Environmental Justice

Sharon Ponton, of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) and Free Nelson, shared on Facebook the following useful information on environmental justice issues related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, with numbers from the US Census Bureau:

  • There are 13 counties in Virginia who will host the ACP if it is built. Nine of those counties have above average populations of African Americans. They are: Buckingham, 34.3%; Cumberland, 32%; Prince Edward, 32.5%; Nottoway, 40%, Dinwiddie, 32.8%, Brunswick, 55.2%, Greensville, 59.5%, Southampton, 35.4% and Suffolk, 52.5%. Virginia’s African American population statewide is about 19%.
  • Additionally, Dominion has sited the Virginia compressor station for the ACP in the middle of an African-American community in Buckingham.
  • There are eight counties in North Carolina through which the ACP would be buried, seven or which have higher than average populations of African Americans or Native Americans. They are Northampton County, 58.1%, Halifax, 53.5%; Nash, 40.4%; Wilson, 40.6%; Sampson, 27.1%; Cumberland, 38.7% and Robeson, which has a 41% native American population. Johnston County is the only county which has a lower than average African American population, 16.2%. North Carolina’s statewide African American population is about 22%. Its native American statewide population is less than 2%, and most of that 2% lives where the ACP would be built.
  • Dominion has also sited another compressor station in NC in Northampton County, which has a 58% population of African Americans.

A recent EPA report demonstrated how communities of color, including Hispanic, African American, Native American, and others, are more likely than their white counterparts to face pollution from polluting industries.  Read about the recent EPA report here and here.

Another relevant report, released on November 14, 2017, by the NAACP, is Fumes Across the Fence Line: The Health Impacts of Air Pollution from Oil & Gas Facilities on African American Communities. “The life-threatening burdens placed on communities of color near oil and gas facilities are the result of systemic oppression perpetuated by the traditional energy industry, which exposes communities to health, economic, and social hazards. Communities impacted by oil and gas facility operations remain affected due to energy companies’ heavy polluting, low wages for dangerous work, and government lobbying against local interests.”