Richmond, VA — Today nearly 30 groups representing over 70,000 citizens across the Commonwealth of Virginia released a letter calling on state officials to stand up to C4GT LLC’s underhanded actions to fast-track a new gas plant into Charles City County, bypassing a key air permit process designed to safeguard the health and air quality of the County’s environmental justice community. Letter signatories collected by the Stop the Abuse of Virginian Energy (SAVE) coalition demand swift action from Governor Northam, Attorney General Herring, and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Director Paylor to investigate the legality of C4GT’s claims of construction in relation to 9VAC5-80-1985, which states:
“A permit granted pursuant to this article shall become invalid if a program of continuous construction or modification is not commenced within 18 months from the date the permit is granted.”
The groups challenge C4GT’s actions as illegitimate, and highlight how DEQ should not have willingly accepted these claims. The company slid in a construction pad on the day their permit was set to expire (December 3rd, 2020), automatically validating their permit for the next 18 months despite any proof of secure funding or gas source. The letter asserts that C4GT’s underhanded actions are not only backward moves for the Commonwealth’s climate and our communities’ health, but are in fact, illegal.
“Charles City County, an environmental justice community, doesn’t need another dirty gas plant,” said Food & Water Watch Virginia Organizer Jolene Mafnas. “Governor Northam, AG Herring and DEQ Director Paylor should know better than to allow C4GT LLC to ram their plant under the wire of their existing permits especially when this project has had no meaningful public engagement since it was first proposed in 2016. These actions should be illegal and will only serve to add more pollution to our air for the sake of lining the pockets of corporate executives.”
“The Ecological Justice Initiative opposes C4GT’s desperate attempt in extending their nearly expired air permit No. 52588,” says The Ecological Justice Initiative’s Founder, McKenna Dunbar. “Actively abusing the Commonwealth’s regulatory process will not be tolerated. Fossil fuel based infrastructure concentrated in marginalized and low-income communities is shameful and exposes NOVI Energy’s roots in disregarding the input and needs of impacted residents.”
“It’s time to end such game playing by a desperate fossil fuel industry when the environmental stakes are so high,” says SAVE coalition member Lynn Wilson, who lives a few miles from the proposed site.
Contact: Phoebe Galt – 207-400-1275, [email protected]