A standing room crowd attended a public hearing before the Buckingham County Planning Commission on September 26 to present testimony regarding a special use permit application for a compressor station in the county to serve the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Because the property that has been purchased for the compressor station is zoned agricultural, a special use permit is required. Slightly over half of the 54 persons signing up to speak were able to be heard, necessitating the scheduling of a continuation of the hearing on Monday, October 17 at 6 pm. Of those who spoke, no one voiced support for the project. The Planning Commission expects to develop a recommendation for the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors at its October 24 regular meeting. ABRA members Friends of Buckingham (FoB) and Yogaville (YES) provided the leadership to assemble the strong opposition to the ACP permit application.
In a September 19 letter to the Buckingham County Zoning and Planning Administrator, Appalachian Mountain Advocates (Appalmad) challenged the legitimacy of the ACP permit application. Writing on behalf of the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, FoB and YES, Appalmad said:
- The proposed compressor station is legally ineligible for a special use permit in the County’s Agricultural District (A-1);
- The permit application lacks a “detailed and in-depth” discussion of the project’s relationship with the County’s Comprehensive Plan; and
- County officials should review their obligations under Virginia’s State and Local Government Conflict of Interest Act (COIA), noting that “any County official or employee with a ‘personal interest’ in Dominion or its many subsidiaries is subject to recusal under the COIA.”