HANOVER (March 1, 2021) – Hanover County NAACP President Patricia Hunter-Jordan issued the following statement in response to the State Water Control Board’s decision to allow a permit for Wegman’s to build in Brown Grove:
“Despite an overabundance of evidence presented to the board from environmental experts, geologists and lawyers, the board, some of whom seemed to be presenting the case for Wegman’s, agreed to allow the permit to move forward in a 4-3 vote. Dozens of Brown Grove residents, other community subdivision residents, and environmental groups spoke of the disastrous effects this project would have on the Brown Grove Community and on our Wetlands here in Hanover County. Not one person spoke in favor of the passage of this permit other than members of the Virginia State Water Control Board and staff members who presented what appeared to be the case for Wegman’s instead of Wegman’s presenting their own case.
Our Brown Grove community has suffered enough. Their community has been denigrated for years. The pattern is familiar as we see our Black communities become targets for commercialization. Brown Grove currently has a concrete plant, the Airpark, and other industrial businesses. I-95 intersected their community as it did Jackson Ward years ago. The same situation can be seen in the community of Union Hill.
There is no plan to improve Ashcake Road, a small two-lane country road, where hundreds of cars will now be traveling to enter the facility reporting to work daily. The road frequently floods as it is. Wegman’s said they will remove graves on the property. And do what with the remains of our ancestors? This is unacceptable. Our Historic Brown Grove Church sits directly across from this entrance. Usual church activities will be interrupted with the amount of travel on this road. Yet, no conversations have been held with the Pastor as to what could be done to help the church because of the Wegman’s intrusion.
We do not oppose Wegman’s coming to Hanover County, but there are better options for this plant other than in the midst of the homes of the Brown Grove Community.”
ABOUT THE HANOVER COUNTY NAACP
The Hanover County Branch was established almost 65 years ago at the First Union Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, Virginia with the dream of having an organization dedicated to the realization of the principle of equality and justice for all. Through civil rights advocacy and community involvement we continue the struggle to achieve freedom, justice and dignity for all. Our strength is derived from the dedication and untiring efforts of our volunteers. Individual membership, fund raising activities and corporate sponsorship allows this organization to continue serving the community.
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Heather Greenwell, Media Contact
NAACP | Hanover County Branch
PO Box 2112, Mechanicsville, VA 23116