Northam makes ‘huge mistake’ in replacing Air Board members prior to final Union Hill vote

For Immediate Release:
Friday, Nov. 16, 2018

Lee Francis | Deputy Director
Virginia League of Conservation Voters
(804) 225-1902 |


RICHMOND – Today, the Northam Administration announced its replacements of Samuel Bleicher and Rebecca Rubin on the Air Pollution Control Board, which came in the middle of a high-stakes regulatory decision pertaining to a permit for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

In response to today’s news, Michael Town, executive director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, issued the following statement:

We hope these new board members are qualified, but, frankly, we have no idea who they are. What we do know is that they are replacing two highly respected, well-qualified board members who dared to ask the hard questions about Dominion’s unnecessary and destructive pipeline, and that their appointments come just weeks before an important final vote on this project and on the heels of a contentious hearing where they raised serious concerns.

We believe Governor Northam has made a huge mistake and one that has immensely marred his standing and reputation in the conservation community and one that should impact overall public trust in this Administration, as well.

The appearance that Governor Northam replaced these board members to protect Dominion Energy at the expense of the predominantly African-American community of Union Hill is unconscionable and unacceptable.


About us:
The Virginia League of Conservation Voters serves as the political voice of the state’s conservation community, working to make sure Virginia’s elected officials recognize that our natural heritage is an environmental and economic treasure for all. Virginia LCV works with conservation leaders across Virginia and strives for a conservation majority in state government. We secure good public policies on the state level and hold public officials accountable for their positions on environmental issues. For more information, visit