-0852

Victory in Landmark Clean Water Act Challenge
League and Lake Residents Overturn Dominion Nuke Permit

Today a Virginia court in Richmond ruled that state agencies violated federal law and that the water quality permit for Dominion-Virginia Power’s North Anna nuclear station is revoked. Judge Spencer ruled that Lake Anna water quality is governed by the federal Clean Water Act and that Virginia’s Attorney General was wrong in supporting the state’s water permit.

This landmark decision favored the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and co-plaintiffs residing near Lake Anna by determining that the so-called hot side of the lake is “waters of the United States.” The Virginia State Water Control Board must now go back to the drawing board to evaluate the adverse impacts of hot water discharges to Lake Anna from the two nuclear reactors.

Louis Zeller, Science Director of the League, said, “We and lakeside residents have long believed that Dominion is guilty of thermal pollution; however, we believe that the greatest impact of the Richmond court’s decision is that the Commonwealth and the people must reject the permitting of a third reactor at our endangered Lake Anna.”

The League is conducting research to see how many other power plants will be affected by this decision.


The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s Petition for Appeal was filed in Circuit Court for the City of Richmond on December 28, 2007 pursuant to Virginia Code §§ 62.1-44.29 and 2.2-4026 and Rule 2A:4 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia. The appeal sought judicial review of the October 29, 2007 decision by the Virginia State Water Control Board to re-issue Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit No. VA0052451 to Dominion-Virginia Power’s North Anna nuclear power plant Units 1 and 2.