On 12/6/17 SCC Commissioners ordered further proceedings to receive evidence and legal analysis to address the need for the proposed Haymarket transmission line project.
January 5 Dominion file testimony and exhibits
January 26 Commission Staff, Coalition, Somerset file testimony and exhibits
February 2 Dominion file rebuttal testimony and exhibits
February 8 SCC Hearing, Richmond
They Listened – and We Need to Do More
We spoke at the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor in support of Senator Chap Petersen’s SB 13.
This “Intervenor” bill would put in place a process whereby grass-roots and other groups could apply to the state to be reimbursed for costs incurred from being a participant in a utility proceeding. While Petersen’s bill failed to be passed by the Committee, our participation definitely made a difference. The senators listened to our input, and rather than failing with an overwhelming majority (like the previous legislation we have supported), six senators voted in favor of passing the bill to come out of committee. Supporting the bill: Saslaw, Stuart, Stanley, Dance, Black, Spruill. Voting to kill the bill: Wagner, Norment, Newman, Obenshain, Cosgrove, Chafin, McDougle, Sturtevant.
While it is disappointing that this round did not permit Senator Petersen’s SB 13 to see the light of day, the good news is that Delegate Danica Roem has a slightly modified but matching Intervenor bill, HB 556, which will be considered by the House Committee for Commerce and Labor. So we have another shot to influence this beneficial legislation being passed. (Check out all the proposed legislation affecting our case: http://www.protectpwc.org/2018/01/11/legislation-proposed-in-2018-general-assembly/)
Delegate Tim Hugo’s HB 1202 to establish a pilot program approving underground construction of two electric transmission lines, one of which would be the Haymarket transmission line, will be coming up for review, and we will be supporting this bill as well.
So your constituent involvement is needed:
- Reach out now and Thank the Senators who voted in support of Senator Petersen’s SB 13: Saslaw, Stuart, Stanley, Dance, Black, Spruill (Your personal note will make a difference – access their contact info here: https://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/)
- Act on emails the Coalition will be providing to communicate your support of other bills in this legislative session: HB 1202, HB 556, and probably more.
The next few weeks are going to be very busy for the Coalition, and for all of us in the Haymarket/Gainesville community, if we are to cover all the bases on the Haymarket transmission line case. We will continue to send you emails on all developments which will need your timely attention and support:
- Emails to our Legislators to support appropriate bills in this General Assembly
- Show up in Richmond at the Committees or the General Assembly to demonstrate our constituent and Dominion rate-payer support of legislation that will help our cause
- Emails to our Board of Supervisors that we need their continuing support for Coalition efforts
- Show up in Richmond to give your own personal story at the February 8 Public Hearing at the SCC
Now is the time that Dominion, our state and local elected officials, and the SCC must see and experience that we are a powerful force. We must continuously communicate and demonstrate that we are still very much united across all communities to ensure, if a need is established for a transmission line in Haymarket, that it is only fair and entirely feasible for it to be partially undergrounded along I-66.
Please act on the alerts we send you.
Make a Donation to the Coalition http://www.protectpwc.org/take-action-here/donate/. It takes money to keep this fight going.
Check into the Coalition website on a regular basis to stay up-to-date on all the latest coverage www.protectpwc.org.
We know you want to be kept informed and help our efforts to be successful.
Next 30 Days May Determine Next 30 Years
In defense of the Haymarket/Gainesville community regarding Dominion’s proposed Haymarket Transmission Line and Substation project, the Coalition is preparing remand testimony for submittal to the SCC on January 26, and will be representing the community as a formal Respondent at the February 8 Remand Hearing at the SCC (State Corporation Commission) in Richmond.
This is a Public Hearing on February 8.
Come to the hearing as a Public Witness to personally communicate your own story and the impact this project will have on your home, family, and business. (10:00 a.m., in the Commission’s courtroom, Second Floor, Tyler Building, 1300 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219. Any person desiring to offer testimony as a public witness at this evidentiary hearing should appear in the Commission’s courtroom fifteen (15) minutes prior to the starting time of the hearing and identify himself or herself to the Commission’s Bailiff.)
We are also going to Richmond tomorrow, January 15, to address legislation which impacts this project – see press release below.
Access all these latest in Headline News here on the home page:
• Review the latest proposed maps (will affect homes and businesses along I-66)
• Read Dominion’s latest testimony
• Review and support proposed legislation affecting Dominion and this project:
• Read InsideNOVA article about Delegate Hugo’s bill HB 1202
• Read Richmond Times-Dispatch article about unfriendly Senate Committee to proposed legislation SB 9
• Support the Coalition’s efforts for our community – Donate
In Powerline Fight, Next Thirty Days May Determine Next Thirty Years
Executive director says: “Coalition fights for community, from committee to courtroom.”
Haymarket, Virginia (January 14, 2018) – The battle over Dominion Energy’s proposed Haymarket transmission line heads to Richmond as the House of Delegates begins their legislative season and the State Corporation Commission (SCC) hands Dominion’s case a regulatory reversal.
Coalition executive director Elena Schlossberg stated, “While this community’s battle may never be over, it’s no exaggeration to say the next thirty days will shape the next thirty years for Haymarket and Gainesville residents, perhaps decisively.”
Several bills have been introduced with a direct impact on the Haymarket project. Delegate Tim Hugo introduced a bill (HB 1202) to run the Haymarket transmission line underground, reviving a program that enjoyed unanimous, bi-partisan support before being halted in 2016 due to pressure from Dominion.
“Delegate Hugo’s bill just might drive the outcome we all want – I-66 and buried – and we thank him for his efforts,” Schlossberg continued. “Dominion still needs to prove its need argument – and citizens still need assurance this measure does not diminish local elected officials’ rightful zoning authority.”
Coalition leadership will also be headed to Richmond tomorrow, Monday, January 15, to share perspective on one (HB 556) of Delegate Danica Roem’s numerous initiatives– this one allowing the SCC to reimburse organizations like the Coalition who incur legal expenses in representing their communities if the SCC believes their participation has a significant impact on the outcome. We are showing up at the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor to speak in support of Senator Chap Petersen’s matching SB 13, as well as SB 9 and SB 11.
“This is a matter of fairness,” Schlossberg added. “Community organizations will never – ever – enjoy a level playing field facing Dominion’s legal budget, which is ratepayer- funded. Allowing the SCC to reward meaningful participation gives volunteer community organizations at least a shot at recovering the significant expenses we incur for outside legal and subject matter expertise.”
Schlossberg quipped, “The optimist in me hopes that scheduling debate on these bills for the morning of a public holiday on a long weekend does not reflect a desire to minimize participation or scrutiny. The realist in me knows scheduling is never accidental. That’s why we’re headed to Richmond in person.”
“What’s critical to remember is that the fundamental question – whether Dominion has proven the public need for Amazon’s private extension cord – has yet to be answered,” Schlossberg went on. “The February 8 SCC hearing will be the first time since the SCC took the unprecedented step of telling Dominion ‘try again,’ that the Coalition and our allies will be back in court. I’m optimistic, in part because the SCC’s decision to compel Dominion to remake their case suggests they care more about integrity in the process than about making a “fast-but-foolish” decision. At the same time, Dominion’s pre-hearing filings demonstrate quite clearly that residents along I-66 are in the crosshairs – and no route is safe!”
Schlossberg concluded, “The time to act is now. Email or call your delegate and senator. Alert your neighbors. And support the Coalition. The type of future the Haymarket and Gainesville communities enjoy for decades to come could be determined over the next month.”
A Rare Opportunity: You can Make the Difference
Your time is valuable and the holidays are busy, so let us get straight to the point: your neighborhood and the Coalition have an opportunity to strike a decisive legal blow in defense of our communities. And we need your support, now.
In an unprecedented move, Dominion Power’s regulator – the SCC – has responded to arguments from the Coalition and our allies showing that Dominion never proved the need for this powerline. The SCC commissioners kicked Dominion’s case back to the hearing examiner and said, “Do over!” Access their decision: SCC Remand Order.
As far as we know, this has never happened before in a transmission line case. Now the Coalition gets one more shot to bolster our own arguments.
This is a remarkable opportunity. But it will require legal and other expert resources.
Our community has rallied again, and again. Individual neighborhoods participated when residents felt under direct threat. The Coalition has always stood for ALL neighborhoods – refusing to see ANY residents forced to pay for a private extension cord hung over our homes and heads. It’s time for ALL to join in again.
We’ve always known this would be a long fight. At our very first town hall meeting, Coalition supporter Mickey Stern told Dominion “We will fight you at every turn, we don’t have one magic bullet to stop you, but we promise you, we will make this the most expensive power line fight you have ever experienced.” His prediction may have come true (https://youtu.be/mn9CDs49VNc?t=1m52s).
And we need financial support, now more than ever. We are battling – literally – the wealthiest man in the world and the wealthiest public utility in the state of Virginia. Our resolve is limitless – our resources are not.
Specifically, we need to fund our legal and expert team to prepare for our Coalition response due on January 26, and new hearings in Richmond starting on February 8th. We’ll be outspent 10 or 100 to one, and that’s fine. We can’t be outspent 10 or 100 to ZERO.
We need you to give $25, $50 – whatever you can give, it all adds up. We have come this far, against all odds, and we must and will fight for this community to the very end. Make your donation now: Donate
Thank you in advance for your support.
PS. Don’t ever doubt a committed community can stand against Dominion. Just last week a citizens group helped stop the placement of an overhead transmission route across the Rappahannock! SCC orders Rappahannock line underwater. We can and will do the same here in Prince William County – with your support.
See the Coalition press release and SCC order below. Latest news articles in Headlines News.
Coalition Press Release – 12/6/17
Dominion’s Regulator and Coalition Agree; Powerline Need Unproven
Executive director says: “This is historic – SCC tells Dominion ‘try again’ with application.”
Haymarket, Virginia (December 6, 2017) – The State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) highest ranking officials took the historic step of sending Dominion Energy’s (Dominion) application for the Haymarket transmission line back the SCC Hearing Examiner.
Coalition executive director Elena Schlossberg stated, “This move by the SCC commissioners is virtually unprecedented – possibly the first time ever that Dominion has been told ‘try again’ by its most senior regulators.” The SCC ordered its Hearing Examiner to conduct additional proceedings to address arguments by the Coalition and Somerset Crossing that Dominion failed to prove the powerline’s need.
Schlossberg continued, “Coalition allies and citizens who have been engaged in this fight for years already know what the SCC commissioners may be starting to realize: Dominion’s proposal was deficient in proving the need for the powerline in the first place; Dominion’s story has shifted at various stages in this process; and Dominion’s attorneys found that story materially undercut by attorneys representing Dominion’s end-customer: Amazon.”
“We are in the middle of what I can only describe as a sea change,” Schlossberg added, “The SCC will be getting at least one and maybe two new commissioners in the new year; 13 new incoming members of the House of Delegates refused to take contributions from Dominion at all; and bills aimed at providing more transparency, which would have died in committee in recent years, are now getting public, bipartisan support. Dominion may be a utility monopoly – but its political monopoly is fading, fast.”
Schlossberg praised the community for staying the course. “I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – our community has always said there are two acceptable outcomes. One, since Amazon said on the record it’s not even sure it needs the extra power, the SCC should reject Dominion’s argument for the project’s need at all. Two, if they truly need the project, Amazon should pay for their own private extension cord like any other customer, and it should be buried along I-66. The arguments advanced by the Coalition and our allies won support from the SCC staff, and are finally being taken seriously by the SCC commissioners.” The Coalition’s refutation of Dominion’s need argument can be found here (www.protectpwc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Coalitions-Public-Reply-to-Dominions-Response-to-Motion-for-Rehearing-092217.pdf).
Schlossberg concluded, “This grassroots effort has pitted ordinary citizens with extraordinary tenacity against two massive corporations with blank checks and – literally – the richest man in the world. The Coalition and our allies have done more than anyone could have imagined, and forced Dominion to take steps and answer for its actions like never before. We have done that by partnering with a broad base of groups …. state and local elected officials, businesses, community organizations and HOAs. And countless individuals who have donated their time, talent, and – in some cases – treasure to keep Amazon’s private extension cord from being strung over their heads.”
“This fight is not over, and you will hear more from us in the coming days. But for now – if only for a moment – citizens and allies should be proud of what we have done together.”
SCC Order Remanding for Further Proceedings – 12/6/17
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION
AT RICHMOND, DECEMBER 6, 2017
VIRGINIA ELECTRIC AND POWER COMPANY CASE NO. PUE-2015-00107
For approval and certification of electric transmission
facilities: Haymarket 230 kV Double Circuit Transmission
Line and 230-34.5 kV Haymarket Substation
ORDER REMANDING FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
On July 14, 2017, the State Corporation Commission (“Commission”) issued an Order Granting Reconsideration in this matter in response to separate requests for rehearing or reconsideration filed by the Coalition to Protect Prince William County (“Coalition”) and Somerset Crossing Homeowners Association (“Somerset”), for the purpose of continuing jurisdiction over this matter and considering the above-referenced requests.
On July 24, 2017, Virginia Electric and Power Company (“Company” or “Dominion”) filed a Motion to Hold Proceeding in Abeyance for 60 Days and for Expedited Consideration that, among other things, requested 60 days to coordinate with Prince William County, and then to file a report (“Report”) with the Commission, regarding the constructability of the Carver Road Route.
On July 25, 2017, the Commission issued its Order on Requested Abeyance. In its Order on Requested Abeyance, the Commission directed that: (1) on or before August 16, 2017, the Applicant, Dominion, shall file a response to the issues raised in the above-referenced requests for rehearing or reconsideration; (2) on or before September 8, 2017, the Coalition and Somerset may separately file a reply to the Applicant’s response; and (3) on or before September 22, 2017, Dominion shall file its Report with the Commission as referenced in the Motion to Hold Proceeding in Abeyance for 60 Days and for Expedited Reconsideration. (The reply deadline was extended to September 22, 2017, by the Commission’s September 5, 2017 Order.)
On August 16, 2017, Dominion filed its Response to Petitions for Rehearing or Reconsideration as directed by the Commission. On September 22, 2017, Dominion filed its Report and the Coalition and Somerset each filed their reply.
In the pleadings, the parties seek to introduce new information regarding the need for the proposed project in this proceeding. Dominion’s Report also contains new information on additional variations to the routes proposed in the record.
NOW THE COMMISSION, upon consideration of this matter, is of the opinion and finds that this case shall be remanded for further proceedings. The Hearing Examiner shall conduct additional proceedings to receive evidence and legal analysis regarding: (1) new information as proffered by the parties that the Hearing Examiner finds relevant to the issue of the need for the proposed project; and (2) Dominion’s additional variations to the routes proposed in the record. The Hearing Examiner shall thereafter file a report describing the proceedings that occurred on remand.
In the April 6, 2017 Interim Order, the Commission found, based on the record in this case, that the proposed project is needed. The Hearing Examiner’s Report on Remand shall recommend whether the Commission should continue to find that this project is needed.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT this case is remanded for further proceedings as directed herein.
AN ATTESTED COPY hereof shall be sent by the Clerk of the Commission to all persons on the official Service List in this matter. The Service List is available from the Clerk of the Commission c/o Document Control 1300 East Main Street, First Floor, Tyler Building, Richmond, Virginia.
Go to the DVP & SCC tab for complete documentation and detail.
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