Increase sought for compressor station

Published 4:31 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The lead partner proposing the 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline project is seeking to increase the planned natural gas compressor station from 40,715 horsepower to 53,515 horsepower.

Dominion spokesman Aaron Ruby said Monday that the firm has filed an amendment with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to increase the compression at the station, planned to be constructed on Route 56 between Union Hill and Shelton Store Roads in Buckingham County.

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The proposed 42-inch natural gas pipeline would span Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties if approved by federal regulators.

“The additional horsepower would not require an additional compressor unit,” said Ruby. “One of the four planned compressors — a 7,700 horsepower unit — would be replaced with a 20,500 horsepower unit. The proposed increase of 12,800 horsepower would make the total horsepower at the Buckingham County facility 53,515 horsepower, up from 40,715 horsepower.”

Ruby said the affected acreage and other aspects of the facility would not change.

According to Ruby, the increase in horsepower is needed because “approximately 30 miles has been added to the proposed route between the pipeline’s first compressor station in Lewis County, W. Va., and the second station in Buckingham County. The additional horsepower is needed to maintain the pressures and flows for reliable transmission service to customer delivery points in Virginia and North Carolina.”

“Atlantic would install additional pollution and noise control equipment as necessary to ensure the total air emissions and noise levels remain within regulatory limits, which are set to protect the public health and safety,” he said.

“Friends of Buckingham (FOB) is not happy to hear of Dominion’s planned increase in horsepower for the compressor station,” said Chad Oba, chair of the pipeline opposition group. “Residents in the impact zone of the (compressor station) would now experience even more of the numerous negative effects of living near a  huge industrial sized (compressor station). We are deeply concerned about what this will mean for our health, our ability to plan for the future, our sense of community, our property values and  the historical and cultural resources in the impact zone.

ACP LLC purchased about 68.5 acres or property to build the pipeline.

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

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

“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.”