The Central Virginian

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Dominion makes exception for Lake Anna triathlon

Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 10:42 am

Dominion Virginia Power officials have decided to make a one-time exception to their cooling lagoons access policies and allow promoters to proceed with a Lake Anna triathlon that was in jeopardy of cancellation.

Event organizers feared they may have to scrap the race after learning last month that the company’s policies prohibit such activities in the Waste Heat Treatment Facility–also known as the hot side of the lake.

The news left little time for event coordinator Greg Hawkins–who had unknowingly hosted a triathlon earlier this year which violated the access policies– to find an alternate location for the October event, which regularly draws about 1,700 participants and spectators during the weekend’s two races. He said the planning cycle for triathlons is 15 to 18 months.

“They were too far along in the process to change venue and we felt that while our position about such events is that they are not allowed in the Waste Heat Treatment Facility, we also understood that they were in a bind and we wanted to help them out,” said Richard Zuercher, spokesman for Dominion’s nuclear generation operations.

He said the company felt that allowing the event was a “decent compromise” with the understanding that future events would not be allowed in the facility, which is used in the North Anna Power Station’s steam generation operations.

“We’re making an exception this one time,” Zuercher added.

Dominion purchased the property under and around the lake, including the cooling lagoons before construction of the power station. The company’s long-standing policies prohibit for-profit events on the hot side.

The company does allow private landowner to use the cooling lagoons for their own purposes, including building docks on Dominion property surrounding the lake.

“Words can’t express how grateful I am to Dominion for their generosity,” Hawkins said.