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August 2011

Did Earthquakes Shake Confidence in Nuclear Power?

Nuclearpower Did the recent earthquake across the Chesapeake region and East Coast make you nervous about nuclear power?  Voice your opinions.

In the wake of the  5.8 magnitude quake last month centered in Virginia, the North Anna nuclear power plant in Louisa County, Virginia, briefly shut down, as a precaution. Although no significant damage was reported, federal regulators are investigating whether the quake exceeded the maximum level the two reactors at the plant were built to handle, The Hill is reporting.   UPDATE 9/1/11:  A 3.4 magnitude aftershock earthquake was felt in Virginia this morning.

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Hurricane Irene Overwhelms Sewage Systems, Releases Millions of Gallons of Waste

Danger polluted water keep out sign 014

Rain from Hurricane Irene flooded sewage systems across Maryland, overwhelming sewage treatment plants and releasing millions of gallons of waste into Chesapeake Bay tributaries, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Baltimore County reported 12 incidents of sewage pumping stations overflowing this weekend, with each incident releasing between 2,000 gallons and more than 13 million gallons of sewage mixed with rainwater, according to the state agency. The storm also flooded wastewater treatment plants in the Towns of Millington and Greensboro on the Eastern Shore, and it shut down ultraviolet disinfection facilities at the Mattawoman Wastewater Treatment Plant in Southern Maryland, according to the state agency.

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Localities Get Bay Cleanup Help

Nestled in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Blue Ridge Community College’s Weyer’s Cave campus is 150 miles and a four-hour drive from the Chesapeake Bay. But this week it was ground zero for Chesapeake Bay restoration.

On Tuesday, local officials from five counties and cities comprising the Central Shenandoah Planning CSPDC_map_new%20copy3_r1_c1 District Commission gathered on the campus for a workshop on implementing Virginia’s Bay cleanup plan in their local communities.  Translation: they got down into the weeds of reducing pollution and saving the Bay.

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Saving History, Saving the Bay

It looks like the stars may be aligning to permanently preserve a significant portion of Fort Monroe, a U.S. Army fortress that has been standing guard over the mouth of the Hampton Roads harbor for more than 175 years.

The fort, which has been an active military base since it was built between 1819 and 1834, is scheduled to be decommissioned by the Pentagon next month, and much of the property will be returned to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The question is, what happens then?

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More TLC for Two Very Important Bay Critters

Some encouraging news in recent days about two of the Chesapeake Bay’s most important living resources, menhaden and blue crabs.

First, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) voted last week to move forward with a series of proposals that should help increase the overall number of menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay.

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Northumberland Citizens Hope Petitions Save Bluff Point

Bluff Point aerial 
Hundreds of Northumberland County, Va., citizens are making one thing perfectly clear: they don’t want the county to make a special exception and allow a massive new development in one of Northumberland’s most environmentally sensitive areas.

Some 620 county residents – about 5 percent of the county’s population -- have signed petitions opposing a “special exception permit” that would let Charlottesville developer Tom Dingledine build his Bluff Point project.

Not only is the number of petition signatures significant, but half of them come from residents living in parts of the county not immediately adjacent to the project area, according to Citizens to Protect Bluff Development map Point, a group opposed to the development plan.  In other words, it’s not just a NIMBY thing; folks across Northumberland don’t want the county to okay the project.

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