The beleaguered Mountain Valley Pipeline suffered yet another setback Friday when the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board denied a key permit for a proposed compressor station it ruled failed to meet environmental justice requirements. The board rejected the state DEQ’s recommendation after more than 13 hours of public comments with all but one public commenter opposed to the project. The proposed compressor station would facilitate the extension of the 303-mile fracked gas pipeline another 75 miles into North Carolina. The station would be located three miles from downtown Chatham, Virginia and less than five miles from four environmental justice communities. The Mountain Valley Pipeline is already well over budget and behind schedule.
“Why don’t they put this compressor station in their area?” said Brenda Poole, a member of the Pittsylvania County NAACP’s Environmental Justice Committee. “They don’t live here. They don’t have family here. They don’t work here. They don’t even drink the water here. They don’t eat the food here. They don’t even breathe the air that we are breathing here. They are getting rich off of our community while [we] are getting sick and dying.” A federal appeals court threw out a permit for a compressor station for the now-defunct Atlantic Coast Pipeline because the same oversight board failed to account for the harm it would cause to local, historically Black communities. (Virginia Public Media, Danville Register & Bee, Chatham Star-Tribune $, WDBJ, The Hill, WVTF, Pittsburgh Business Times, WRIC, WVTF)