MAPP Transmission is DEAD. But the air is bad.

PEPCO–owner of Delmarva Power, has officially notified us (below) that the MAPP transmission line project is dead; not needed. 

This line was to have run East through Delaware to the Indian River Power Plant, then North through Delaware to connect with the Salem/Hope Creek nukes.


It would have been a major detriment to Delaware, especially to the properties it would have cut through and/or adjoined.  Losses of wetlands and fragmentation of habitat would have been substantial–and the DNREC was already issuing permits.

Some states have approval processes for transmission lines, similar to those for power plants.  These are supposed to determine the "need" for such projects, although the process very often amounts to a rubber stamp wielded by utility interests.  Delaware does not even theoretically regulate transmission lines, so if this project had been built, inevitably the Delaware (Un)Public Service Commission would have approved increased costs to ratepayers.

Kudos to Carol Overland, who said from the beginning that this project was not needed.  Overland is active in transmission controversies throughout the US, and has very consistently been proven correct in asserting that transmission proposals are (1) not needed to "keep the lights on," (2) promote increased use of dirty rather than clean power, and (3) are motivated by private profit.  Her announcement is below.

Bad Airnow

Today, Wednesday, the air quality forecast is Code Yellow for both ozone and particulates, two separate categories of air pollutants.  Code Yellow does not generate announcements from Delaware air regulators, although it would in some other states.  Code Yellow officially means "Moderate"   air quality, defined this way:

"Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution."

This understates the real problem in several ways, including:
Air pollution impacts are cumulative.  So TWO Code Yellows at the same time, in the real world, should equal at least a Code Orange ("Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups"), defined this way:

 "Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected."

"Sensitive groups" are defined as:  "people with lung disease, older adults and children."  This sure sounds like the "general public" to me.

In addition, high heat and humidity, and high pollen counts, have cumulative effects, along with the air pollutants, on our systems.  We know from reports by Green Delaware readers that many Delawarean’s experience distress from bad air.  Delaware needs to develop a system that considers the totality of these "environmental stressors."

Alan Muller

Just in today from PEPCO:

I am writing to provide an update on PHI’s proposed Mid Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) project.
Today PJM issued the final results of its 2012 transmission analysis and due to factors such as lower load growth from the sluggish economy, the installation of new gas fired power plants, and the increase in demand response programs, no reliability violations were identified within the transmission planning window. As a result, the PJM Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee (TEAC) issued a recommendation that the MAPP project be canceled.  On August 24, 2012, the PJM Board of Managers will meet to make a final decision on the TEAC’s recommendation.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your interest and participation in the MAPP project over the past few years.
Thank you,
Mark Okonowicz
MAPP – Environmental Coordinator
Pepco Holdings, Inc.
P – 302-283-6115
C – 302-463-5438

For more details, see Overland’s post on her website, including this:

"The down side is the ratepayers are probably going to be hit with all these development costs because so many jurisdictions allow recovery for "CWP," construction work in progress.  So we get screwed, but not as badly as if they had built the projects."

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