STATEMENT: Victory on Buckingham Compressor Station for Fracked Gas

RICHMOND, VA — Today, the court threw out a key permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station in Buckingham County, Virginia. The proposed 54,000-horsepower compressor station — situated a short distance from the homes of the descendents of freedmen in the community of Union Hill — would run 24 hours a day and constantly fill the community with loud noise that is comparable to a jet engine. Facilities like this pollute the air with nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter and are linked to severe respiratory and cardiovascular ailments, as well as cancer. This compressor station is needed to keep gas flowing through Dominion’s controversial $7-billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline. 

Harrison Wallace, Virginia Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, stated in response

“Today, justice prevailed. Dominion Energy has acted as if it were above the law for too long. It wanted to trample over the rights of Virginia residents and pollute a historic community, all for a dangerous pipeline that we don’t even need. 

“The mere fact that Dominion has remained set on this community of freedmen as the ideal location of their compressor station should go in the dictionary as the definition of environmental injustice. Yet Virginia officials have been putting their thumb on the scale in favor of its approval from the beginning. 

“The court found that the State Air Pollution Control Board failed to determine ‘whether this facility is suitable for this site,’ in light of environmental justice concerns and potential health risks for the people of Union Hill. The court also determined that Air Board needed to consider using electric motors at the compressor station in place of gas-fired turbines, or at least provide an explanation of why it didn’t consider this alternative, as electric motors would eliminate almost all of the on-site air pollution from the compressor station. The court sent the permit back to the Air Board to fix the identified issues with the permit. 

“Today’s decision will be viewed by historians as a finger on the right side of the scale of justice. The people of Union Hill and Buckingham County have the right to walk out of their homes and breathe healthy air. We are glad to see that right upheld. 

“Now, CCAN will be fighting to make sure this compressor station is never built. If we listen to the science, the political momentum and the people of Union Hill, there is not one legitimate reason to allow this project to continue.” 

More information:

Since the day this project was announced, community advocates in Union Hill have sounded the alarm on environmental justice concerns. Scores of concerned citizens have rallied and protested across the state in opposition of this project. Hundreds turned up in Buckingham County to give public comment against the project. Thousands more sent written comments to the Air Board to request the board  deny the permits. Yet no matter how many Virginians said this was a bad idea, Dominion continued pushing for this location. 

In November, Dominion Energy announced its intention to spend over $5 million on improvements for Buckingham County if the ACP is completed successfully.  This package is a cynical and transparent attempt by the company to essentially pay off county leaders in exchange for the health and wellbeing of county residents. The Union Hill community is a rural, low-income, mostly African-American community where residents are less likely to have the resources to pursue legal challenges. 

Denise Robbins, Communications Director,, 240-630-1889
Harrison Wallace, Virginia Director,, 804-305-1472


The Chesapeake Climate Action Network is the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 17 years, CCAN has been at the center of the

Hogan climate plan under fire from 25 prominent groups

Two Dozen Organizations Deliver Letter Criticizing Governor Hogan’s Draft Climate Plan

Maryland Has “Responsibility to Lead with More Aggressive Pollution Reduction Plans,” Groups Say

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Today, a group of 25 prominent advocacy and community organizations delivered a letter to Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Environment calling for a drastic improvement to the state’s draft climate plan. The groups expressed that the Maryland Dept. of the Environment (MDE) is “failing to respond to the urgency of the climate crisis.”

The letter is signed by a wide array of organizations, including large environmental groups like Chesapeake Climate Action Network,, Sierra Club, and Maryland League of Conservation Voters; faith organizations like Interfaith Power & Light and Unitarian Universalist Legislative Committee of Maryland; student-led movements like Sunrise Movement Howard County  and community organizations like EcoLatinos, Maryland Legislative Coalition, and League of Women Voters of Maryland, to name a few. The letter states:

“Unfortunately, the plan fails to put us on track to meet mid-century targets identified by the world’s leading climate scientists as necessary to avoid the worst of climate disruption, and provides no clear policy specifics on how to achieve goals. As an example, the proposed ‘Clean and Renewable Energy Standard’ (CARES) is very thin on details, has been developed with minimal public input, and continues to rely on the burning of fossil fuels which are neither clean nor renewable.”


The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2016 — which was passed by an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan —  requires MDE to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 2006 levels by 2030, and for MDE to develop this plan by the end of 2018. In October of 2019, Gov. Hogan’s Department of Environment finally released its draft plan — nearly ten months after it was due. This came two weeks after 26 advocacy organizations sent a letter to the agency expressing “deep concern” that they had not yet released its legally mandated plan.

Today’s letter follows a recent policy review which found that Gov. Hogan’s draft Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan is critically flawed and falls far short of what is needed to address the climate crisis.

That review, authored by the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS), found that Maryland’s current greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets are weak compared to other states and inadequate for meeting critical international benchmarks for averting the climate crisis. CCS has extensive experience previously working on climate policy with the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE), the same agency now responsible for the Hogan Administration’s flawed Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan.

The CCS report found that the MDE plan uses “unrealistic assumptions on widespread electric vehicle adoption, dubious claims that highway widening will result in fewer emissions” and “MDE does not account for methane leakage in inventories or future scenarios, even as the Hogan Administration is supporting an expansion of fracked-gas infrastructure.” See the full report at this link.

In the letter released today, the coalition of advocacy groups called for a stronger plan that “looks at the entirety of the greenhouse gas problems our state is experiencing from every major source—not just energy usage.”

“We must address energy production, transportation, agriculture, and housing as well as reduction strategies such as forestation and sequestration,” they added.

The letter was signed by the following groups: 1199SEIU;; Central Maryland Transportation Alliance; Chesapeake Climate Action Network; Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility; Climate Law & Policy Project; Climate XChange; DoTheMostGood Montgomery County; EcoLatinos, Inc.; Environment Maryland; Frack-Free Frostburg; Greenbelt Climate Action Network; Howard County Climate Action; Indivisible Howard County; Institute for Energy and Environmental Research; Interfaith Power and Light (DC.MD.NoVA); League of Women Voters of Maryland; Maryland Legislative Coalition; Maryland League of Conservation Voters; Sierra Club; Sunrise Movement Howard County; Takoma Park Mobilization Environment Committee; Towson Unitarian Universalist Church Green Sanctuary Committee; Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland; and Waterkeepers Chesapeake.

MDE is now soliciting public comment on its draft Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan through a series of community forums across the state.


The Maryland Climate Coalition brings together environmental, faith, health, labor, and civic organizations to advance clean energy and climate policies in Maryland. For more information about the Maryland Climate Coalition, visit: