Air board will reconsider Buckingham permit Jan. 8

    After a second short public comment period, the state Air Pollution Control Board will again consider a permit to build a natural gas compressor station in Buckingham County that is part of Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

    The Board will meet Jan. 8 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Richmond-Midlothian at 10 a.m. The meeting will not include additional public comment and two new board members are not expected to participate or vote on the permit, said Greg Bilyeu, a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Quality.

    The Air Board delayed a decision on the permit in November and again this month. Critics of the project have been concerned that the station would affect the historically black Union Hill community, which was settled by freedmen.

    Earlier this month, the board opened a new public comment period so the public could weigh in on documents related to the demographics of Union Hill. Board members received that information after the November meeting.

    In between those meetings, Gov. Ralph Northam removed two members of the Air Board months after their terms had expired. Both of the removed members had voiced concerns about the compressor station permit.

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    Mechelle Hankerson
    Mechelle, born and raised in Virginia Beach, is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in mass communications and a concentration in print journalism. She covered the General Assembly for the university’s Capital News Service and was among 12 student journalists in swing states selected by the Washington Post to cover the 2012 presidential election. For the past five years, she has covered local government, crime, housing, infrastructure and other issues at the Raleigh News & Observer and The Virginian-Pilot, where she most recently covered the state’s biggest city, Virginia Beach.