In a shocking move Nov. 15, Governor Northam dismissed three citizen regulators who had concerns about the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipeline projects from their posts on the State Air Pollution Control Board and State Water Control Board.
Call Governor Northam now and tell him this is unacceptable.
At a hearing last week to consider a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s 55,000 horsepower compressor station in Buckingham County, air board members Samuel Bleicher and Rebecca Rubin expressed concerns that the facility may have a disproportionate impact on the majority African-American community of Union Hill. Concern was also voiced about the greenhouse gas emissions from the proposed project and the underlying need for the pipeline.
The air board decided to wait until its next meeting on December 10 to make a final decision on the permit. But Governor Northam did not wait.
As the proceedings from last week’s meeting put Dominion Energy’s compressor station permit in doubt, Governor Northam moved to change personnel on the board before its final vote. He also informed State Water Control Board member Roberta Kellum that she will be removed from her post. Earlier this year, Ms. Kellum made a motion to revoke the water quality certifications for the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines (the motion did not pass).
Call Governor Northam today at 804-786-2211 and tell him that:
- You are profoundly disappointed by his unacceptable decision
- Changing the air board membership shortly before a final vote on the Buckingham compressor station is a transparent giveaway to support Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline
- These personnel changes appear to put corporate interests above the public interest
- He should reverse his decision and reinstate Rebecca Rubin and Samuel Bleicher until after the board votes on the pending permit
The timing of the governor’s decision is an affront to the board, the citizens of the commonwealth, and concepts of good governance. Call the governor today and tell him that Virginians deserve better!