Dominion holds first advisory group meeting

Published 1:18 pm Thursday, October 1, 2015

The first of three community advisory group meetings surrounding the planned 41,000 horsepower compressor station in Buckingham County was held on Wednesday.

The introductory meeting, which included about 15 representatives from county government, The Sierra Club, Friends of Buckingham (FOB), Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville, Kyanite Mining, the local Chamber of Commerce, area churches, the Peter Francisco Soil and Water Conservation District and Dominion, saw inquires about the compressor station and opposition to the entire Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project.

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The compressor station is part of Dominion and three other energy companies’ joint venture to build a natural gas pipeline that would span across three states.

According to Patty Rusten, a principal of the Natural Resource Group, who moderated and led the hour-and-a-half long dialogue, the next two meetings will be more substantive and less introductory.

During the next meeting, which could take place in late October or early November, plans and details regarding the proposed compressor station would be provided to the members.

Group representatives requested data regarding safety, compliance enforcement, the station’s potential expansion, economic impacts, sound abatement and construction impacts.

The members also inquired about a tour of a station similar in size of the proposed one.

According to Dominion External Affairs Manager Carla Picard, who is 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 is focused on the station rather than the entire pipeline project.

Members representing The Sierra Club, Yogaville, FOB, Union Hill and Union Grove Baptist Churches and the United Baptist Association of Central Virginia decried the proposed pipeline and compressor station during the meeting.

“We sincerely think this it’s the wrong direction for our county … to be headed in,” said Chad Oba, the acting chair of FOB, a group opposed to the pipeline. She, along with Pastor Paul Wilson of Union Hill and Union Grove Baptist churches, asked for an open forum to be held regarding the project.

Wilson said that the advisory group meeting was part of the “appeasement process” in Dominion’s joint venture for the project.

“We don’t want a compressor station here,” he said.

Abbate said he had “concerns on many levels” about the project.

Oba also questioned the accessibility and the timing of the meeting and the lack of representation from the Union Hill community.

“We do not want a pipeline or compressor station in our community … This is so stacked. It’s outrageous and unfair,” she said.

Several weeks ago, ACP, LLC purchased about 68.5 acres in Buckingham for $2.5 million to build the proposed gas-fired compressor station.

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.

Detailed meeting summaries will be provided to the members of the group and to the public at