The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), in an Aug. 7 filing submitted to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, issued several recommendations regarding a 230-kV project proposed by Virginia Electric and Power (Dominion).
For instance, the DEQ recommended that the company conduct an on-site delineation of all wetlands and stream crossings within the project area with verification by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, using accepted methods and procedures.
As noted in the filing, Dominion has submitted an application to the commission for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to conduct a partial rebuild of two existing 230-kV Lines #211 and #228 transmission lines located in Chesterfield County and the City of Hopewell in Virginia.
The purpose of the project is to comply with mandatory NERC reliability standards by increasing transmission capacity and replacing aging infrastructure.
The filing added that the project proposes to:
- Rebuild, entirely within the existing variable width right of way (ROW), an approximately 8.2-mile section of the existing 11-mile Lines #211 and #228, which run between the existing Chesterfield substation to the Hopewell substation
- Rebuild two structures on those lines, near the Chesterfield substation on company owned property
- Make minor equipment replacements at the Chesterfield and Hopewell substations
The two structures to be rebuilt near the Chesterfield substation are structures #2 and #3, currently weathering steel lattice towers, to be replaced with two 230-kV double-circuit weathering steel two-pole double deadend angle structures. The filing added that from the Structure #19 Junction to the Hopewell substation, 46 230-kV weathering steel lattice towers and one double-circuit 230-kV weathering steel pole – Structure #29 – supporting Lines #211 and #228 would be replaced with 33 230-kV double-circuit weathering steel poles for the tangent suspension structures and 14 230-kV double-circuit weathering steel two-pole double deadend structures for the line angles.
The ROW for the corridor is comprised of 4.2 miles within Chesterfield County, 0.4 mile within Prince George County, and 3.6 miles within the City of Hopewell. The fling also said that the ROW has been in continuous use since 1969, and that the corridor is primarily located in urban residential areas with some open space areas.
Among its recommendations, the DEQ noted in its filing that the DEQ Office of Wetlands and Stream Protection recommends that structures should be sited to avoid wetlands to the extent practicable and should be sited outside of stream channels.
The DEQ also said that to minimize adverse impacts to the aquatic ecosystem as a result of the proposed activities, the Department of Conservation and Recreation recommends the implementation of, and strict adherence to, applicable state and local erosion and sediment control/storm water management laws and regulations.
In addition, the DEQ said that the company is recommended to adhere to a time-of-year (TOY) restriction from Feb. 15 through June of any year for instream work whether resulting in permanent or temporary impacts to protect anadromous fishes, including the Atlantic sturgeon. Also, the DEQ said that one recommendation calls for any instream work in the Appomattox River or James River to adhere to a TOY restriction protective of Atlantic sturgeon fall spawning from Aug. 1 through Nov. 15 of any year.
Among other things, the DEQ noted that impacts to unrecorded and/or unevaluated archaeological and historic architectural resources remain unassessed. One recommendation calls for avoidance, minimization, and/or mitigation of moderate to severe impacts to Virginia Landmarks Register/National Register of Historic Places-eligible/listed resources by Dominion in consultation with the Department of Historic Resources and other stakeholders, the DEQ said.