Today, Virginia’s State Air Pollution Control Board voted 6-0 to defer until December a decision on a permit requested by Dominion Energy to operate a 55,000 horsepower natural gas compressor station for its proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Buckingham County. According to statements made by Board Chair Richard Langford during the meeting, the information record on the permit is now closed and the extra time will simply allow board members additional time to reflect.
The compressor station is proposed to be sited in Union Hill, a rural, low-income, majority African-American community which has largely opposed the project since it was first proposed in 2015. Community members held a People’s Tribunal on the impacts of fracked-gas infrastructure last year which received international attention. And in August, the Virginia Governor’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice recommended, among other things, that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the similar Mountain Valley Pipeline be halted.
Peter Anderson, Virginia Program Manager, email@example.com, 434-293-6373
“While we are disappointed the board did not reject the permit outright today, the members listened carefully to all public comments and posed tough questions to DEQ staff and Dominion representatives. It was clear from their discussion that many of them share our concerns about environmental justice and the additional greenhouse gases and toxic pollutants the compressor station would emit.”
Lara Mack, Virginia Field Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 434-293-6373
“Residents of Union Hill and from all across Buckingham County have spent countless hours educating themselves about this project, attending dozens of community and government meetings, and coming here to Richmond today to stand up for their land, health and families. It seemed their voices were heard, finally, and now the only reasonable step for the board to take come December will be to reject the permit.”