There have been many positive advances over the past several months. Refer to the “Recent News” section to the left for more details. Here is a short summary:
- 8/24/2012 PJM announces that the PATH project has been CANCELLED! Click here for more details.
- 8/8/12 PJM announces that that PATH project is likely to be cancelled! Click here for the details.
- 2/22/12 Judge Dwyer affirms the Frederick County Board of Appeals decision to deny Potomac Edison’s special exception request.
- 10/11/11 Potomac Edison issued a reply to the responses submitted by C.A.K.E.S., The Sugarloaf Conservancy, and Attorney Michael Chomel in support of their petition to for the Judicial Review of December 20 2010 findings and decisions of the Board of Appeals for Frederick County.
- 8/3/11 Potomac Edison issued a memorandum in support of their appeal of the December 20, 2010 findings of the Frederick County Board of Appeals. Responses were issued by C.A.K.E.S., Sugarloaf Conservancy, and Michael Chomel, Senior Assistant County Attorney.
- 6/22/11 The Maryland PSC ruled that case #9223 is closed based on the withdrawl filed by Potomac Edison. The applicant may reapply in a year’s time without restriction. In Virginia, PATH is withdrawn as well but if they reapply they must meet certain restrictions, and in West Virginia, they are requesting a REBUILD of Pruntytown to Mt. Storm line. This line is also the only remaining section of the PJM grid that PJM claims will have any problems, under emergency situations, for the next 20 years, once Dominion’s rebuilding of the Mt. Storm to Doubs line is completed.
- 1/31/11 Potomac Edison filed with Frederick County Circuit Court their notice of Appeal to the Frederick County Board of Appeal’s decision to deny the Special Exception. We as CAKES have filed to be a Party to the proceeding. Our counsel has joined with the Frederick County Attorney’s Office to work in cooperation. The date to file as a Party has ended (March 2, 2011). The BoA has a certain amount of time to get in a transcript of the 27 hours of hearings on the case that occurred from 9/29/10 – 11/18/10 to the sole judge in Circuit Court who will be making the final decision. Potomac Edison then has 30-40 days to file a ‘brief’ as to why they Appeal the decision. We, as CAKES, have 30 days to respond to them, then Potomac Edison has time to respond to us and any others who are in the Opposition Parties. The decision as to whether the Appeal will be granted is for the Judge only to decide.
- On February 28th, PJM recommended that the current PATH project be suspended until further studies can be conducted. The primary rationale for the construction of the PATH line was based on the analysis performed by PJM which pointed to the need for the additional power in the northeast by 2015. More recent analysis has led PJM to the conclusion that the need for this power will likely be delayed by several years. Click here for PJM’s recommendation and click here for Potomac Edison’s withdrawal notice as a result of this recommendation.
Citizens Against the Kemptown Electric Substation (C.A.K.E.S.) is a 100% volunteer organization made up of concerned citizens who are committed to preventing the construction of one of the world’s largest substations in Mt. Airy/Monrovia. The massive 42-acre substation (which would be larger than the Pentagon and taller than the Statue of Liberty!) is proposed to be built in the midst of several well-established neighborhoods. In fact, there are more than 1300 homes within a mile radius and thousands more in close proximity. If the substation is approved at the proposed site, the construction would include 18 towers, six of which would be 175 feet tall (more than 16 stories high!) and would also include seven 300-ton transformers, together containing more than 200,000 gallons of highly toxic, highly flammable oil.
To date, CAKES has the backing and full support of Frederick County Government:
- The Planning Commission – which unanimously found the proposed Substation INCONSISTENT with the Frederick County Comprehensive Plan
- The Board of Zoning Appeals – which denied PATH’s application for a Special Exception to build the substation at the proposed site. Also, when asked to RECONSIDER the decision, the BZA denied that as well
- The Board of County Commissioners – which sent a letter to the Maryland Public Service Commission backing both the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals decisions stating that the “Kemptown Substation may NOT be built in the proposed site.”
- The Town of Mt. Airy Planning Commission – which urged the BZA NOT to allow the substation so close to the town, suggesting a remote location.
On February 28, 2011, PATH was directed by PJM to “suspend work on the project, subject to those activities necessary to maintain the project in its current state.” This action, however, does not constitute a directive for PATH to cancel or abandon the project; it simply allows time for the project to regroup. After PJM issued its directive, FirstEnergy conceded that, based on PJM’s latest forecasts, the project “has been delayed until at least 2020.” Subsequently, PATH withdrew its CPCN applications in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, thereby evading having to produce the load forecast information that PATH opponents have been requesting for more than two years. Meanwhile, despite the project being withdrawn and suspended, PATH is undertaking “activities necessary to maintain the project in its current state,” which means you and I are paying for Potomac Edison to pursue its challenge of the Special Exception denial in Frederick County Circuit Court and funding PATH while it continues to spend our hard-earned dollars on a suspended, unnecessary project.
A week after being directed to hold the project in abeyance, PATH filed a “Status Update” with FERC stating it is “suspending” the project indefinitely while PJM “conducts more analysis of the PATH project” and “evaluates its planning methods.” In other words, despite the current models showing there is no need for the project; PATH is counting on PJM to alter its processes to invent a need. When that happens, be assured PATH will be back! They may change it up a bit and give it a new name, but it will be back. There are already other projects in the works that call for a substation to be built at the same location on Browning Farm.
What’s more, PATH has stated it should continue to receive the previously approved 14.3% ROE, that you and I pay, during the entire suspension, no matter how long that is, allowing this project to hang in limbo could keep homeowners held hostage well into the next decade, or beyond clearly this is unacceptable. The PATH project must be abandoned now so that Frederick County homeowners can move forward with their futures.