DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

From MyFoxDC: Prince William County residents fighting proposed power line for Amazon facility

By Sarah Simmons, FOX 5 Reporter & Anchor

HAYMARKET, Va. – Neighbors living near near Haymarket in Prince William County are fighting over power lines they don’t want built in their backyards. Amazon is building a new data center nearby and Dominion Virginia Power has to put up high voltage power lines to feed into the data center.

The Coalition to Protect Prince William County has been fighting Dominion Virginia Power for months. The power company says it is tasked with building a new line to meet demand and there are several routes on the table. Many of those are unacceptable to the people who live nearby.

Prince William County residents even showed up by the bus full Wednesday night to see what Dominion Virginia Power has planned and to air their concerns.

The power company says they are looking at five routes. Coalition members say there are at least three residential communities affected by some of the routes, which is why they are pushing one above all others — a route along Interstate 66 that Dominion Virginia Power calls a hybrid route because it would run partly underground.

Either way, residents are on edge while Dominion Virginia Power says it is just doing its job.

“We are not willing to give our homes, our property, our historical resources for Amazon,” said Elena Schlossberg of the Coalition to Protect Prince William County. “They are not being a good neighbor. They are not participating in this process.”

“There is a demand that has been determined by our planning engineers,” said Chuck Penn of Dominion Virginia Power. “It’s our responsibility to meet that demand — whether it is a residential customer, a commercial customer, an industrial customer — it doesn’t really make any difference. We have an obligation to serve.”

Penn said there are always impacts to residents, the environment or historical landmarks with any type of project. But they will choose the route with the least impact.

They expect to submit whatever route they choose to the Virginia State CorporationCommission by mid-2015.

Construction is expected to begin next year.