Eight people were arrested after demands by Virginia Capital police for the group to disperse after the group's 3:00 p.m. permit expired. Several protestors, ignoring those demands, linked arms together and remained on the capitol steps. They were arrested one-by-one and charged with trespassing.
|Virginia Capitol Police make arrests during demonstration to repeal |
coal ass disbursement in Richmond, Virginia's James River. Photo/CD Brown.
Those arrested were given a summons to appear before a judge where they will have the opportunity to plead guilty, or not, to trespassing charges.
Repeal and rewrite
Protestors said they want the DEQ to repeal and rewrite permits that would allow Dominion to dispurse coal ash into the James River.
Federal regulations are requiring utility companies to close ponds were coal ash has been stored. Dominion currently has 11 such ponds and will need to rid those ponds, making the James River a likely dumping ground.
Dominion released the following statement on their website: "Dominion is committed to keeping the waterways in our communities clean. Closing the ash ponds will keep our rivers safe by preventing coal ash pond failures from occurring." (Read more here).
Saturday's protestors demanded to speak to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who protestors say agrees with Dominion's plans.
"He promised to be a green governor then agreed to the ACP pipeline which is totally not for the environment", said Tatiane McCormick, of No ACP.
McAuliffe was not at the State Capitol and is Washington to attend the National Governor's Association Dinner.
Organizers have created an online petition that supporters can sign by texting "COALASH" to 384-70.
|Photos from Saturday's coal ash demonstration. Photos/CD Brown.|
The protest is reminscent of the relevation of the Flint Michigan water crisis. A protestor at Saturday's demonstration carried a sign that read, 'Are we the next Flint Michigan?'
"If we can't have clean water, we have nothing", said Andrew Tyler, a Cherokee and Pamunkey Indian. "Water is necessary for the sustenance of life", he said.
2012 White House response to coal ash
Helpful: 20 point list of priorities to Flint water crisis