Coalition Press Release: 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 the latest at these links:


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.”