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Compromise coal ash bill would extend closure moratorium

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Virginia Senate panel has advanced a measure preventing Dominion Energy from capping its coal ash in place for at least another year while lawmakers study the issue.

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee approved the compromise measure Wednesday. It would extend the moratorium on coal ash pond closures put in place last year, although it would allow Dominion to seek permits to close ponds it has already excavated.

The bill would also require Dominion to seek bids from coal ash recycling companies.

Other coal ash bills that had been under consideration this session have been referred to a joint legislative committee for further study.

Environmental groups generally characterized the measure as a step in the right direction.

The bill still must pass the full House and Senate.

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