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Community Risks from Fracked Gas Pipelines and Power Plants

Authors: Mary Finley-Brook*, University of Richmond, Stephen Metts, The New School
Topics: Energy, Environment, Ethnicity and Race
Keywords: energy, environmental justice, spatial analysis, power maps, bureaucratic violence
Session Type: Paper
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Frontline communities in Buckingham and Charles City counties in Virginia resisting fracked gas infrastructure requested our support to research and map comprehensive risk from pipelines, compressor stations, power plants, and related infrastructure. We focus on two very large projects - the Buckingham Compressor Station and the Chickahominy Gas Plant - where counter-mapping tactics were deployed collaboratively with local minority-majority residents situated in rural communities. Our work elucidates spatial and collateral patterns such as the Hazardous Radius Area (HRA) - the blast zone -misunderstood and underappreciated by both policy makers and the public at large. This initiative is part of a multi-year project assessing ongoing bureaucratic violence occurring across intensifying interstate pipelines, and demonstrated locally along the Dominion Energy Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Virginia. Research methods include participant observation, risk mapping, power mapping, and assessment of industry and government practices that extend or compound risk, particularly for proximate households and vulnerable social groups.

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