Buckingham Compressor Station Permit Sets New National Standard
Today, at its meeting in Richmond, the State Air Pollution Control Board (Board) approved a Buckingham Compressor Station permit that limits air pollution from this facility, associated with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Buckingham County. The permit approved today sets a new national pollution control standard for all new compressor stations across the country. The permit is expected to be signed and issued to Dominion Energy shortly.
The unanimous decision, based on the recommendation by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), came after months of scrutiny and review by the agency and the public. Today’s decision follows a supplemental written public comment period related to specific documents Board members received from DEQ following the November Board meetings. The documents related to demographics and site suitability for the approved compressor station. At today’s meeting, the Board discussed both community inclusion in the process, and the need to avoid disproportionate impact in the area.
“DEQ treated the permit application – which qualifies as a minor source by state and federal regulations – as a major source of air pollution to better ensure pollution control to the greatest extent possible under the law,” said DEQ Air Director Mike Dowd. “DEQ’s analysis included reviewing compressor station permits across the country and scrutinizing pollution control technology. The Board recognized that this permit will significantly reduce the facility’s air pollution and set a new national standard that all future compressor stations will have to meet across the country.”
The permit was amended during the December Board meetings to include ambient air quality monitoring near the site, rigorous reporting requirements and compliance procedures. The permit requires the use of “best available control technology” to meet the health-based standards established by the federal Clean Air Act, which establishes the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The agency required an air quality modeling analysis to demonstrate compliance with NAAQS, which provide an ample margin of safety to protect public health.