Ecosystem Conservation

Dominion has been involved in a wide range of projects and programs to conserve important elements of the environment. These projects have resulted in more than 1,000 acres protected in conservation easements, 46,000 acres of reservoirs and lakes created and protected, and 600 acres of wetlands created or restored. Two thousand acres of land are managed for wildlife habitat enhancement.

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Protecting Animals and Birds

The Mt. Storm Power Station in West Virginia has been a state environmental leader for its long commitment to improving water quality for game fish, tagging black bears, improving wildlife habitat, creating wetlands and preserving pristine wilderness areas. Some key activities include:

Improvements to the power station's 10,000-acre property, which is home to rich populations of game and non-game species.

To enhance wildlife resources, company biologists installed 15 mallard duck nests, 20 wood duck boxes and 15 blue bird nest boxes.A 22-acre wetland was created to compensate for the eight acres of wetlands taken in the expansion of the station's ash management facility.

A long-term black bear research program, initiated in cooperation with the state. This program involves the radio tracking of scores of wild bear trapped on the property. This cooperative program continues today and has become a model for other areas.

Nesting Sites

Dominion has erected nesting platforms for ospreys to avoid nests around operating equipment that could interfere with operations and nesting schedules. We have also partnered with Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries and Virginia Department of Transportation on nesting platforms.

At Surry Power Station, many species of birds frequent our facilities and, through employee initiatives, we have placed nesting structures for bluebirds, purple martins, barn owls, wood ducks and ospreys.

Our environmental program is equally comprehensive at Millstone Power Station. We have erected numerous safe and accessible nesting sites for osprey, enabling more fledgling birds to survive in the wild.

Great Blue Heron Rookery Project

Dominion partnered with the National Audubon Society to observe the life stages of a Great Blue Heron Rookery on the James River in Richmond, Virginia, during the spring of 2011. Thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation, the National Audubon Society has presented photographs, videos, and interviews with experts.

Eel Ladders

Dominion has installed two eel ladders on its Roanoke Rapids Power Station to allow American eels to continue their journey to their historic habitat in the Roanoke River basin.

Protecting Plants

Dominion collaborated with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Natural Heritage Department, to identify and protect colonies of rare plants on its various rights-of-way.

To date, some 160 sites all containing extremely rare plants have been noted and specific management plans adopted to protect those sites.

Protecting Land

Pleasure House Point

Pleasure House Point in Virginia Beach, Va., will remain an undeveloped oasis in the city where visitors can explore and learn about its valuable habitat, thanks to support from Dominion Virginia Power and the Dominion Foundation. The City of Virginia Beach is calling the $13 million preservation of the property for a public park space an environmental and economical coup. The 118 acres of tidal marsh, sandy shores and maritime forest near the Lynnhaven Inlet is home to the iconic Chesapeake Bay blue crab and the Lynnhaven oyster.

The city’s plans for the site include a state-of-the-art green Environmental Education Center, the first of its kind in Virginia and among only 18 prospective Living Buildings on the East Coast. The high-profile property was once a target for a large waterfront development. With the help of Dominion, the project’s largest corporate donor, as well as the Trust for Public Land, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, eco-friendly businesses and the surrounding community, the city has preserved one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land on the Lynnhaven River.

Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust

Dominion is a member of the Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust, a unique partnership with the Sierra Club and the Maryland Conservation Council. The trust ensures the environmental preservation of a significant portion of the Dominion Cove Point property. The site includes one of the premier freshwater wetlands on the East Coast and is designed to preserve the natural beauty of the Chesapeake Bay.

River Star Program

Dominion has been a member of the River Star Program of the Elizabeth River Project from 2000 to the present. The overall goal of the program is water quality improvement and habitat enhancement of the Elizabeth River. Dominion entered into a land conservation agreement including about 52 acres of wetlands located at the southwest of the power station. Biologists have performed a delineation of plant species and are assisting with development of projects to improve the area's benefit to the river. The Elizabeth River Project recognized CEC as an achievement level "River Star" for its efforts with this project.

Bear Rocks

Dominion donated 477 acres of extraordinary ecological habitat called Bear Rocks, to The Nature Conservancy of West Virginia. The land, located adjacent to the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, will be used in perpetuity for conservation purposes. The Nature Conservancy is creating interpretive materials to make the area accessible for hiking and wildlife-watching, in a manner compatible with the protection of the area's natural resources.

Dutch Gap

Dominion has made contributions in land and services to help establish the 800-acre conservation area known as Dutch Gap, which is adjacent to the Chesterfield Power Station.

Protecting Air Resources and Related Values

As part of Dominion’s landmark agreement with the EPA and five states in 2003, Dominion committed to funding a series of mitigation projects intended to improve the air resources and related values in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. As of July 2004, all mitigation projects, totaling $13.9 million, had been funded by Dominion. Mitigation projects funded by Dominion included:

  • Clean Diesel, Idle Reduction and School Bus Retrofit Projects in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Maryland.
  • Acquisition, restoration, and management of resource lands to effectively mitigate the impacts of abandoned mined lands in southwest Virginia.
  • Installation of solar photovoltaics on municipal buildings in New York.
  • Installation of particulate emission controls on late-model conventional diesel buses used to transport commuters from various locations in the State of New Jersey into New York City.
  • Application of lime to acidic streams and lakes in West Virginia.
  • Purchase of hybrid vehicles and EPA 2004 compliant Heavy-Duty Diesel vehicles for use by National Park Service staff in Shenandoah National Park.
Protecting Water Resources

Dominion Named "Hero of the Chesapeake Bay"

On May 27, 2010, the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen's Foundation named Dominion "Hero of the Chesapeake Bay" for its continuing support of environmental programs in the Bay, particularly the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative (MARI), "a 21st century project whose contributions to the proliferation of fisheries and other marine life in the Chesapeake Bay are unrivaled."

The Dominion Foundation has awarded nearly $500,000 in grants to create the Dominion Reef at the Gooses, an artificial reef northwest of the Dominion Cove Point liquefied natural gas facility, and an open-water monitoring buoy with telemetry — also called a "smart buoy" — that will be placed at the reef.

Dominion Pledges $250,000 to Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative

In March 2008, The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion contributed $250,000 to Coastal Conservation Association Maryland (CCA Md) to support construction of artificial reefs in the Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

The contribution makes Dominion the largest single supporter of the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative [MARI], which will utilize concrete rubble from the old Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Washington, D.C., to build new reefs in the Chesapeake Bay. Funds provided by Dominion and other contributors will pay for transporting the material and depositing it in select areas of the bay.

The reefs will enhance marine ecosystems and pave the way for widespread restoration efforts throughout the Chesapeake Bay to the benefit of seagrasses, oysters, crabs, sea ducks, and many other forms of marine life. The reefs will provide critical habitat that is desperately needed throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

Brayton Point Station Water Conservation - Use of Recycled Water

At Dominion's Brayton Point power plant in Massachusetts, a project has been completed which re-uses treated sanitary wastewater as process water for new emissions control equipment. Rather than using drinking water-quality resources, treated water from a nearby wastewater treatment facility provides approximately 0.61 million gallons per day of water for two sulfur dioxide emission control "scrubbers" being used at the power plant.

A 1.8-mile pipeline will convey the reclaimed water from the Municipal Water Pollution Control facility to the power plant. Ultimately, a total of 1.28 million gallons per day of water from the wastewater treatment facility will be re-used at the power plant for emission control and other processes within the plant.

Corporate Wetlands Partnership

Dominion has joined with other companies and government agencies to collaborate on wetland restoration projects in Massachusetts and Virginia. The Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership works to bring together private companies and federal and state agencies on environmental projects. Such projects include restoration of a wide variety of aquatic habitats — from salt marshes and fish runs along the coast to rivers, lake and freshwater wetlands.

Little Back Creek Initiative

As a key goal of the Bath County Pumped Storage Station's environmental stewardship commitment, biologists from Dominion and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries are jointly monitoring the health of Little Back Creek and the native brook trout population. Little Back Creek flows through the station's property from its upper reservoir. Each fall, the biologists evaluate the stream and the size of the brook trout population, and also gather information on the availability of insects and minnows that make up a trout's diet.

Potomac Headwaters Home Rivers Initiative

Dominion and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation have partnered with the national conservation organization Trout Unlimited (TU) to launch a new watershed restoration initiative in the headwaters of the Potomac River in West Virginia. The Dominion Foundation and the Wildlife Foundation each provided $100,000 grants.

The Potomac Headwaters Home Rivers Initiative will initially focus on the headwaters of the South Branch of the Potomac in Hardy, Pendleton, and Grant Counties, West Virginia.

The initiative will work closely with local communities, landowners, and state and federal agencies to improve fish habitat and water quality through a combination of voluntary measures, including on-the-ground restoration projects.

An important emphasis of the project will be expanding habitat for brook trout, the only trout native to the region.

Dominion and TU have engaged in a series of projects over the last several years, including several stream restoration projects in Virginia and West Virginia; construction of an access dock for disabled anglers on Lake Sherando in Augusta County, Virginia; and production of an educational video on the effects of acid rain on Virginia’s mountains.

Wildlife Habitat Council's Three Rivers Habitat Partnership

Over the past several years, Dominion has supported a backyard buffer project initiative by the Three Rivers Habitat Partnership.

TRHP and Dominion employees worked together to stabilize the banks of the Beaver Run stream which meandors through Dominion Transmission's Oakford Station. They planted more than 300 native trees and shrubs.

Employees also constructed and erected bluebird nest boxes and bat boxes to support a balanced wildlife habitat at the site.

The site has been used for several workshops sponsored by the Partnership and students from a local high school visited the site to conduct a stream study.

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