Dominion forms community advisory group

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The lead partner of the proposed 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project is forming a community advisory group specific to the planned 41,000 horsepower compressor station in Buckingham County.

According to Dominion External Affairs Manager Carla Picard, who’s working with the ACP, the mission of the group is twofold: to provide additional information in working sessions with community representatives and to gather input and feedback from the members “on the preferences and priorities of the people in the community to ultimately affect our plans for the station.”
The group will be focused on the station rather than the entire pipeline project and was instituted in response to concerns surrounding the compressor station, she confirmed.
“I’m not very happy with the whole process. …,” Friends of Buckingham spokesperson Kenda Hanuman said in response to the news. “I think it’s a little late for them to be showing any interest in what the community thinks.”
Hanuman called the group “a pretty weak offering,” noting that suits have already been filed by ACP, LLC.
Weeks ago, ACP, LLC purchased about 68.5 acres in Buckingham to build the proposed gas-fired compressor station for the proposed interstate natural gas transmission pipeline.
The tract of land is located just northwest of the Union Hill community along Route 56, just southeast of Shelton Store Road. The planned pipeline would cross and connect to an existing Transco interstate natural gas pipeline on the parcel of land, according to Dominion.
“We are looking for local participants,” Picard said. She said that several groups and entities, including Friends of Buckingham, The Sierra Club, Yogaville, Historic Buckingham, Union Hill Baptist Church, the Department of Forestry and other agencies would have a representative on the group.
A third-party facilitator, the Natural Resource Group, will facilitate the meetings, Picard said.
“I think we have about 16 different organizations [and] agencies of folks that we’re inviting to be part of this community advisory group,” she said. “We’re trying to solicit a broad range of perspectives and we want to include as many different groups as possible. …”
Picard hopes the group will result in a two-way conversation about the proposed station.
“The facilitator is really there to keep the meeting flowing so that we’re able to touch on all of our agenda items and ensure that at the end of the process, basically we’ve done what we said we were going to do. …,” Picard said.
Dominion has assembled such groups in the past for previous projects, she said.
Representatives from Dominion and ACP, LLC will participate in the meetings, according to Picard. “We will try to bring in subject matter experts representing construction, safety, environmental, air, water [and] engineering,” she said.
Detailed meeting summaries will be provided to the members of the group and to the public. She said that the public could attend the meetings.
Picard hopes the group will initially meet at the end of September. There will be a minimum of two additional meetings, she said, all of which will be held in Buckingham.
“Certainly we want to be responsive to concerns that we’ve heard. We also want to make sure that accurate information is available to folks,” Picard said.

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