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Pipeline violates human rights

Editor, 

The VA People’s Tribunal on Human Rights, Environmental Justice and Fracked Gas was held in Charlottesville Oct. 28, 2017.  Fifty-eight individuals, representatives of indigenous Indian tribes, African-Americans, Appalachians and rural people, shared their perspectives. Many described the specific ways that the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines will affect their human rights and environmental justice. Both pipelines propose moving fracked natural gas in large, high pressure pipelines across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.

The final environmental impact statements dismissed these lands and the heritage connected with them as inconsequential. They claimed that “inconveniences” will only be temporary, ignoring the daily pollution, noise and danger facing those living along these routes. In Virginia, for three years these violations have been brought to the attention of Gov. McAuliffe, Virginia state representatives and local boards of supervisors — without response or remedy. The Buckingham Board of Supervisors rezoned a clean, agricultural area in the middle of homes for the industrial compressor station. The judges concluded that those forcing these pipelines on these communities are breaking International Human Rights Law.

All of the information will be forwarded to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) in Geneva, Switzerland. ECOSOC will determine if International Human Rights Law is being violated by these fracking and natural gas transmission projects in May 2018.

It was for many the first time that those who are concerned or directly impacted by these pipelines felt that they were heard and their concerns will be seriously considered.

Chad Oba
Friends of Buckingham – chair person