Hearing on compressor station moved to Dec. 19

Published 11:23 am Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) State Air Pollution Control Board, due to inclement weather, has rescheduled its meeting to consider an air permit for the compressor station in Buckingham linked with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) to Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. in Richmond.

The meeting was initially scheduled for noon Monday, but weather conditions, travel safety concerns and possible delayed opening of State offices in Richmond caused organizers to move the meeting, according to the DEQ website.

The meeting is scheduled be held in the First Floor House Committee Room, Pocahontas Building, 900 E. Main St., Richmond.

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The air permit for the 53,783-horsepower compressor station, located off Route 56 in the Union Hill community, is considered a minor New Source Review (NSR) air permit, a title designated for facilities where uncontrolled emissions of equipment and process units are above exemption levels detailed by the VDEQ.

The permit included 51 requirements for the compressor station, including that the operations practice proper emission controls, that equipment be installed with the proper monitoring devices, that the appropriate fuel be used and regulated, that the emissions fall within the necessary limits and be properly tested and evaluated.

Following prior meetings Nov. 8 and 9 from the State Air Pollution Control Board, Governor Ralph Northam let go of board members Samuel Bleicher and Rebecca Rubin. The decision has been met with protest, concerned that while Bleicher and Rubin’s terms had expired in June, the removal came weeks before a decision about the air permit, raising questions of whether the removal was following due process, or had been a deliberate decision in order to potentially grant a more favorable decision for the permit.

Numerous interfaith groups in the region, including from Buckingham County, will hold a vigil Sunday night lasting through the night at Richmond Hill, 2209 E. Grace St. Organizers said they are monitoring the weather situation but plan to move forward with the vigil.

The air permit decision comes after recent development on the ACP, which has announced it is ceasing all construction pending further action from the court after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit granted a stay of implementation for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2018 Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Statement Friday.