Environmental Nonprofit Studies Potential Impact of ACP on African American Community
BUCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The potential impacts of a proposed compressor station in Buckingham County were explored Monday night. One group is determined to explain how the planned placement of that part of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline contributes to racism while harming the environment.
A report released Monday night by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League goes into detail about how black people and minorities would see the most harm from that compressor station. The problem it says is not new, because according to this report, it stems from a history of racist practices.
“It is almost unbelievable in 2019, that we're seeing pretty much the same as it was in 1963 when I left,” said John W. Laury, member of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.
Community organizers and researchers are bringing to light a history of environmental racism in the United States and how the installation of a compressor station for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Buckingham County could add to that.
“Freedmen settled this community. They have held on the families here have held onto this land for over 100 years, and Dominion walks in and says too bad we want it,” said Sharon Ponton, member of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.
The report from the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League studied 15 properties that would surround Dominion Energy's proposed compressor station in Union Hill. Eleven of those are owned by minority families.
“Polluting facilities, they normally want to put them in marginalized communities, low-income people of color. Still going on, that’s tradition,” said Laury.
In addition to letting people in Buckingham County know about these issues, this group wants to send a message to Governor Ralph Northam - that it’s time to step up.
“As much as he talks about helping African American families, after the blackface issue. He's not helping here and we know it,” said Ponton.
Right now, opponents of the project are appealing the permit approval for the project. Ponton, who led that meeting Monday night, tells NBC29 she plans on giving copies of the report to Governor Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring.