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I am dismayed that the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (BOS) has voted to approve the expansion of the Loudoun County Compressor station off of Watson Road. Six of the people who are charged with doing what’s right by Loudouners voted to allow even more noxious, toxic natural gas to run through our county. The citizens who live near these compressor stations will have to deal with even more benzene (a carcinogen), methane (an asphyxiant), radon (a radioactive element) and particulate matter (mucus membrane irritant and carcinogen) along with a host of other chemicals and compounds which are harmful to human health.

To Supervisor Buffington’s credit, he genuinely appeared to care about the opinions of the people in the Blue Ridge district who will be most impacted by this expansion. However, he punted when he indicated that the Board’s hands were tied and they were obligated to approve the expansion simply because it was within the bounds of the current Comprehensive Plan.

Clearly, two other Supervisors didn’t agree, and I’d like to commend Chair Randall and Supervisor Umstattd for understanding what their counterparts clearly do not.

To Supervisor Letourneau’s point that some source of energy is required as a backstop even if we were to go as renewable as possible, I would point out that there are options other than fossil fuels. Having a coastline, Virginia could enjoy virtually all of the different options for renewables and generation from wave energy could be the backstop. The problem isn’t renewable energy, it’s outdated thinking and political inertia funded by intransigent utility companies.

Supervisor Meyer wins the award for the most ridiculous comment of the evening and deserves quoting because it’s practically satire: “Loudoun is doing a great job of trying to attract 21st century renewable power. The Stonewall Panda plant is going to be incredible.” This is hilarious because the Panda Stonewall plant has nothing to do with renewable energy. It’s a fracked gas plant. Fracked gas is, by definition, not renewable because it will run out eventually.

Supervisors, respectfully, voting for this compressor expansion is shirking your responsibility to the people of Loudoun County. You should know better. You should not have voted in the path of least resistance. Your constituents deserved better from you. They deserved not having to deal with increased rates of asthma and neurological impairment. They deserved not having to wonder why cancer struck them or their family. They deserved to not have to deal with increased incidences of blowdowns and potential leaks. No one has ever honestly claimed that living next to natural gas infrastructure is beneficial to human health. No one has ever said that inhaling more fossil fuels is good for a person. But hopefully, we all learned quite a bit. I learned whose challengers I’ll be supporting in 2019.

Amanda Tandy



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