Residents and Local Politicians Upset about Dominion Power High Voltage Line
Residents and local politicians are upset about Dominion Virginia Power’s plans to build a new 230 kilovolt overhead high voltage transmission line through Gainsville, Haymarket, Somerset, Somerset Crossing, Greenhill and Buckland Mills, Virginia (Washington Post). Dominion Power wants to begin construction of the line and a new substation in spring 2016 and have electricity flowing by spring 2017.
Residents say the line would cut through protected wetlands and negatively affect the environment, “will cause massive drops in property values“ and will cause health problems including cancer. Several communities have organized to fight the transmission line, including Fight The Power Line which says they do not agree with the above-ground power line location as proposed. The organization supports preservation of their natural habitats for endangered species and is concerned about the health of their children, including those attending Haymarket Elementary School and Buckland Mills Elementary School.
Local politicians are baffled by the plans for the line and say there is no significant proposed community expansion to warrant the new line. Haymarket Mayor David Leake said he “felt a little misled” by Dominion Power’s presentation to Town Council. He suggested Dominion has a particular new customer in mind, but Dominion has refused to indicate who the new customer might be. Haymarket Council member Joe Pasanello said there was a lack of honest outreach by Dominion and claimed that “their intent is to try to steamroll residents who live along the railroad right-of-way. It is irresponsible and an exercise of hubris by Dominion to present only one alternative and expect the community to toe the line, as it were.”