Haymarket Beat: Prince William Coalition Plans Press Conference before SCC Dominion Power Hearing

From Haymarket Beat

The Prince William Coalition will host a pre-hearing press conference, addressing the proposed Haymarket-Gainesville High-Voltage Power Lines, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Battlefield High School in Haymarket.

The State Corporation Commission (SCC) will hold the first of three public hearings at Battlefield High School at 7 p.m. The hearings will focus on Dominion Virginia Power’s application for the Haymarket 230kV Transmission Line and Substation Project. It has been rumored that the power lines are primarily needed to power an Amazon data centers to move into the Haymarket area.

Citizens who support the Coalition have concerns that instead of the I-66 Overhead/Underground “Hybrid” route favored by their group, residents, community and many homeowner association as well as state and local representatives. Meanwhile, Dominion selected the I-66 Overhead route as its preferred route.

The cost to bury or even partially bury a power line is substantial as is the plan for the “Hybrid” alternative, but residents believe it is well worth it.

“Dominion says it selected the shortest route with a ‘reasonable cost.’ In service to their ‘client.’ Dominion seems quite comfortable determining what is reasonable with other peoples’ property,” said Coalition Executive Director Elena Schlossberg.

Schlossberg notes residents stand to lose millions in property values due to the power lines, and questions whether Dominion has prioritized big business over residents.

“This is the worst kind of crony capitalism – one large, monopolistic corporation serving another large private corporation, all sanctioned by the state agency designed to protect citizens. And the citizens? We end up subsidizing Amazon’s profits while property values drop and rural communities suffer. Amazon should get no favors: you either build near the appropriate infrastructure, or you pay to get service,” Schlossberg said.

The Coalition reminds residents that what is at stake is not only the I-66 route. The SCC can consider any route proposed by Dominion Power, or even develop its own alternative.

The following people plan to stand with Schlossberg at the pre-hearing/ press conference: Ken Aitchison, President, Heritage Hunt HOA; Dan Glicoes, President, Parks at Piedmont HOA; Mac Haddow, President, Western Prince William HOA Alliance; David Leake, Mayor, Town of Haymarket; Jim Napoli, President, Somerset Crossing HOA; and Karen Sheehan, Secretary, Rose Hill Estates Owners Association.

“These communities are but a few representing thousands of residents that will be affected by Amazon’s extension cord,” Schlossberg said.

Battlefield High School is located at 1500 Graduation Drive in Haymarket.