Charles City & Union Hill Updates

Union Hill Update:


As you may know the Union Hill group Friends of Buckingham was represented in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently. While we await the outcome of this, we want to acknowledge that the State Air Pollution Control Board conceded that Union Hill is indeed overwhelmingly populated by African Americans. This is an overwhelming move in recognizing the fight of Union Hill as a fight for environmental justice! The community continues to hold informational sessions, tours with those interested in joining the fight, and advocating for justice while waiting on cases in both the 4th Circuit Court and the Supreme Court!


Charles City Update:


There are current several power plants in Charles City that are attempting to move their development forward. These plants will have several significant environmental impacts, including drawing approximately 30 million gallons of water from the Potomac Aquifer. This will put the drinking water of many at risk. The aquifer would not be able to sustain this massive extraction as such DEQ has plans to issue a 7-year special exemption which is 8 years shorter than a typical water permit. It is not too late to respond and you all will have a chance to give public comment on December 26th. Before this though, we are part of a coalition that is asking that the comment period to be extend beyond the typical 30 days.


We encourage you to email the Department of Environmental Quality and ask for a fair notification process during the final permitting process. The contact point is a man named Joe Grist at, but feel free to CC others, such as David Paylor at Sending an email will get you alerted when the public comment period opens for the water “special exception” that the Chickahominy plant is seeking.


Here’s some sample text for your convenience:

Dear Mr. Grist,

I’m concerned about the prospects of a gas plant being built in Charles City County. Please notify me when the comment period begins for the special exception, so that I can comment on it. I am also concerned that, given that the Charles City County community really had inadequate notification of the air permit, this comment period appears to be coinciding with the holidays. This is a busy time of year, so I’d like to see the comment period extended to at least 60 days, rather than a mere 30 days. I also would like the DEQ to host more than one information session, so that the community gets better notification around water concerns than they received before the air permit.

Thank you,

[Your name + address]


We’d encourage you to ask questions and start a back and forth email conversation with Joe to keep yourself on his radar. A well organized and active community group named C5 has excellent resources on their website, linked here. We hope that you will join this coalition to address the environmental impacts and help seek justice for all!


We have also put together a quick action page, where you can give a comment as well.