Monthly Archives: November 2013

Resistance on the Riverfront

I’ve defined my solution to the James River power-line problem to vote in favor of the alternate route instead of the originally proposed one. It would, instead of spreading across the river, cut through the wetlands along the coast of the river up to the Chickahominy switching station. However, many people would be in opposition of this idea, as not only is it significantly more expensive, it is longer in length and impacts the John Smith trail and the surrounding wetlands.

Of those in opposition, Dominion is extremely against this alternative route; they claim it to be considerably worse in comparison to the first suggested route. This chart, in Hearing Examiner Alexander Skirpan’s final report on August 29th 2013, he summarizes the impacts of both suggested routes:

Hearing Examiner’s report; page 11, August 29th, 2013

The chart shows that the alternate, which I am for, is extremely outrageous economically and environmentally. The difference in cost and land consumption alone makes their argument for the original plan to feel like the better option. Therefore, any number of taxpayers and conservationists could also oppose this alternate solution.

Another party that can be assumed in opposition would be environmentalists in an attempt to prevent Virginia wetlands from being scarred more by industrialization. Where the original route could possibly ruin the James by destroying its sturgeon population and kicking up muck from under the sand, cutting through Virginia’s wetlands could also equally impose on the environment. Real estate owners will also be affected; just because they don’t own waterfront property doesn’t mean that the homes in the second suggested area will not lose value.

As a resident of the Historic Triangle area, I can only do so much. I can post comments in the Last Word section of the local paper, attempt to make the problem more known at an expense to myself, or completely disregard it and leave the big boys to decide. Where Dominion has its name and its established empire, I have an associate’s degree in Social Sciences and youth. The best I can do is to appeal to our local paper enough to perhaps persuade interest in the topic, and hope that the State Corporation Commission makes the right decision.

Works Cited:

“Document List For Case Number : PUE-2012-00029.”SCC Docket Search. State Corporation       Commission, 25 Oct. 2013. Web. 1 Nov 2013. <http://docket.scc.state.va.us/CyberDocs/Libraries/Default_Library/Common/frameviewdsp.asp?doc=133193&lib=CASEWEBP_LIB&mimetype=application/pdf&rendition=native>.

A Possible Solution to the James

Last week I defined the main problem with my social issue as the idea that Dominion Virginia Power wants to succeed in building power lines over the James River in a direct tourist spot, located essentially in Jamestown settlement. They are fighting adamantly on getting the permit to start building soon, and are only waiting for the State Corporation Commission (or SCC) to approve of it.

I am clearly against Dominion in the destination they have chosen to build the lines, but not the idea of building them itself. I know that the Virginia peninsula needs the new power upgrade due to the Yorktown station closing in 2015, and that without the new transmission line Dominion will not be up to governmental standards approaching summer 2015. The idea that they have chosen to mar the beauty of arguably Virginia’s most significant historical site without a second thought give me the impression that they don’t necessarily give a hoot what they mess up when they build, as long as it’s not at a disadvantage to them.

I feel that the SCC should choose to allow Dominion to build on the alternative route offered during the court trial. It’s a route that is significantly longer in length, and costs more, but it does not cut across the James nor is it really intruding though the historical portion of Virginia. Part of the route is attached to existing transmission towers, and cuts through to the Chickahominy switching station. This would be my primary solution regarding this issue, because it is currently the only alternative to the lines being built over the historical river.

In order to implement this solution, first, the SCC would have to vote in favor of it. Currently, there is a letter with new information submitted by the United States Department of the Interior causing a ruckus; Dominion does not want it to be considered in the final decision, whereas James City County, the primary group in opposition, is all for it. If the community could come together and help enforce that the new information should be used in consideration for the final decision, it may alter the potential choice that the council will agree upon.
If this were to be successful, Dominion would most likely attempt to appeal the decision, and other stakeholders would pop up depending on how the council framed the verdict. It would have potential viable points against the decision, such as the price or the effects of the new location. My argument is mostly value-based; I really just don’t want my historical sites to be ruined by industrialization and the presence of power lines crossing the most important river on the East Coast.

 

Works Cited:

“Document List For Case Number : PUE-2012-00029.”SCC Docket Search. State Corporation Commission, 25 Oct.

2013. Web. 1 Nov 2013. <http://docket.scc.state.va.us/CyberDocs/Libraries/Default_Library/Common/frameviewdsp.asp?doc=133193&lib=CASEWEBP_LIB&mimetype=application/pdf&rendition=native>.