By Bob Weaver

Environmental groups are preparing to challenge a mid-Atlantic "energy corridor" that proposes to build mega-transmission lines through two sections of West Virginia.

The mid-Atlantic corridor includes parts of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.

The West Virginia Public Service Commission has been lukewarm to the projects, indicating the state could bear the brunt with local coal-burning plants and lengthly lines to reach other states, suggesting consideration that plants and their lines should be placed closer to the communities they serve, mostly urban areas.

The TrAIL project is the first of two new major transmission lines that the PSC is expected to be asked to approve in West Virginia over the next few years.

American Electric Power wants to build a 765-kilovolt transmission line from the John Amos Power Station near St. Albans to a substation northeast of Martinsburg.

That line, according to straight-line sketches, could go through Calhoun and a number of central West Virginia counties.

That 250-mile project is part of a $3 billion, 550-mile line that would run to New Jersey.

AEP calls that proposal PATH, for Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline.

(See earlier Herald stories)

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