Letter: S.E. Richardson, Leesburg

Editor:  On Sept. 26, 2016, a peculiar odor prompted residents south of Leesburg to place more than 100 emergency calls, and a number of people were evacuated. The incident resulted from an unannounced venting at a natural gas compressor station on Watson road, 10 miles south of Leesburg.

Ventings are a routine aspect of compressor station maintenance, and emissions or leaks of compounds—including methane, a greenhouse gas far more heat-trapping than carbon dioxide—are one of the consequences of relying on natural gas and the infrastructure it requires.

Dominion has requested a permit from Loudoun County to increase capacity at the Leesburg compressor station.

Even if you live nowhere near this facility, think about what this means. Natural gas comes from fracking, and the construction and extraction aspects of fracking damage shared resources such as water supplies, human health, and habitat—even public roads because the trucks involved rapidly wear them out. Fracking is so detrimental to the environment and human health that New York and Maryland have banned it. Germany looked into fracking and decided the costs outweigh the benefits.

Is it reasonable to expand infrastructure like compressor stations that will lock us into continued dependence on fossil fuel? Why does Virginia have so little solar power while Maryland has so much?

Tell the Board of Supervisors what vision of the future you support: bos@loudoun.gov. They will decide in less than 60 days. Let them hear from you.

S.E. Richardson, Leesburg

Leave a Reply