Daily Digest

Groups challenge construction changes at Georgia nuclear plant

NUCLEAR: An environmental non-profit and a citizens group challenge construction changes at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle, claiming they increase the risk of a hydrogen fire and explosion. (Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League)

ALSO:
• The TVA is weighing the development of several designs of small modular reactors near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (Associated Press)
• The activation of the TVA’s Watts Bar 2 reactor this month symbolizes how nuclear energy is simultaneously making a comeback while fading away. (Slate)

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CLEAN POWER PLAN: For reasons it did not disclose, the federal Appeals Court set to hear challenges to the plan June 2 delays the hearing until September 27. (The Hill)

COAL ASH:
• Environmentalists in Virginia are girding for future fights with Dominion Virginia Power over how to protect drinking water while safely disposing of tons of ash. (Bacon’s Rebellion)
North Carolina is due Wednesday to rank cleanup priorities for various ash basins throughout the state. (Carolina Public Press)

SOLAR:
Three closely-watched solar projects awaiting regulatory approval in Virginia hinge on whether Dominion Virginia Power is properly addressing ratepayer and environmental issues. (Daily Press)
• North Carolina approves two new Duke Energy solar systems totaling about 75 megawatts. (PV-Tech)
• A suburban Richmond engineer leads a bulk-purchasing co-op that has grown to 101 members. (Richmond Magazine)
• A North Carolina homeowner says he’s standing up to Duke Energy by supplying most of his electricity needs with a rooftop system. (Rockingham Now)

GRID: How a truly national power transmission system might supply cleaner energy to regions lacking those resources and significantly reduce power plant emissions. (The Atlantic)

CLIMATE: Alabama joins Exxon Mobil in a lawsuit to block a probe into the oil giant’s climate change research. (The Hill)

WIND: A North Carolina couple sues the state claiming the construction of a large wind farm adjacent to their home wasn’t properly permitted. (National Wind Watch)

COAL:
• West Virginia mining officials investigate the second death of a coal miner in the state this year. (Associated Press)
• The Department of Energy gives 15,000 tons of coal to a Kentucky economic development agency. (West Kentucky Star)
Alabama is competing with 12 other states for $50 million in federal grants to help laid-off miners find work. (WTVM)
• A West Virginia coal company is sued after laying off about 120 employees without providing 60 days advance warning required under federal law. (Legal News Line)

OIL & GAS: Researchers are headed to the Gulf to assess damages by Shell’s leak of about 88,000 gallons of oil off the Louisiana coast. Photos are here (Associated Press, Vice News)

FRACKING: A Florida proposal to ease restrictions on toxic chemical releases into surface water could entice fracking companies. (Climate Progress)

PIPELINES: Virginia’s natural resources chief says it will ensure the planned construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will not add to the sediment fouling the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. (Chesapeake Bay Journal)

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EFFICIENCY: The Department of Energy certifies the first two “Net Zero Energy Ready Homes” in North Carolina. (WCQS)

COMMENTARY:
• Coal ash plans in North Carolina need to be realistic while protecting pocketbooks and public health. (Raleigh News & Observer)
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has turned out to be surprisingly bad on climate change and clean energy issues. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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