multiple metal pipe ends in a row with the text "Header Improvement Project" with the word improvement replaced by the word injustice

What is the Header Injustice Project?

Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) calls it their “Header Improvement Project” — a horribly misleading misnomer. CCAN calls it the “Header Injustice Project,” and it’s the next big pipeline fight in Virginia. The proposal is for three new gas pipelines, totaling 24 miles, and three new or expanded gas compressor stations from Northern Virginia, through the middle of the state, and to the shore in Hampton Roads. VNG wants this network of fracked gas infrastructure to be up & running by the end of 2022. CCAN and other members of the Stop the Abuse of Virginian Energy (SAVE) Coalition are fighting at each deadline to stop VNG from poisoning Virginians. Read on to learn how the Header Injustice Project would harm the health of your community and how you can stop it with us.

The project consists of:

  • Transco Interconnect Pipeline: 6.2 miles of steel pipeline connecting VNG’s existing Quantico pipeline with the Transco pipeline, cutting through Fauquier and Prince William counties (all pipelines will be 30 inches in diameter)
  • Quantico Parallel Pipeline: 3.3 miles of pipeline running parallel to VNG’s existing Quantico pipeline in Fauquier County
  • Mechanicsville Parallel Pipeline: 14.6 miles of pipeline running parallel to VNG’s existing Lateral Pipeline in Hanover, New Kent, and Charles City counties
  • Transco Interconnect Compressor Station: new compressor station in Prince William County
  • Ladysmith Compressor Station Expansion: expanding the footprint of the existing Ladysmith Compressor Station in Caroline County
  • Gidley Compressor Station: new compressor station in the existing Gidley Gate Metering/Regulation Station in the City of Chesapeake

The Harm of HIP

Threats to drinking water: The project sections will cross Cedar Creek, Cedar Run, Slate Run and Town Run and more than a dozen unnamed streams in Northern Virginia. The Occoquan Reservoir Intake is also in the pathway of the pipeline construction and it is a major drinking water source for all of Northern Virginia. The Mechanicville Parallel Pipeline would impact Chickahominy River, Boatswain Creek, Elder Swamp, Higgins Swamp, Possum Run and over 34 unnamed crossings, impacting 9886 linear feet of waterways. The Chickahominy River would be crossed by the Mechanicsville Parallel Pipe within the section designated as a Scenic River by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Compressor station pollutants: Compressor stations are built along pipeline routes to pump the gas, enabling it to flow down the pipeline. Compressor stations emit air pollutants that are harmful to human health, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter (PM). Particulate matter can be easily inhaled and directly affect the heart and lungs. The toxic pollutants produced by compressor stations also end up in our water.

Compressor station noise pollution: Compressor stations produce noise pollution that can negatively impact the daily lives of those who live nearby. Not only are the loud noises disrupting and irritating, they may increase the risk for sleep disturbance and cardiovascular disease. You can listen to the noise produced by a compressor station here.

Reduced water quality from pipelines: Run-off and sedimentation during construction, as well as chemical additives used to keep rights-of-way clear, can impact local surface water and groundwater.

Dangerous climate impacts: According to growing scientific data, fracked gas could disrupt the climate on par with coal, when factoring in the full cycle of emissions from extraction to piping to and burning. With rising seas already flooding Virginia’s coastal communities, this is a risk we can’t afford to take.

Public safety: A pipeline “blowout” near Appomattox, Virginia in 2008 created a fireball reported to be a quarter mile high, injuring residents, and damaging nearly 100 homes.

Watch: Gas Compressor Site Noise

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If you’re interested in getting involved against the Header Injustice Project, contact our Virginia Grassroots Coordinator, Hannah Laub, at hannah@chesapeake