Delmarva Power, Maryland agency reach agreement on 138-kV line

Delmarva Power and Light and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Power Plant Research Program (PPRP) have recommended that state regulators issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) for a 138-kV line, subject to certain conditions.

Specifically, Delmarva Power and the PPRP have agreed to enter into the agreement of stipulation and settlement and incorporate the final recommended licensing conditions into any CPCN that may be issued for the project.

According to the Sept. 26 filing with the state Public Service Commission (PSC), Delmarva Power filed on March 30 an application for a CPCN with the PSC for authority to rebuild the Maryland portion of an existing 138-kV overhead transmission line from the company’s Church substation in Queen Anne’s County, Md., to its Townsend substation in New Castle County, Del.

The PPRP, along with other state agencies, did an environmental and socioeconomic review of the proposed project’s impacts and developed a set of initial recommended licensing conditions in an effort to ensure that the proposed project’s construction and operation will meet certain requirements, minimize impacts and pose no undue detrimental impacts on the surrounding community.

Delmarva Power and the PPRP agreed that the construction and operation of the project, in accordance with the final recommended conditions, would meet or exceed the requirements of all currently applicable environmental laws and regulations.

The conditions call for construction and operation of the line to start within three years of receiving the CPCN and must be completed for operation before February 2014. If conditions warrant a schedule change, Delmarva Power is to notify the PSC and the PPRP.

Also, Delmarva Power is to provide as-built details to the PPRP and the PSC on such matters as engineering and construction plans of the linear facilities, including right-of-way (ROW) width, length and total acreage of the ROW; transmission line structure and foundation types, dimensions and locations; transmission line conductor configuration; and nominal length of span between transmission line structures.

All portions of the ROWs disturbed during construction are to be stabilized immediately after the end of construction activities within that portion of the ROW, followed by seed application, except in actively cultivated lands, in accordance with certain best management practices.

Delmarva Power is to quantify all impacts – temporary or permanent – to streams and 100-year floodplains, for instance –  and provide them to the state Department of the Environment to obtain authorization and to the PPRP for reviewing the impacts before any construction activities.

The conditions also call for Delmarva Power to maintain a minimum 500-foot buffer around all known tiger salamander breeding ponds and wetlands. Furthermore, the company is to notify and consult with the DNR Wildlife and Heritage if additional rare, threatened or endangered species are encountered during planning, construction or maintenance of the facility to determine appropriate actions.

Additionally, if relics of unforeseen archaeological sites are revealed and identified in the project area during construction, Delmarva Power, along with the Maryland Historical Trust, is to develop and implement a plan for avoidance and protection, data recovery or destruction without recovery of such relics or sites.

Among other things, the conditions call for Delmarva Power, before construction, to file a notice of proposed construction or alteration to the Federal Aviation Administration and to the Maryland Aviation Administration for a formal determination of the project’s effect on navigable airspace by aircraft in the vicinity of the Massey Aerodrome.

Delmarva Power’s parent company is Pepco Holdings (NYSE:POM).

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.