Property for compressor station purchased for $2.5 million

Published 11:18 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC has purchased about 68.5 acres in Buckingham County to build a 41,000-horsepower gas-fired compressor station for the proposed interstate natural gas transmission pipeline.

The tract is just northwest of the Union Hill community along Route 56, just southeast of Shelton Store Road.

“The ACP would cross and connect to an existing Transco interstate natural gas pipeline on the parcel of land,” said Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle.

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ACP purchased the land on Aug. 20 from Variety Shade Landowners of Virginia Inc. for $2.5 million, according to Norvelle.

According to State Corporation Commission documents, Variety Shade’s principals are David C. Coombs, of Texas, who serves as president; Will Adams, of California, who serves as vice president; Katherine Sugg Cheshire, of Alabama, who serves as secretary/treasurer and Sarah Adams, of California, who serves as a director. The corporation’s principal office is located in Keller, TX.

“Compressor stations typically need about 10-15 acres for its facilities,” Norvelle said. “The remaining acreage would be left intact as a visual and noise buffer. The compressor station must comply with federal and state environmental laws, including noise and air emission regulations.”

Kenda Hanuman, a spokesperson for Friends of Buckingham, a group opposed to the proposed project, said she was surprised at the small size of the parcel. “We’re obviously distressed about the fact that it is in such close proximity to two churches there, Union Hill and Union Grove. That will have an enormous impact on their ability to have their church there,” she said.

According to Norvelle, the tract of primarily mixed hardwood and pine trees is on the northern side of Route 56 approximately three-quarters of a mile east of the Route 56 intersection with Union Hill Road. The existing Transco 150-foot right-of-way includes four pipelines that move natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the northeastern United States.

The proposed compressor station would contain four gas-driven turbines, which combined would provide approximately 41,000 horsepower of compression. The station would include approximately six structures: a compressor, auxiliary, office, utility gas, drum storage and storage buildings, with a security fence installed around the site, Norvelle said.

Air emissions and noise from the station would meet regulations that are set to protect the public health, he said.

In June, ACP purchased about 148 acres in Buckingham for $225,000 from KWP LLC as an alternate site had this primary location not been available. ACP has not determined what it will do with the alternate site, Norvelle said.

Hanuman said the “toxins that are emitted from the compressor stations and the noise of the compressor stations are going to terribly impact people’s health [in the community].”

Dominion is the lead partner in a joint venture seeking federal approval of a 550-mile natural gas pipeline that would travel through Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties.

“If approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the …  pipeline would move abundant supplies of natural gas in the Appalachian Basin from West Virginia into Virginia and North Carolina for utilities that need new supplies of energy for power stations and residential, commercial and industrial customers,” Norvelle said.