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In A Major Step Forward For Environmental Justice, Court Rejects Pipeline Permit

In A Major Step Forward For Environmental Justice, Court Rejects Pipeline Permit

In a case we have been following, there was good news yesterday when a three-judge federal Federal Appeals Court panel in Virginia invalidated a state air pollution permit for a natural gas compressor station planned as part of a 600-mile natural gas pipeline project because the state permitting board failed to consider the disproportionate health effects on Union Hill, a predominantly African American community nearby.

Why This Matters:  This is not the end of the line for the pipeline — the Court threw out the permit but the state will now get a do-over.  Still, the fact that the Court specifically decided the case on environmental justice grounds is a huge step forward. 

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One Adorable Thing: Hello Kitties!

There was a “special delivery” for the Metro Richmond Zoo on November 30th, when they welcomed seven baby cheetas! They were born to Vaila and Kalu, two cheetahs who have been residents at the zoo but had not mated with each other before.  Cheetah septuplets are rare — only occurring in 1% of all births.  […]

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Virginia Regulators Ignore Environmental Justice Concerns, Grant Pipeline Permit

Virginia Regulators Ignore Environmental Justice Concerns, Grant Pipeline Permit

Ignoring the pleas of residents of the historic African American community of Union Hill in Richmond, the Virginia state air pollution control board voted unanimously to approve a natural gas compressor station there. 

Why This Matters:  The large and powerful fossil fuel industry always seems to have the upper hand — in DC and in state capitals around the country.  The ruling probably does not matter because the pipeline is mired in more serious federal court litigation.  But environmental groups were disappointed that Democratic Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, replaced two skeptical air pollution control board commissioners whose terms had run out, with two pro-pipeline commissioners.  Governor Northam, according to The Post, attended a political fundraiser with Dominion executives in recent days.  Yup.  It’s all about the money.  

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