ACP comment period open

Published 5:09 pm Thursday, December 27, 2018

Those interested in submitting a written comment to The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) State Air Pollution Control Board in reference to the Buckingham Compressor Station will have until Jan. 4 to do so, according to an announcement from the board.

The board opened a written comment period following its decision to delay action on the air permit for the compressor station in Buckingham County on Dec. 19 in Richmond.

The compressor station would be part of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), an approximately 600-mile gas pipeline traveling through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. The compressor station in Buckingham, estimated to be 53,783-horsepower, would be the only compressor station in Virginia.

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“The documents to be considered per the Board’s instructions relate to questions and concerns on demographics and site suitability for the proposed air compressor station,” the DEQ announcement cited about the written comments. “The Board also clarified that the permit conditions, including the amendments that were discussed and approved at the Dec. 19, 2018, meeting, are not subject to public comment.”

The following amended conditions were approved during the Dec. 19 meeting, according to documentation provided by DEQ representative Gregory Bilyeu.

For condition 1, this includes adding the statement, “No compressor turbine may operate below 50 percent load except during startup and shutdown.”

For condition 7, this includes requiring that the permittee develop and implement an approved fugitive emission component monitoring and repair plan; that the maximum time for first attempt at repair was reduced from five days to three days; that a requirement has been added to submit a summary of the daily (auditory/visual/olfactory) AVO and quarterly (leak detection and repair) LDAR surveys in a quarterly report. The facility will track any leaks detected, as well as corrective actions taken. “This will provide a record of leaks and the time required to repair them,” the DEQ cited.

For condition 16, this includes the facility being required to determine the (Volatile Organic Compound) VOC content of the natural gas fuel as well as (sulfur dioxide) SO2.

The following was also added to condition 16, as well as conditions 29–34, 58 and 59: “The details of the test are to be arranged with and approved by the Piedmont Regional Office.” Also changed to conditions 16 and 34 was that the test results are expected to conform to a test report format approved by the Piedmont Regional Office, rather than the standard test report format that would ordinarily be attached to a permit. The standard report format, according to the amended changes, is for stack tests or other similar testing procedures and is not representative of the test results expected by DEQ.

Changes to conditions 35-38 concern the Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) conditions. According to the DEQ, the installation of CEMS for (nitrogen oxides) NOx was proposed by Dominion at the board’s Nov. 9 meeting. “These conditions require a continuous NOx emission monitoring system, as well as the performance evaluations, quality control program, and excess emission reporting that would be required in other permits that contain a requirement for a CEMS,” the conditions list cited.

There were no changes cited for conditions 2-6, 8-15, 17-28 or the remaining conditions in the revised permit, according to DEQ documentation.

The board also cited that public comment is not being sought concerning requests to conduct a health assessment by the Virginia Department of Health in reference to the compressor station.

“This was related to a brief discussion that took place during the last meeting and would be related to any potential future health studies related to the compressor station,” Bilyeu said Wednesday. “The specific details of how large an area, or exactly when, or how, the assessment will be carried out by the Virginia Department of Health, have not been defined at this point.”

The incoming State Air Pollution Control Board members did not participate in the Dec. 19 meeting. According to Bilyeu, it is not known currently whether the new board members would participate in the next board meeting.

Two prior board members, Rebecca Rubin and Samuel Bleicher, were removed from the board in November. This decision from the Governor’s Office created controversy as Rubin and Bleicher were among the board members deliberating the air permit for the Buckingham Compressor Station.

Comments for the public comment period can be submitted to the DEQ by mail or hand delivered to the Piedmont Regional Office, Re: Buckingham Compressor Station, 4949-A Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060; by email at or by fax at (804) 527-5106.

“All comments must be in writing and be received by DEQ before 11:59 p.m. on Jan 4, 2019,” the notice cited. “Submittals must include the names, mailing addresses and telephone numbers of the commenter, and of all persons represented by the commenter.”

Documents concerning the permit, including final permit drafts, the public comments received between Aug. 8 and Sept. 21 and studies concerning the Union Hill community in relation to the compressor station can be found online at: and

Documents related to the permit, according to DEQ, can also be accessed at the Buckingham Library, located at 1140 Main St. in Dillwyn. The library’s phone number is (434) 983-3848.

To contact the DEQ for public comments, document requests and additional information, email