Richmond, VA - This afternoon, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a state permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station in Union Hill, a predominantly Black community that has battled against dangerous and polluting fossil fuel industry projects for years. Governor Northam’s administration issued the controversial permit in spite of major opposition from the community, public health advocates, and environmental groups.
In a statement, Jorge Aguilar, the Southern Region Director for Food & Water Action, says the following:
“Today’s monumental decision will protect the local communities who have voiced serious concerns about the way the Northam administration has for years neglected and rejected environmental justice concerns over the compressor station.
“While this is a major victory for Union Hill and the environmental justice movement more largely, Governor Northam continues to oversee a dysfunctional and incompetent permitting system, one that favors the approval of any and all fossil fuel projects that come along.
“Governor Northam’s administration has refused to pull permits for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline. He and his appointed officials have refused to hold public hearings on the MVP Southgate and Transco Southeastern Trail Expansion projects, and they are in favor of permitting at least four new fracked gas plants across the state. This is wrong. We call on Governor Northam to issue an executive order to temporarily halt any new permits for fossil fuel projects, and to review each one under a comprehensive state permitting process thereafter. We also urge Governor Northam to throw his full support behind Virginia’s Green New Deal Act, House Bill 77, which proposes an end to the issuing of any new permits for fossil fuel projects by 2021, the year he leaves office. This is the only way he can absolve his legacy as a champion for the fossil fuel industry.”