Two meetings for ACP Dec. 10

Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Dec. 10 could potentially yield two large decisions concerning the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s (ACP) effect on Buckingham County.

The Buckingham County Board of Supervisors is expected to hold a public hearing for the ACP floodplain path through Buckingham on Monday, Dec. 10.

The meeting is set to be held at 6 p.m. at the Buckingham County Administration Building, 16630 W. James Anderson Highway.

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On Dec. 10 in Richmond, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) State Air Pollution Control Board could potentially make a decision on the air permit ACP submitted for the Buckingham Compressor Station, proposed to be off Route 56 near the Union Hill community area.

The meeting is set to take place at the Pocahontas Building, located at Main Street in Richmond.

Members of the State Air Pollution Control Board, following two meetings Nov. 8 and 9, voted to delay action on the air permit in order to have more time to consider information from the application and from the public, according to documentation from the DEQ.

The air permit concerns the 53,783-horsepower compressor station, which would be located off Route 56 in Buckingham, and would be connected with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), proposed to span 600 miles, crossing Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties.

The air permit process has created some controversy among those concerned about the pipeline as two members of the State Air Pollution Control Board, Rebecca Rubin and Samuel Bleicher, had been removed from the board and replaced prior to the Dec. 10 meeting.

The terms for Bleicher and Rubin had expired in June, according to the DEQ website, though they participated in the initial meetings Nov. 8 and 9.

The new members are Gail Bush and Kajal B. Kapur.

Gregory Bilyeu, a representative from DEQ, provided documentation that said when a board member’s term expires, the board member continues to serve until a change is made by the governor. The governor may make appointments at his discretion after a term expires. Two members of the State Water Control Board were also replaced.

Concerning the floodplain, ACP, according to a memo sent by Buckingham Zoning and Planning Administrator Rebecca Cobb, submitted applications for variance to conduct work in the floodplains in Buckingham, or areas subject to flooding.

KCI Technologies, Inc., Cobb said, was hired to review those documents and provide an assessment of compliance or non-compliance with granting a variance for the county’s ordinance.

Cobb said that KCI conducted an initial review in June and found that there was insufficient information to grant a waiver to the floodplain ordinance, and said KCI met with ACP and requested further documentation.

Cobb said KCI provided a review dated Oct. 24.

“In summary, KCI reports that the documents they were given should not be accepted as justification of ‘no-rise’ because they do not meet industry standard,” the memo cited.

KCI proposed two options, according to the memo, to either provide conditional approval with final approval contingent upon proper documentation or delay any decision until proper documentation is provided.

“ACP received a copy of the review and has responded with the attached letter dated November 1, 2018,” the memo cited. “In summary, ACP disagrees with KCI’s assessment and asserts there is no industry standard, and they wish to move forward with a public hearing for the floodplain variance. ACP agrees to a conditional approval and has suggested some of their own conditions. Many of the conditions do align with KCI’s but not all are the same.”

The memo asked the board of supervisors to set a public hearing for the floodplain development request from ACP and to consider both sets of conditions.