I have joined Virginia Interfaith Power and Light in their letter-writing campaign urging our Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the State Air Pollution Control Board to deny issuing the air pollution permit for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) Buckingham County/Union Hill compressor station.
The proposed 54,000+ horsepower ACP compressor station would be one of the largest that Dominion has ever built, and certainly the largest in Virginia. It would expose residents to leaking pollutants such as formaldehyde benzene, arsenic, uranium, methane gas and ‘additional toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs)’. This threatening increase in health risk is a serious danger to the elderly and the children living nearby, as well as to communities downwind (not unlike the risk we experience from the particulate matter blowing into Virginia from California wildfires). Clean, healthy air should be a fundamental human right, especially for those most vulnerable to the effects of inhaling pollutants. All Virginians deserve to have their health and safety protected from the pollution that the construction and operation of such a massive compressor station would bring into their lives.
I urge the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board and DEQ to deny the air pollution permit for this fracked-gas compressor station until a complete and thorough risk assessment is made by DEQ in concert with other state agencies and with stakeholder groups prior to the permit issuance decision.
I ask that the Virginia State Air Pollution Board and DEQ recognize the environmental injustice that will be inflicted upon Union Hill, an historically African-American community founded by freedmen over 150 years ago. Locating the proposed compressor in Union Hill disproportionately burdens those long-time residents with levels of dangerous air pollution likely to cause health risks that are simply too high.
We need public hearings to answer all the questions posed by those who would be living beside the compressor and to allow the public, DEQ and the Air Pollution Control Board to hear testimony from expert stakeholder groups.
Delegate Kory represents the 38th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. She may be emailed at [email protected]