March 27, 2009

"Toxic Waste Masquerading as a Golf Course"
Chesapeake residents to file $1 billion lawsuit over fly ash
By Robert McCabe
The Virginian-Pilot
Attorneys representing nearly 400 people who live near the Battlefield Golf Club at Centerville say they will file a lawsuit Friday in Chesapeake Circuit Court seeking a jury trial and damages in excess of
$1 billion.
The defendants named in the suit include Dominion Virginia Power, which supplied 1.5 million tons of fly ash used to contour the golf course; CPM Virginia LLC, the developers of the course; and VFL Technology Corp., described as Dominion’s coal-ash management consultant.
The suit’s demands include the removal of all fly ash from the site; installation of public water and sewer; the cleaning of the aquifer under the course; compensation for lost property values and personal injury; and the establishment of a fund for medical monitoring and treatment costs.
Last fall, Dominion committed to pay up to $6 million to extend city water to residences near the golf course.
Fly ash is a powdery residue left from the burning of coal for electricity. It contains heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury that can pose environmental threats through groundwater and air.
The City Council unanimously approved a conditional-use permit for the golf course in June 2001, after assu rances by Dominion that there were no environmental concerns the council needed to be made aware of and that the project met all federal and state requirements.
The golf course opened in the fall of 2007.
The suit describes the development as a "toxic waste site masquerading as a 'golf course.’"
It alleges that the defendants knew that coal ash and the chemicals it contains were harmful if leached into the water and that the site "was inappropriate for coal-ash placement."

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