Category Archives: Citizen Activism

Air Quality Permit: Additional Information


On August 2, 2018, we posted a story about the comment period and hearings related to the draft air quality permit for the ACP’s proposed Buckingham compressor station (see Send Comments:  Air Quality Permit for Compressor Station).  Our story included instructions for how/where to comment.

Further detailed information about the process is on the DEQ Web page, see https://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/BuckinghamCompressorStationAirPermit.aspx

A few specifics from the DEQ page:

  • The Buckingham Compressor Station (BCS) draft permit is the subject of a public comment period beginning August 8, 2018 and ending September 11, 2018. The comment period is specifically for the BCS draft air permit and does not pertain to issues outside the scope of the draft permit such as zoning, noise, traffic or safety.
  • Comments will only be accepted during the formal comment period. Comments received either before or after the advertised start and end dates) August 8-September 11, 2018) will not be part of the record and will not be considered. Receipt confirmation will not be provided for comments received during the comment period.
  • The September 11, 2018, hearing is a listening session and not a question and answer session. Members of the agency in attendance will not be responding to questions or comments at that time.
  • Based on the strong public interest in this facility, it is anticipated attendance will be large. Those wishing to speak will be given a three-minute time restriction in order to allow as many people as possible that want to speak an opportunity to do so in the allotted time. Individuals that wish to make comments during the hearing should bring them in written form to provide to DEQ at the hearing.
  • At the end of the comment period, DEQ will compile, review and respond to comments. Comments similar in content may be aggregated for efficiency. DEQ will evaluate the comments and make changes to the draft permit as appropriate. DEQ responses and changes will be completed prior to finalizing any portion of the draft permit and a response to comments document will be prepared and made available to the public. [We wonder how long this will take, given that DEQ as of this date has not yet made available the comments on waterbody crossings from the comment period ending June 15, 2018.]
  • DEQ will present a report to the State Air Pollution Control Board (the board) on the permit. The board will take final action on the permit at a future meeting of the board. Consideration at that meeting is not a public hearing or new public comment opportunity on the draft permit. Only those persons who submitted official public comments on the draft permit between August 8 and September 11, 2018 may address the board. Furthermore, comments shall be limited to responding to the summary of the prior proceedings including DEQ’s summary of comments received during the public comment period provided to the board by DEQ.

A final section of the DEQ air quality Web page gives additional information on frequently asked questions not covered by the air permit, including site zoning, noise, light, traffic, worker safety, community safety, and facility need.

Send your comments to DEQ between August 8 and September 11!

“No Pipeline Summer” Camp Log

Chesapeake Climate Action Network continues to sponsor the summer camp on Bill and Lynn Limpert’s land. CCAN shares this information about the ongoing camp:

“Miracle Ridge,” home of Bill and Lynn Limpert, is home to many important and valuable things, including countless centuries-old trees. But because it sits in the path of Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline, every single one of those trees are at risk — which is why dozens of campers have joined the Limperts for “No Pipeline Summer: A Camp to Save the Limpert’s Land.”

Just like the beautiful trees, Miracle Ridge is home to many precious memories. This is why we’re running a camp log at Miracle Ridge. Within the log, anyone has the option to write about their experiences during their stay in Miracle Ridge. Ever since the book and pen has been available to everyone, multiple people have written their valuable stories and thoughts. Just like the ones below.

Join us at “No Pipeline Summer” to make your own heartwarming memories, and remember what’s at stake.

Read comments by visitors in the camp log.

Standing Rock Updates

First, a communication from Lakota People’s Law Project on July 28, 2018:  “As you are likely aware, on February 1, 2017, Dakota Access LLC called in law enforcement to arrest Chase Iron Eyes and other water protectors on land the company claimed to own. This supposed ‘ownership’ is a point of contention that our Lakota People’s Law Project legal team will address at Chase’s trial this November.

“Now, in a huge development for the case, the North Dakota attorney general has sued Dakota Access LLC, charging that it never acquired legal ownership of that land. A North Dakota state statute expressly prohibits a corporation like Dakota Access from acquiring or owning North Dakota farm or ranch land.

“We Lakota know that the land belongs to us (under the Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868). In our latest video update, Lakota Law Chief Counsel Daniel Sheehan talks about the AG’s suit and the impact on Chase’s legal defense. Please watch and share it on Facebook and Twitter.

“A recent article by the Associated Press’s Blake Nicholson quotes our notice to the court: ‘Given that Dakota Access can’t legally own the land under state law, the company had no legal authority whatsoever to direct law enforcement authorities to forcibly remove’ Chase and the others participating in ceremony at Last Child Camp.”

Please watch and share our video with your networks.

Second, a July 30, 2018, article from ShadowProof, Dakota Access Pipeline Company’s Lawsuit Against BankTrack For Sending Letters Dismissed By Federal Judge, says, “A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Energy Transfer Partners against an environmental and human rights organization, BankTrack, for its advocacy against their Dakota Access Pipeline project. BankTrack is based in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and as the court describes, the organization uses ‘engagement and public pressure to stop banks from financing specific projects it disagrees with.’ Letters to banks financing the Dakota Access Pipeline were organized, and Energy Transfer Partners sued BankTrack for hundreds of millions of dollars. The corporation alleged that BankTrack was involved in “criminal racketeering” and owed damages under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. ‘An extreme minority of DAPL protestors committed criminal acts that harmed Energy Transfer,’ Judge Billy Roy Wilson ruled [PDF]. ‘But BankTrack’s letters did not plausibly cause or further arson, bombing, destruction of an energy facility, transportation of stolen property, drug trafficking, “acts of terrorism,” or violation of the PATRIOT Act.’ BankTrack director Johan Frijns said the organization ‘raised legitimate human rights concerns arising from the Dakota Access Pipeline with the banks financing the project. The judge’s decision confirms that this type of advocacy work is legitimate and is not ‘reasonably or plausibly related’ to any acts of criminal conduct,’ Frijns added. ‘We hope the judge will now similarly dismiss the case against the other defendants, and that the ringing rejection of this case will discourage other corporations from launching these kinds of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.'”

Stand with Union Hill


The following is an account posted on Facebook by Water Is Life. Protect It on July 26, 2018.

Stand with Union Hill: The story of stark environmental racism gains and needs new allies to be told, to be shouted from the mountain top. This week’s meeting [week of July 23, 2018] between Union Hill and Dominion/ACP brought new allies and a terrifying glimpse of a complete disregard for safety on the part of Dominion Energy.

One Buckingham County witness wrote of the photos here: “Reverend Kevin Chandler, President of the Virginia NAACP came to Union Hill to announce that the powerful civil rights organization has taken a position against the ACP pipeline and the proposed Union Hill compressor station.

The uneasy looking group of white men in the foreground of the next photo—those are Dominion executives. They and five others had come to a community meeting in Pastor Paul Wilson’s Union Hill Grove Baptist Church to try to reassure the African-American community that the compressor station and the pipeline would be safe and would not hurt them. However, they seemed increasingly anxious when they were asked to describe the size of the kill zone in the event of a pipeline leak or a compressor station disaster. They said they just couldn’t answer the question which they were asked in three different ways. They also were forced to admit that they hadn’t even drafted their emergency response plan in the event that something were to go wrong at the compressor station they want to build in within yards of the homes of Union Hill—an historic African-American Community.

Meanwhile, a US Justice Department official, Suzanne Buchanan of the federal community relations service (with Pastor Paul) showed up. She said she realized that the people of Union Hill were feeling frustrated and unheard. She watched with what appeared to be astonishment when the dominion executives were unable to describe the dimensions of the Kill zone.

If the people of Union Hill were skeptical and even frightened at the prospect of the compressor station and its pipeline coming to their community before tonight by the time the meeting was over they were much more wary.

CSI Drone Training – Buckingham


Friends of Buckingham and the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance are excited to announce the date of our first Buckingham Pipeline Compliance Surveillance Initiative (CSI) drone monitoring training on Saturday, August 4, from 10:00am – 2:00pm at Union Hill Baptist Church.

The purpose of this training is to introduce volunteers to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, to monitor construction and preconstruction activities of the fracked gas pipelines that threaten our communities.

Topics to be covered are as follows:

  • Why use drones?
  • Which drones can you use?
  • Flying Safely: Do’s & Don’t’s
  • Flying Legally: Rules of the air
  • What and where to monitor?
  • Taking useful photos and videos
  • Advanced mapping missions
  • Networking with your neighbors

The CSI will have two DJI Mavic Pro drones present for demonstration. If you own or have access to your own drone, please bring it with you!

This training will include an indoor classroom-style presentation in the church Lounge followed by a flight and mapping-mission demonstration in the soccer field outside. Lunch will be provided, so please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.

Important: It is our hope with this program to create a network of citizen aerial monitors across our region who can respond to and document construction non-compliance and environmental degradation at the hands of ACP and MVP developers. This training is not an end-all-be-all for how to fly, you’ll need to practice flying on your own to become proficient. If you cannot attend due to scheduling conflicts or distance, don’t fret, we plan on holding more of these trainings in the coming weeks and months in different communities along the proposed ACP route. We also plan to have a live-stream video of this training so stay tuned for updates on how to access that.

Space is limited to 50 people.

Please direct any questions or concerns to Ben Cunningham, at silvercunning@gmail.com or 434-882-1893.

Wild Virginia Provides Access to Comments Submitted to Water Control Board


Through a Freedom of Information Act request, David Sligh of Wild Virginia and the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition (DPMC) has acquired almost all of the comments citizens (around 10,000 of them) submitted to State Water Control Board through the Virginia DEQ. Individuals and conservation groups explain why the Corps of Engineers’ blanket permit is not sufficiently protective of our state waters. DEQ has promised to supply the rest by today (July 20, 2018).

Here is a link to the documents: Comments to SWCB on NWP 12

Wild Virginia and DPMC are currently scouring the comments and will publish our summary of the whole body of information early next week. The vast majority we’ve seen so far are form emails and letters that contain no useful information the Board can use in making a decision whether to take new action. By contrast, the comments by landowners and technical experts contain much detailed, site-specific, and scientifically-based evidence of the dire threats to the thousands of waterbodies MVP and ACP propose to dig and blast through, under a lax Corps approval.

See our earlier story, DPMC Acts While DEQ Delays, for more information on how and why the documents were obtained from DEQ, which has not yet acted to make them available to the public.