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Shenandoah National Park Superintendent Jim Northup and Appalachian National Scenic Trail Superintendent Wendy Jansen announced today that the public is invited to review and comment on the Environmental Assessment (EA) for Dooms – Bremo 230-kV Transmission Line Upgrade for Right-of-Way and Special Use Permit.
The EA evaluated feasible alternatives to remove the existing 115-kilovolt (kV) transmission line and replace it with a new 230-kV transmission line for electrical reliability and safety reasons. The 115- kilovolt line resides along two existing, larger transmission lines in the managed corridor. The proposed project area is approximately 3,000 feet of National Park Service lands inside the boundaries of Shenandoah National Park and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail near Waynesboro, VA. The proposed action is in response to a request by Dominion Virginia Power's (Dominion) in their larger effort to upgrade the entire 45 miles of its electrical transmission line between Dooms and Bremo, Virginia.
The EA has been prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to provide the decision framework for the following:
·analysis of a reasonable range of alternatives to meet management objectives,
·evaluation of potential issues and impacts to natural and cultural resources and values and the human environment,
·identification of mitigation measures to lessen the degree of those impacts.
The EA evaluates potential impacts associated with the construction of access roads, the removal and replacement of transmission line structures, and the restoration and remediation of NPS lands after construction. The EA evaluated two action alternatives, which describe different access options for the removal and replacement of a tower directly west of Skyline Drive. The EA also evaluated a no action alternative, where the NPS would not take action on Dominion's request for the Special Use Permit and right-of-way permit for operation and maintenance. The existing transmission line would continue to operate and be maintained in accordance with existing agreements.
The National Park Service encourages public participation through the NEPA process.The public has the opportunity to comment on the EA until May 30, 2014.The EA is available for review and comment online at the National Park Service park planning website http://parkplanning.nps.gov/shen. Comments may be posted online or sent to: Morgan Elmer Attn: Dooms – Bremo NPS Crossing, P.O. Box 25287 Denver, CO 80225-0287 or e-mail us.