Respect and Protect Our Air, Our Lives

This is a guest blog by Crystal Cavalier-Keck. Crystal Cavalier-Keck is the co-founder of Seven Directions of Service with her husband. She is a citizen of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation in Burlington, NC. She is the Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee for the NAACP, a board member of the Haw River Assembly and the a member of the 2020 Fall Cohort of the Sierra Club’s Gender Equity and Environment Program and Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) Accelerator for Grassroots Women Environmental Leaders.

This week, Virginia’s Citizen Air Pollution Control Board will host a meeting on December 2-3 to decide whether or not to grant an air pollution permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s proposed Lambert Compression Station. The Lambert Compressor Station is proposed to be built outside of Chatham, Virginia, an area already burdened with multiple polluting compressor stations and fossil fuel infrastructure. It is the sole compressor station for MVP Southgate, a proposed 73-mile extension of the unfinished 303-mile fracked-gas Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Crystal Cavalier-Keck walks in the May 2nd No MVP Southgate Water Walk, near Chatham, VA. Picture courtesy of Crystal Cavalier-Keck

This is a clear case of environmental injustice and attempt to silence Black and Indigenous voices and demands, with the proposed compressor station and MVP extension targeted for a largely poor, rural area on the border of Virginia and North Carolina. 

That’s why this past weekend, we mobilized in Danville to protect our communities from the impacts of the MVP Southgate Lambert Compressor Station. This event is an example of the strength and love of our community. We came together to care for one another, fight for our futures, and enjoy our time on this Earth. We know that when we come together, we are stronger than the polluting fossil fuel interests that have tried for decades to kill us and take our lands. 

Crystal Cavalier-Keck speaking alongside Paperhand Puppet Intervention at the November 27th event ‘Protect Our Air, Our Lives’ in Danville, VA. Photo by Grace Tuttle

We demand real climate leadership and actionable commitments from our leaders because we depend on our leaders to do their jobs and protect our children. We strongly hope to see an end to the Lambert Compression Station, the MVP Southgate extension, and the entire MVP pipeline. We are counting on the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board to make the right choice and deny this permit.

How Can I Get Involved? 

  • If you did not get to comment on the proposed permit and cant make it to the hearings, sign this petition asking the Air Pollution Control Board to deny the permit! 
  • Show up in person in solidarity or to deliver a comment or pool minutes with another advocate at the Lambert hearings on December 2nd and 3rd. (Speaking at the hearings is only permitted if you have spoken/commented in a prior Lambert comment period). Attending the hearing in solidarity and community support is appreciated and encouraged if you can make it. Indicate your attendance at the hearings here or contact 
  • Read and bookmark POWHR’s Lambert Info Hub for current info and calls to action 
  • Sign up for POWHR’s Newsletter

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Grace is POWHR's Coordinator. She enjoys gardening and fighting for a fossil-free future from Western Virginia.