Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Post Office Box 1070
Frankfort, Kentucky 40602
(502) 875-2428 phone (502) 875-2845 fax
July 4, 2002
Thomas Dorman, Executive Director
Kentucky State Board on Electrical Generation
and Transmission Siting
211 Sower Boulevard
P.O. Box 615
Frankfort, Kentucky By e-mail only
Re: Case No. 2002-00149
Kentucky Mountain Power, LLC
Merchant Power Plant
I have received and reviewed the application and response to notice of deficiency filed by Enviropower LLC regarding the proposed Kentucky Mountain Power site, and submit these comments for consideration by your office and the Siting Board in review of the application against the standards of Senate Bill 257 (2002):
1. The application contains reports concerning the interconnection of the proposed power plant with the AEP system, including documentation describing the new transmission facilities that will be modified or constructed to support the interconnection. From the application it appears that Kentucky Mountain Power will construct and own certain "interconnection facilities" including a step-up transformer and associated equipment, one 138 kV radial circuit and associated equipment, and that Kentucky Mountain Power will construct and then deed to AEP other "facilities to be installed by Generating Company and Owned by [AEP]" including the Talcum Switching Station, and four new 138kV transmission lines for a total of some 25.5 miles of new right-of-way construction and associated land disturbance.
What is missing from the application is any site assessment or other required information concerning the siting of those associated transmission lines. Whether ultimately owned by AEP or retained by Kentucky Mountain Power, the transmission lines are associated with this particular facility and are not an independent merchant transmission line project such as would be reviewed under Section 8 of the Act. As you will recall, it was the clear intent of all parties that transmission lines constructed to support particular merchant plants would be reviewed in conjunction with the siting review of the generating plant itself. The law defines a "merchant electric generating facility" is defined by the Act to include "associated facilities" and these lines are plainly associated with the generating facility and exist to support that plant's interconnection with the grid.
Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the Board believes that the transmission lines associated with this merchant plant should be reviewed as a separate filing under Section 8 of the Act. In that case, the applicant should be required to submit an application for the transmission siting approval parallel to the generating plant so that the two can be reviewed in tandem. Otherwise, the submittal of one application may preclude any meaningful assessment of alternative routing or siting for the other application, because a decision on the site will constrain the extent of changes in line routing or switching station locations.
The application should be deemed incomplete pending submittal of information meeting the requirements of the application and site assessment for all associated facilities, including interconnection facilities such as the switching station and new transmission lines.
2. KRC believes that the assessment of the impact of routing some 420 additional vehicles, including construction equipment, facility components and other heavy machinery, onto KY 1087 and up the existing coal haul road, on nearby lands and residents has not been adequately assessed.
As the principals with Kentucky Mountain Power are aware, based on past discussions, the residents along KY 1087 have been substantially affected in their use and enjoyment of their lands and homes by adverse noise and dust from the past use of Kentucky 1987 for coal haulage and access. Administrative litigation was necessary to end the use of one road to the site for coal haulage and access, and the proposed use of the new coal haul road as the access point for the plant construction and addition of hundreds more vehicles will invariably increase traffic noise, worsen air quality due to increased diesel emissions, increase the risk to public safety associated with interactions between cars and heavy duty vehicles, and will cause more fugitive dust, including tracked material on roads that are not maintained by the coal company.
The Siting Board should require that the proposal by the company to construct a dedicated access directly from KY 80, which would eliminate these potential adverse effects, be implemented prior to the initiation of site development and construction in Phase I rather than as proposed in Phase II, and that the new road be used rather than utilizing Kentucky 1087. Further, in the interim, or as another alternative that would avoid routing traffic onto KY 1087, the existing road access from the Starfire complex directly to KY 80 that has been used for coal haulage could be upgraded as needed and utilized for site construction access.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of these concerns. A copy of these comments have been faxed to Peter Brown, who is identified in the record as attorney of record for EnviroPower. A copy will also be e-mailed to Randy Bird.