Against a backdrop of proposed changes to environmental rules to speed up pipeline projects, inter alia, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia has rejected Dominion Energy's application for a permit to operate a natural gas compressor station integral to the development of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The rejection was welcomed by Union Hill, Virginia residents, a community founded by freed slaves after the Civil War and one at the heart of the battle against the Atlanta Coast Pipeline. Residents said Dominion Energy’s project would lead to poor health conditions for the largely black community: "“Five years ago, Dominion told us that there was going to be a compressor station in Union Hill and there was nothing we could do about it. That’s not fair” said Chad Oba, a Union Hill resident who took part in challenging the pipeline.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is slated to run 600 miles, bringing fracked natural gas from West Virginia, through Virginia, to North Carolina, but it has hit numerous legal roadblocks along the way.
The outcome of this legal battle has provided a shot in the arm to other activists seeking to reverse what they see as the Trump administration's assault on the environment. Dominion Energy, undeterred, told The Associated Press it plans to work with the state to fix the issues the court identified with its permit.