A hearing on Allegheny Energy's power line proposal ended yesterday. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission had allowed up to another week to hear testimony. Holly Ackerman, Director of Transmission Projects for Allegheny Energy, says schedules for these types of hearings are just estimates. She says the witnesses who testified reiterated what was already on the public record. Next month, attorneys will submit written arguments. The PUC is expected to rule on the proposal this summer.
Many residents of Washington and Greene counties oppose the project. They say it's unnecessary, would damage the environment and their property values, and would only serve to benefit power-hungry northern Virginia. Allegheny Energy contends that the lines would serve growing parts of Washington County, and that reliability could be an issue there as soon as next year.
If the PUC rules against the proposal, Allegheny Energy could appeal to the federal government. Much of Pennsylvania has been designated a National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor.