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Chesterfield County officials and Dominion move to Deny Public Engagement in gas plant review

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

CONTACT:  

Glen Besa, Board Chair, Friends of Chesterfield, glenbesa@gmail.com, (804) 387-6001

 

June 17, 2024 


Chesterfield, VA - Friends of Chesterfield is challenging how county officials have handled the decision-making process for a 1000-megawatt gas plant Dominion Energy is proposing near the James River. The resident group outlined its objections in a letter sent on June 12th, highlighting the importance of community input around a project located near thousands of households and with serious health and financial impacts. 


“Chesterfield residents have made it crystal clear to county officials and to Dominion that we do not want another source of pollution in our backyard. Rather than responding meaningfully to these concerns, Dominion and the county appear to be cutting us out of the process entirely,” said Glen Besa, a founding member of the  Friends of Chesterfield County.  

 

The county’s position, stated in a May 24 letter to Dominion Energy, is that they are unable to make a determination and are not required to sign a Suitability and Value form the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality needs to move forward with permitting for the project.  In response, Friends of Chesterfield advised Board Chairman James Holland that “the Board has both the legal authority to take up the question of site suitability and the insight into local needs and values to make a principled decision” on the siting of the gas plant.   

 

“Dominion is deliberately shutting the community members who stand the most to lose out of the decision making process; this is a textbook case of environmental injustice. I am one of tens of thousands of people who live near this proposed plant, and our community deserves a say when it comes to the air we and our families are breathing.” said Ann Butler, a county resident and mother.

 

County opposition has manifested itself in hundreds of letters and postcards as well as a petition signed by 300 residents to the supervisors opposing the gas plant.  At the April Board of Supervisors meeting more than 80 residents rallied in opposition to the gas plant.  In March of this year, nine state lawmakers released a public letter denouncing the plant, citing concerns over its fiscal impacts and threats to the state’s clean energy goals.

 

County residents will rally at the June 26th Chesterfield Board of Supervisors meeting at 10001 Iron Bridge Road at 6 p.m. to continue vocal opposition to the plant. To register, visit the Friends of Chesterfield website

 

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Friends of Chesterfield is a community-based group in Chesterfield County dedicated to bringing residents together around the issues that impact our lives. Friends was formed in 2023 in response to Dominion Energy’s proposed 1000-megawatt methane gas power plant.

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