The Bulletin

Compressor station permit meeting postponed

By: - December 10, 2018 6:05 am

A sign on State Route 663 near Union Hill Baptist Church in Buckingham , one of several in the area opposed to Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Robert Zullo/ Virginia Mercury).

Today’s much-anticipated meeting of the State Air Pollution Control Board, which saw two members replaced by Gov. Ralph Northam as it weighed a crucial permit for a compressor station that is part of Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline, has been postponed because of the snow.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality says the meeting will now be held Dec. 19.

The compressor station will be sited in a largely African-American community in Buckingham County, and the governor’s own Advisory Council on Environmental Justice has said it “may have a disproportionate impact on this predominately African-American community and could be perceived as exhibiting racism in siting, zoning and permitting decisions and public health risk.”

Though the board is not scheduled to take public comment at the meeting, activists, including former Vice President Al Gore’s daughter Karenna Gore and actor Don Cheadle, along with some state lawmakers, affected landowners and others, signed an open letter urging that the public be allowed to address the board.

“The legacy of placing toxic facilities in places where they disproportionately affect poor communities of color is unjust and unacceptable and needs acute examination,” the letter says. “It is not right to look the other way while this continues.”

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Robert Zullo
Robert Zullo

Robert spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers before becoming editor of the Virginia Mercury in 2018. He was a staff writer and managing editor at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., before spending five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]