The process known as "capping in place" is on trial:
In the first federal Clean Water Act trial focusing on coal ash leaks, Judge James Gibney Jr. heard four days of arguments against Dominion Virginia Power, last month, about the risks ash pits in Virginia currently pose to ground and surface waters, such as the Elizabeth River. On June 24, he said he would rule after reviewing briefs from both sides.
During the June trial, one expert testified that the 3 million tons of coal ash at the Chesapeake Energy Center site contains 150 tons of arsenic, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represented environmentalists, scientists, and experts testifying on behalf of the Sierra Club in the trial.
Reading the tea leaves on this case, I hold out little hope for a responsible decision. It appears the Judge is skeptical, and has bought into the industry's, "If you want us to clean up our mess, it will cost you" threat-cloaked-as-a-warning posture. The fact such economic blackmail is accepted as sound legal reasoning instead of the strong-arm coercion it is, simply boggles the mind. But that can't survive a thorough appellate review: