Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2019  
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  Free in Three? Coal Ban in Three Years Proposed.
June 18, 2019

Following direction of the Richmond City Council, Richmond City staff has drafted an ordinance that will prohibit the storage and handling of coal and petroleum coke in Richmond in three years. The proposed ordinance will be first heard by the Planning Commission on July 18, 2019, before being voted on by the City Council. The most immediate impact will be on Levin Terminal, the only location in Richmond currently storing and handling coal and coke.

See the following link for the City’s draft regulations pertaining to the handling and storage of coal and petroleum coke:

The following is stated as the purpose of the regulation:

    A. This Article is intended to protect and promote the health, safety, and welfare of the City’s citizens, visitors, and workers by reducing the release of pollutants into the environment as a result of coal and petroleum coke storage and handling. This Article is also intended to reduce the public health, safety, and welfare impacts (including, without limitation, adverse impacts to property values, aesthetics, and economic interests) caused by the storage and handling of coal and petroleum coke.
    B. This Article bans the establishment and/or expansion of storage and handling of coal and/or petroleum coke throughout the City of Richmond, with certain exceptions. The Article also phases out existing allowed uses of land involving the storage and handling of coal and petroleum coke, by providing a three-year amortization period for such existing allowed uses to transition to other lawful uses and materials. This amortization period is intended to strike a proper balance between protecting the public from the health hazards of coal and petroleum coke storage and handling, while also protecting existing jobs and providing sufficient time for businesses to transition.
    C. This Article is not intended to, and shall not be interpreted to regulate or applied to prohibit the transportation of coal and/or petroleum coke, for example, by train or marine vessel, including without limitation through the City of Richmond or to or from a coal or petroleum coke storage and handling facility.