Cultural Resources Literature Reviews and Due-Dilligence Cultural Resouces Surveys for AEP Electric Transmission Corridors

Services Provided:

Working for American Electric Power Ohio Transmission Company (AEP), ASC Group, Inc., completed literature reviews and due-diligence cultural resources surveys for five electric transmission corridors. The proposed 69 kV electrical line corridor is not considered to be a federal project, and thus it is not subject to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, at least at this time. Depending upon on the regulatory actions of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Huntington District regarding this project, the potential exists for there to be a federal regulatory nexus. Thus, the archaeological surveys have been focused on 100-ft buffers around wetlands and waterbodies, which would be the USACE jurisdictional area. Presently, the cultural resources surveys are a due-diligence item for AEP as it develops the proposed project.

Generally, the projects consist of the construction of 66-ft to 79-ft high monopoles installed every approximately 300 ft along the proposed corridors.  The proposed project involves the creation of access roads and other infrastructure, such as drains, to support installation of the electrical lines. The focus of the archaeological due-diligence survey is on locating cemeteries, mounds, and historic and prehistoric sites. The focus of the aboveground due-diligence survey components are documentation of historic structures, typically houses, within 750 feet of the electrical corridor, to preliminarily assess any potential for visual effects.

The five projects involve the construction of a 69 kilovolt (kV) electrical transmission corridor from Flushing to East Cambridge, in Belmont, Harrison, and Guernsey counties, Ohio. One portion is a greenfields project, as there is no existing electrical corridor in this location presently from Flushing to Smyrna. The Smyrna to East Cambridge portion is just the replacement of poles within an existing corridor. The proposed projects combined traverse approximately 32 miles of rugged terrain, which includes forests, agricultural fields, and mined areas. Additionally, the proposed project crosses a portion of Jockey Hollow, a State Wildlife Area, which involves both Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) land and land owned by Consol Energy, Inc. A total of nine archaeological sites were documented and well over 50 historic buildings. ASC made recommendations for avoidance or further work on four sites and AEP was able to avoid impacting the sites with the proposed project.

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