Press Release: BOCS Reaffirms Commitment to Help Unplug Amazon Extension Cord

Executive director says: ”Supervisors stayed the course and kept their commitment to progress, over plunder.”

(The April 12 resolution was approved by County Board of Supervisors!  See final resolution here: April 12 Resolution)

Haymarket, Virginia (April 12, 2016) – Tuesday afternoon, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors reaffirmed its support for county citizens and businesses opposed to Dominion Virginia Power’s high-voltage overhead transmission line through western Prince William County, by approving the resolution sponsored by Supervisors Lawson and Candland.

Coalition executive director Elena Schlossberg stated, “We applaud the supervisors for putting their votes and voices into the service of county citizens – and for honoring their commitments. The BOCS can and should exert substantial, sustained influence in the process unfolding before the State Corporation Commission (SCC). Dominion and their lone client, Amazon, are not the only power players in this game.  We also acknowledge that citizen participation played an integral part in the passage of this resolution.  With over 400 emails sent to supervisors, and over a dozen people coming to speak in the afternoon, we made our voices heard.”

Schlossberg noted that today’s vote extended the BOCS’s unanimous actions last summer. “In August, the Coalition and our allied communities worked with the BOCS and county staff. The supervisors passed resolutions that were reasonable, concrete, and clear in opposing overhead transmission lines through residential and rural areas. No one wants Amazon’s overhead extension cord in their district or any other.

Schlossberg continued, “In the August 2015 resolutions, the BOCS directed that some very specific actions be taken, including undertaking an evaluation of the partially-buried I-66 “hybrid” route in coordination with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT); refining county zoning regulations to ensure a better match between energy-intensive land use and appropriate supporting infrastructure; and renewing their commitment to specific parts of the Long-Rang Land Use Plan and Comprehensive Plan which clearly state where high-voltage transmission lines are welcome – and where they are not.”

“Today’s resolutions confirming BOCS participation in the SCC process help honor some of last summer’s commitments,” Schlossberg added. “We would have preferred the BOCS remain an Official Respondent despite the County Attorney’s worries, but acting as a Public Witness supporting the hybrid option still sends a clear signal to Dominion and Amazon: our County stands against the harmful impacts on homeowners, on businesses, and on the rural and residential character of the area now in the corporate crosshairs.

The BOCS also authorized the hybrid route evaluation, and will provide the SCC documentation of how the proposed route violates County policy and strays from established transmission and high-tech corridors.

Schlossberg concluded, “We all value enterprise and innovation, and the provision of basic infrastructure that underwrites modern life. But when two large corporations collude to exploit regulatory processes for private gain while inflicting economic and environmental harm… that’s not progress, it’s plunder.”


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