(RICHMOND, VA)—In a blow to a proposed Virginia Natural Gas pipeline and infrastructure expansion, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) on Friday withheld a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the proposal until further conditions are met. Among the conditions is the need to establish that the applicant has secured all necessary financing and has undertaken environmental justice analyses.
The six separate projects at issue would affect communities in Prince William, Fauquier, Caroline, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, and Charles City counties, and the City of Chesapeake. These projects would harm 153 acres of wetlands and 313 acres of forest. Dozens of homes appear to lie within 500 feet of the 24 miles of proposed pipelines. The expansion is related to supplying C4GT, a gas-fired plant proposed for Charles City County.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) filed a Notice of Participation with the SCC in order to advocate for greater environmental review and introduce environmental justice concerns into the SCC’s analysis.
CBF Virginia Executive Director Peggy Sanner issued the following statement.
“The Commissioners recognized both the great uncertainty around the financial viability of this expansion, as well as the threats the projects pose to the environment and vulnerable communities across Virginia. This decision is a promising step for the Virginians at risk from this unnecessary natural gas expansion. But the environmental and public health risks remain a concern as long as this project could still move forward.
“CBF will continue to advocate against unnecessary and harmful natural gas expansion.”