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Va. ruling intersects history, power demands

Friday - 3/7/2014, 2:00pm  ET

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Dominion Virginia Power's preferred route for a high-voltage power line over a historic stretch of the James River has won state regulatory approval.

The decision by the State Corporation Commission leaves to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the final say on the 500-kilovolt line between Surry County and a new switching station in James City County.

More than half of the 8-mile transmission line would span the James River.

The debate over the transmission line has centered on a growing demand for power amid the retirement of coal-fired plants and concern about the visual impact of towers rising to a height of 300 feet over the river.

Preservationists argue the transmission line would mar the vista of some of the state's most historic attractions, including Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown.

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