April 6, 2013

Dominion's James River towers could look like these

A few years ago, we sailed up the Chesapeake Bay, through the C&D Canal, then up the Delaware River to Philadelphia on our 36 foot sailboat. A few tense moments occurred as we neared the huge towers on which high voltage power lines were strung across the Delaware River from the Salem nuclear power plant. The navigational charts showed the towers as high enough to handle our sailboat's 60 foot mast, but the wires sagged quite a bit in the middle where the channel was. Obviously I am here to write about it, but we held our breaths a bit as we passed under the wires in this very industrialized section of the Delaware River.

This is what the power line towers across the James River could look like if the Virginia SCC decides to honor Dominion Power's plan. The final five days of hearings begin next Tuesday, April 9. The local media should give them generous coverage since James City County Supervisors as well as Kingmill residents and the local national parks are opposing the location.

High power lines fit into the industrial look of the southern section of the Delaware River just upriver from the Delaware Memorial Bridge, but they will make a not-so-historic statement looming across this pristine and scenic section of the James River.

In case you missed it, another huge transmission line through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, and the Appalachian Trail also created a big buzz last year while the court considered claims that the power line would cause irreversible ecological and scenic damage. The National Park Service opposed it big time at first, but strangely approved the supersized transmission line on October 1, 2012, despite their conclusion that the project would cause serious and enduring impacts on the parks. Go figure!