Hearings will offer needed venues

Published 3:10 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The public hearings to be held on the proposed 53,515 horsepower compressor station slated for Buckingham County will offer both supporters and opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project a much-needed forum.

During the hearings, which will be separately held by the Buckingham County Planning Commission and the county’s board of supervisors, it’s our hope that representatives listen and act on behalf of their constituents.

Supervisors and commissioners would be wise to use this opportunity to listen and learn rather than treating the filing of the special use permit by Dominion as a formality.

The purpose of hearings by governmental entities — from Congress all the way down to small towns — is gather input from the public.

Though the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has the final say on the approval of the project, which, if given the green light, would see the compressor station built between Shelton Store and Union Hill roads and a 42-inch natural gas pipeline span Buckingham, the filing of this permit offers a unique opportunity for residents who favor or disapprove of the compressor station.

The compressor station — more so than the actual pipeline — has stirred a lot of people in Buckingham, especially those living in the vicinity of the site and Yogaville residents.

What’s most important about the filing, in our opinion, is that the process offers formal hearings dedicated solely on a big component of the project before local government — something that should have happened months ago.

It’s our hope that residents take advantage of these opportunities to have their voices heard.