Karen Campblin is the environment and climate justice committee chair for the Virginia State Conference NAACP. Samantha Ahdoot is chair and co-founder of Virginia Clinicians for Climate Actions.

Here we go again.

It was only last year that a federal court ruled that the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board failed to consider whether a compressor station would unfairly burden a predominantly Black community.

The community was Union Hill in Buckingham County, Va., and the compressor station was designed to support the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

This time, the community is in Pittsylvania County, Va., and the compressor station is supposed to support MVP Southgate, an extension of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

But even if you swap in new names, this is an old story.

Again, a pipeline company is proposing to build a compressor station that would pump tons of fine particulate pollution each year into a Virginia community of color. And once again, the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board is considering whether to approve that project, despite the clear dangers it represents to Virginians’ health.

We should know. One of us, Karen Campblin, is the environmental and climate justice chair of the NAACP’s Virginia State Conference. The other, Samantha Ahdoot, is a pediatrician with expertise in how air quality affects human health.

We both have experience working with communities of color like the ones living near the Lambert Compressor Station proposed for Pittsylvania County.

We know that people of color suffer more from asthma, heart attacks and lung cancer, and we know that the fine particulate matter that the compressor station would emit would exacerbate these preexisting health conditions.

In fact, the station would further expose residents to neurotoxins such as hexane, carcinogens such as formaldehyde and fine particulates, a pollutant for which there is no known safe threshold.

And its impacts wouldn’t stop there. The pipeline that the Lambert Compressor Station would support carries methane, a greenhouse gas with 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. Compressor stations intentionally vent methane into the air to relieve the pressure on gas pipelines. When Virginia is making efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the station that Mountain Valley Pipeline seeks to build would emit 125,000 tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gases each year alone.

In other words, it wouldn’t just worsen air quality; it also would contribute to climate change. And climate change, too, carries health risks. Heat-related illnesses, infectious diseases and food insecurity are all real and present health dangers thanks to our worsening climate — as are, of course, the illnesses associated with poor air quality.

By any measure, the compressor station would endanger people’s health — the health of people who can least afford it. The developer’s own consultant identified four communities near the station that meet “environmental justice community” parameters under the Virginia Environmental Justice Act.

Like the community at Union Hill, the majority-minority district in Pittsylvania County is the last place Mountain Valley Pipeline developers should be attempting to build. The compressor station is a major investment in fossil fuels that would last for decades, all while emitting climate-warming gases methane and carbon dioxide directly into the atmosphere.

Virginia just committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by 30 percent by 2030 and eliminating them all altogether by 2050. The Biden administration has gone further, calling for a carbon-free electricity grid by 2035. And the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that we will not be able to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius unless there are immediate and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Why should the board greenlight a project that would do just the opposite?

The effects of climate change are already showing up in the exam rooms of pediatricians. It’s clear that projects such as the one Mountain Valley Pipeline is proposing will only exacerbate this growing crisis.

We urge the Air Pollution Control Board to deny the permit and protect the Black Virginians who would be most affected by the proposed compressor station.

To do otherwise would simply be deja vu.