The date for From Pipelines to Progress – Staunton, originally scheduled for Monday December 10, 2018, has been changed to Wednesday December 12, 2018, so as not to conflict with the Air Control Board meeting in Richmond and the Buckingham Board of Supervisors hearing on Dominion’s requests for floodplain variances. Other details remain the same, see our events page for more information. Pipelines to Progress is organized by Chesapeake Climate Action Network.
A Public Hearing will be held at 7 pm Monday December 3, 2018, in the auditorium at Nelson County High/Middle School (6919 Thomas Nelson Hwy, Lovingston) to review four of the deferred floodplain variance applications submitted by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in early 2018. On January 31, 2018, ACP requested the deferrals until such time as they could provide the additional information requested by Nelson County on behalf of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) for these four applications to cross designated floodplains.
There are no NEW applications at this time. The hearing will be on the four prior permit applications that were deferred at ACP’s January 31, 2018, request. The other seven of the original eleven applications were actually dismissed in January 2018, and ACP will have to submit new applications for them. Based on a Friends of Nelson phone call to the Planning Office on November 26, no new information or documentation on the four variance requests had been received from ACP as of that date, and as of November 29 the meeting packet for BZA members, which would include relevant information, had not been posted to the BZA Web site. The request to reopen the Variance Appeal process came to the Zoning Office via phone call rather than in writing.
The Nelson County Zoning Ordinance specifically includes “Structures or facilities that produce, use, store, or transport highly volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic, and/or water-reactive materials” in the list of “critical facilities [that] are prohibited from being constructed or operated within a SFHA [Special Floodplain Hazard Area] unless a Variance is granted.” (Article 10.15F on p. 87)
The ACP Statement of Justification for Floodplain Crossings contains the usual boiler plate ACP language: “this project is needed,” “FERC agrees this is the best route,” “it will not have adverse impacts,” “it will not affect existing or future development”, etc. Clearly not valid justifications for a variance for a 42-inch pipeline carrying natural gas at 1400 psi, and we need to speak out against it.
Come to the hearing and speak out against granting variances to ACP! Those wishing to speak will be required to sign in before the meeting. (As usual, ACP will probably stack their speakers at the beginning.) Nelson County has guidelines for speakers at hearings; note that speakers representing a group will have 5 minutes, individual speakers will have 3 minutes (and may not allocate their time to another individual). If you have general comments (vs site-specific ones), you should state when speaking that you want your comments entered into the public record for all four permits.
Permits are being considered for the following applications/parcels/landowners, all of whom have signed easements with ACP:
- Variance 2018-007 – Muddy Creek, Tax map 45 A 25 – Ron Slaughter (Incorrect ownership. Easement clarifies that it is owned by Frances B. Green Living Trust) http://www.nelsoncounty-va.gov/wp-content/uploads/VA_NE_Muddy-Creek_2017.03.20.pdf
- Variance 2018-008 — Unnamed Tributary of Rockfish River 2 (near Wheeler’s Cove/Starvale Ln) Tax map 46-A-34 – Gillis Rodgers, Tax map 46-A-12 – Equity Trust Company (Previously owned by Mary Corcoran Brown) http://www.nelsoncounty-va.gov/wp-content/uploads/VA_NE_UNT-of-Rockfish-River_2_2017.03.20.pdf
- Variance 2018-009 – Falls Run Tax map 59-A-23 – James and Virginia Powell http://www.nelsoncounty-va.gov/wp-content/uploads/VA_NE_Falls-Run_2017.03.20.pdf
- Variance 2018-010 – – Dutch Creek Tax maps 60-3-15, 60-3-16, 60-A-28 Greenway S Corporation http://www.nelsoncounty-va.gov/wp-content/uploads/VA_NE_Dutch-Creek_2017.03.20.pdf
The “Stand with Union Hill Concert of Prayer” will be an all night interfaith prayer vigil with music and story on the eve of the December 10, 2018, Air Pollution Control Board Meeting and vote on Union Hill Compressor Station, when the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board may approve or deny the air permit for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station in Union Hill, Buckingham County.
The all night vigil begins Sunday December 9 at 6 pm, and runs through Monday morning December 10 at 9:30 am; it will be held at Richmond Hill, 2209 E Grace St, Richmond, VA 23223-7066.
Faith communities, water and air protectors, artists and environmental organizations will come together for the protection of Union Hill and all our children’s futures to share prayer, story and song.
Musicians, performers, or speakers who want to be part of the program should contact Laney of Earth Folk Collective, Earthfolkcollective@gmail.com; she is doing the music/art programming/scheduling.
Save the date: Saturday January 5, 2018, Friends of Nelson annual meeting (with potluck and party!) at Rockfish Valley Community Center. More information to come.
The Air Pollution Control Board meeting on the draft air permit for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station in Union Hill will be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Building, Level 2, Room E21-AB, 301 N. 3rd Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219, November 8-9. 2018.
We are All Union Hill: Stand with Union Hill to challenge the draft air permit. Opportunities to give witness: Join the We Are All Union Hill Press conference at 8 am on November 8 at the Third Street Bethel A.M.E. Church, Richmond, co-sponsored by 46 arts, environmental and justice groups. The press conference will feature the voices of Union Hill supported by those from the VA Poor People’s Campaign, VA NAACP, Southern Environmental Law Center, VA House of Delegates and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice.
Your presence is needed at the Air Pollution Control Board Meeting, to be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Building, Level 2, Room E21-AB, 301 N. 3rd Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219. Although only those who commented on the draft permit before September 21, 2018, will be allowed to speak at the hearing, the Union Hill community welcomes all to give witness with their presence, and has requested that this presence be silent, respectful and optimistic, believing that the Air Board has the potential to support them, science, and environmental justice.
Wild Virginia has a nice blog post on the Spruce Creek Camp. Read it here.