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Allegheny Power no longer considering Washington County for PATH line

October 28, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

A high-voltage power line planned to run from West Virginia to Maryland will not pass through Washington County under its current configuration, an Allegheny Power spokesman said Monday.

Allegheny Power officials announced changes earlier this month to the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) that they said probably would keep it out of Washington County.

A midpoint substation in Bedington, W.Va., near Martinsburg, no longer will be used.

From Bedington, the line could have passed through southern Washington County.

On Monday, the power company released updated maps that show all possible routes through Washington County have been eliminated.

"Washington County is no longer in the (PATH) study area," Allegheny Power Spokesman Todd L. Meyers said Monday.

Unless the line is reconfigured again, it will not pass through Washington County, Meyers said.

Washington County Commissioner James F. Kercheval said he was happy to hear that the routes will not be used.

"I'm glad to see, based on the impacts it has, that it will take a more southern route. That's certainly what we were hoping for," Kercheval said.

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He acknowledged that the line is needed to reinforce the mid-Atlantic power grid, but called the route change "a blessing."

Possible routes through Berkeley and Morgan counties in West Virginia also have been eliminated.

The line still could pass through Jefferson County, W.Va.

Several possible routes that would have run south from Bedington, W.Va., through Jefferson County have been eliminated, but Allegheny Power still is considering routes that would run parallel to existing power lines across southern Jefferson County, Spokesman Allen Staggers said Monday.

Allegheny Power has not yet proposed new routes for the line and is still scouting an area for a substation to replace the Bedington station.

Four Eastern Panhandle residents concerned about PATH met with a West Virginia consumer advocate and Allegheny Energy and American Electric Power officials Monday morning at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's National Conservation Training Center north of Shepherdstown, said Patience Wait, one of the residents.

The southern end of Jefferson County from the Virginia line near Summit Point to the vicinity of Keyes Ferry Acres is in a study area, the residents said in an e-mail sent to the Herald-Mail Co.

Officials with the two power companies told the residents they plan to release maps showing new routes around Thanksgiving.

Staggers said later Monday he was aware of the meeting between power company officials and the residents. While Staggers said he could not confirm the Summit Point to Keyes Ferry Acres study area for a potential line, he said that sounded accurate.

Staggers agreed that maps showing new routes could be released around Thanksgiving.

-- Staff writer Dave McMillion contributed to this story

o To see the updated route maps, go to www.pathtransmission.com.

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