Northam replaces regulators ahead of pipeline vote

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has removed two members of the State Air Pollution Control Board after the citizen review board delayed a key vote on whether to allow a natural gas compressor station in a historic African-American community.

News outlets report that Northam’s move has angered minority groups and environmentalists, who say the governor is trying to improperly influence the board in order to help Dominion Energy build a new natural gas pipeline.

Northam’s office said the board members’ terms had expired this summer and their removal was unrelated to the pipeline.

Earlier this month the board issued a surprising delay on a vote to approve a permit for a natural gas compressor station in Buckingham County. The new vote is set for Dec. 10.

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