part2 People’s Tribunal on Fracked Gas Infrastructure
In part one of this report on current ACP activity, Dominion Energy media specialist Aaron Ruby stated the process of environmental review had been “exhaustive, thorough, and transparent”. At the People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Environmental Justice held in Central Virginia on October 28th, all of the fifty-five speakers, including several former natural gas industry employees testified they feel differently. One goal of the event was to document all of these testimonies, and present them to the Permanent Tribunal on Fracked Gas of the United Nations in May of 2018. Sonja Ingram, of Preservation Virginia, was one of many representatives from organizations across the Commonwealth who participated.
“In 2015, Preservation Virginia received many requests to assist in protecting historic sites, that would be affected by the construction of the ACP and the MVP. These requests prompted Preservation Virginia’s involvement in the section 106 review process, a process required by Federal Law. At the start of the process, Preservation Virginia requested the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC to be a consulting party for the pipeline projects. And for the first time in Preservation Virginia’s history, we along with other organizations and individuals were denied this request. The denial of consulting party status along with continued lack of communication from FERC prompted the advisory council to reproach FERC and convey the need for them to be more forthcoming with consulting parties and others involved in the section 106 process. . . . Issues remain today concerning both of the pipelines’ impacts on rural historic districts and prehistoric Virginia Indian archeological sites.”
The impacts described ran from general regarding the whole fracked gas infrastructure , to very specific, as in one family’s experience.
A couple from West Virginia, who had lost their thirty-three year old daughter to blood cancer within two years of the construction of a compressor station near their home gave their testimony by letter.
“Also, they installed a compressor station, about one-thousand from our property. It has ruined our home, and cars and buildings from the toxic fumes and black soot. Our farm animals have black discharge coming from their noses. We are also sick from breathing the air. We cannot sleep at night because of the loud noise. Sometimes it shakes the entire house sounding like explosives. Thank you, Robert L/ McLean and Anne L. McLean.”
At least one compressor station is expected to be built in the ACP, and that is planned for Buckingham County southeast of Charlottesville. One banner at the event captured a feeling shared by many, as awareness about the project increases and as talk of construction continues. It read, “The Two Virginias, Together again. NO ACP.” Most of Jeff Karmen’s testimony focused on safety hazards, and marginalizing certain communities, but he included even more.
“Please keep in mind, that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is not an energy source of needed by the people of Virginia. It is purely about profit for the shareholders; that includes Dominions’ officers some of who hold millions in company stock. Let me be clear. I am a capitalist; I own stock, and I want those shares to make a profit. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless the company I’ve invested in is raping the environment and committing an act of despicable economic injustice.”
For more information on the People’s Tribunal, visit appvoices.org .
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