Washington, D.C. -- The Virginia Waste Management Board has voted to charge waste companies $1 per ton for transporting trash in barges along Virginia’s rivers. The board also approved a standard for watertightness, which likely is a response to prior reports of leakage from 1998, the last time waste traveled by barge along the James River.

The state Department of Environmental Quality approved the watertight standard, but environmental groups are upset over the decisions and are saying the board should be passing more protectively stringent rules. Although the rules apply to all rivers in Virginia, they specifically affect Waste Management Inc. (WMI), Houston, which plans to send trash along the James River to its landfill in Charles City County, Va. Officials are not sure when barging will resume.