WHEREAS, Dominion Virginia Power (Dominion) and Allegheny Power have proposed to build a five-hundred kilovolt electric transmission line connecting the Mount Storm power station in West Virginia with the Loudoun County substation in Northern Virginia; and

WHEREAS, Dominion has identified a Study Area located in parts of Northern Virginia for the purpose of studying possible routes for the proposed transmission line; and 

WHEREAS, The US Department of Energy released the 2006 National Electric Transmission Congestion Study without consulting Virginia, notwithstanding a mandate from Congress, within the Energy Policy Act of 2005, that directs the Secretary of Energy to conduct a study of electric transmission congestion "in consultation with affected States"; and

WHEREAS, the 2006 National Electric Transmission Congestion Study calls for consultation with local “stakeholders” before a decision is made by the Department of Energy on National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (NIET Corridor) designation; and

WHEREAS, the proposal released by Allegheny and Dominion Power would bypass and undermine Federal governmental and historic protections, including the: National Environmental Policy Act, American Farm and Ranch Protection Act, United States National Trails System Act of 1968, The National Park System, National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Federal Water Pollution Control Act; and

WHEREAS, this proposal would deface one of the most historic and protected landscapes in America, with over 48,000 acres under easement, 17 historic sites on Virginia and National Registers, 6 existing historic districts, at least 11 potential/proposed historic districts, one National Historic Landmark, 13 miles of Appalachian Trail, 83 miles of scenic byway, and 7 Civil War Battlefields; and

WHEREAS, State natural and historic protections could be bypassed and undermined by this process, including the: Open Space Land Act, the Conservation Easement Act, Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, Virginia’s policies on transmission siting as implemented by the State Corporation Commission, The Virginia State Park System (Sky Meadows State Park), Virginia Agricultural and Forested Districts, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Model Purchase of Development Rights Program for Virginia, State Scenic Byways Program, the State Scenic Rivers Act, and Virginia Land Conservation Incentives Act of 1999; and

WHEREAS, the power line proposal would do considerable harm to Fauquier County’s Comprehensive Plan, which places a high value on agriculture, rural character, scenic viewsheds, tourism and environmental, historic and cultural resources; and

WHEREAS, the power line proposal would undo open-space and conservation easements in Fauquier County which were entrusted to Virginia in exchange for Federal and State tax benefits; and

WHEREAS, since sensible national energy policy must foster an optimal mix of deliverable power from diverse sources, the Board of Supervisors does not believe this line will enhance electric reliability or security; and

WHEREAS, the National Environmental Policy Act mandates that an environmental impact Statement (EIS) be prepared in advance of undertaking a ‘major Federal action significantly affecting the human environment so that alternatives to the action can be understood and evaluated’; and

WHEREAS, a programmatic EIS is being conducted for transmission corridors proposed for eleven western United States, but no such study has been undertaken or is scheduled for the transmission corridor proposed through Virginia; and

WHEREAS, ­­­­this power line has not been proven necessary; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 14th day of December 2006, That the Board of Supervisors does hereby oppose the NIET Corridor designation requested by Dominion and Allegheny Power, and any future designation of NIET Corridors without consultation with Virginia, examination of alternatives, and the prior completion of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors does hereby oppose the approval of this line by the Virginia State Corporation Commission; and be it

RESOLVED FINALLY, That the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors extends its thanks to Representative Frank Wolf, Senator John Warner, and the Honorable Governor Timothy M. Kaine for their leadership in pressing the industry and Department of Energy to consult with the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as do a full environmental review and consideration of alternatives before proceeding further with NIET Corridor designation. 


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