Camp Allegheny Update – 12/22/2009

From Brightside Acres:

What Happened Today?

Tuesday December 22, 2009

This morning, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) Hearing Examiner asked the legal counsel for both the Department of Historic Resources (DHR), represented by the Attorney General’s office, and Highland New Wind Development (HNWD), represented by Lenhart Obenshain, to provide a chronology of the discourse between them, beginning in June, 2003 through December 4 of this year, with all exhibits attached (estimated to be more than 50). He requested that such chronology be provided by the end of business today.

He further requested that both parties submit legal briefs by January 4, 2010.

Such briefs are expected to fully explicate the position of both parties in regard to the complaint, filed with the SCC on August 19, 2009, by the Department of Historic Resources, that Highland New Wind has failed to comply with the SCC’s Final Order directing the utility to cooperate with the agency in identifying and mitigating impacts to historic resources, namely, Camp Allegheny Battlefield.

Read the DHR Complaint.The depth and breadth of each party’s position would seem to have been rather thoroughly delineated in the Motion’s and Responses filed in recent days. (And accessible via yesterday’s post, Update on December 22 Hearing.) Given the tone of these missives, one can only imagine that whatever is filed on January 4 will make, at the very least, quite entertaining reading.

Interestingly, the Hearing Examiner made rather vague mention of what he called the “somewhat relevant” footnote in the SCC’s Final Order, wherein the SCC rejects HNWD’s request for limitations and/or modifications to the DEQ Report, stating: “Rather, we find that requiring Highland Wind to comply with the above conditions recommended by DEQ is desirable or necessary to minimize adverse environmental impact.”

The 41-page DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) Report referenced is dated June 30, 2006, and provides a summary of all of the recommendations submitted to the SCC by thirteen reviewing agencies, including the Department of Historic Resources.

Read the DEQ Report. See pages 28(8)-30(8e), 39(2b), 40(6).Of additional interest is the fact that during this morning’s short hearing, no statements were made by any party regarding DHR’s authority to demand mitigation for adverse impacts to historic resources located outside the Commonwealth of Virginia, nor the SCC’s responsibility to consider such resources in service of the public interest.

Perhaps the Hearing Examiner has decided it more “efficient” to consider such matters while in possession of legal briefs rather than in the presence of actual attorneys.

We’ll see.

This accounting is, at best, a superficial summary of what occurred today and where things stand as of this moment.

As Brightside gains additional information and greater understanding, we will share it in these pages.

Please check back and stay in touch.

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