Special Board Meeting on Power Lines

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Provided by Prince William County

When Dominion Virginia Power submitted plans to construct a 230 kV double circuit transmission line and associated substation in Haymarket, it raised significant public interest. Residents raised concerns about potential negative impact to property values, and the Board of County Supervisors urged the SCC to select the “I-66 Hybrid Route,” which would underground approximately 3.2 miles of the transmission line that runs near adjacent neighborhoods. On April 6, 2017, the SCC issued an Interim Order, reflecting its position on the issue.

Despite the Board and community requests during public hearings, the SCC rejected the request for the Hybrid Route because “the costs and adverse impacts attendant to the I-66 Hybrid Route are neither reasonable nor in the public interest,” according to the SCC Interim Order.

The Order leaves two options for consideration. The preferred option for the SCC is the “Railroad Route,” which would require the Board of County Supervisors to allow Dominion to construct an overhead transmission line across property at Somerset Crossing, which is protected by an Open-Space Easement held by the County. The alternative option stated in the order is the “Carver Road Route,” which the SCC concluded would have a greater impact on local residences.

In a letter from Dominion to Prince William County Government, Dominion requests the Board to provide written response to Dominion as to whether it will authorize construction of the Railroad Route through the property protected by the County’s Open-Space Easement. Dominion further acknowledges that if the Board refuses to permit Dominion to construct the Railroad Route, that it will move forward with the Carver Road Route and construct it with “higher single shaft steel poles,” instead of the lower weathering steel H-frame structures that it is willing to use on the Railroad Route only.

According to the Order, Virginia Dominion Power has until June 5, 2017 to file “written confirmation that any legal constraints blocking construction of the Railroad Route have been removed or, in the alternative, notice that construction of the Railroad Route is not possible due to the legal inability to procure necessary rights-of-way.”

The SCC will rule on the transmission line after it receives response from Dominion as directed in the Interim Order. The Board of County Supervisors scheduled a special meeting for 8:00 p. m. Thursday, June 1, 2017 in the board chambers to take up the matter.

 

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