VMRC fines Dominion and contractor for permit violations on transmission line project

Jackie Nunnery

by Jackie Nunnery

WHITE STONEIn a 7-2 vote, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) on Tuesday, January 26, penalized Dominion Energy and contractor Mears Group $20,000 each for incorrectly locating two work platforms as part of the underwater transmission line project in the Rappahannock River near the Robert O. Norris Jr. Memorial Bridge.

While the platforms are allowed to remain in place, the fines are based on the amount of deviation from the plan and the environmental impact. Payment will be in lieu of further enforcement actions, according to Jay Woodward, VMRC environmental engineer, who presented the recommendation.

In a second, unanimous, decision, Dominion also was charged $69,000 related to expected environmental impacts with the jetting process requested to bury power lines in the riverbed.

“On November 2, 2020, staff was made aware by email from Andrew Button, shellfish manager for VMRC’s oyster replenishment program, that while doing his regular field work on the lower Rappahannock River, it appeared that the north work platform was located considerably in shore of and closer to a natural oyster reef,” said Woodward.

Responding to the notice to comply…[to-view-more]