NAO-2023-00286 (Wishing Star Substation, Loudoun County, Virginia)

Published May 23, 2023
Expiration date: 5/23/2023

May 23, 2023

The District Commander received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below:

Virginia Electric and Power Company
c/o Kevin Fields
10900 Nuckols Road 4th Floor
Glen Allen, Virginia 23060 

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The project is located north of Hiddenwood Lane, west of Arcola Mills Drive (Route 659), and east of Weathervane Place, within the Broad Run drainage area, in Loudoun County, Virginia.  A vicinity map is attached.

LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE: 38.958570 -77.548336

PROPOSED PROJECT:  The applicant proposes construction of two power substations adjacent to an existing transmission line.  The activities will impact 0.17 acres of forested wetlands, 0.02 acres of emergent wetlands, 449 square feet of grading along the bank of a perennial stream (Broad Run), and 791 linear feet of intermittent stream associated with the substation footprints as well as a proposed stormwater management facility.   

PROJECT PURPOSE AND NEED:  The proposed substations are needed to address an immediate need identified by the regional transmission organization PJM Interconnection, LLC and under Federal Energy Regulatory Commission criteria, and to maintain and improve electric service to customers in the Eastern Loudoun Load Area.  

AUTHORITY: Permits for the work in waters, including wetlands, are required pursuant to Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217).  The Corps must comply with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (54 U.S.C. § 306108), 36 CFR Part 800, regulations implementing Section 106 of the NHPA and 33 CFR Part 325, Appendix C, Processing of Department of the Army Permits. 

PURPOSE OF PUBLIC NOTICE:  In compliance with regulations implementing Section 106 of the NHPA, the Corps is soliciting comments on the proposed project from the public; federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Native American Tribes; and other interested parties.  This public notice provides an opportunity for members of the public to express their views on the undertaking’s effects on historic properties and resolution of adverse effects.  The Corps is requesting comments to assist in evaluation of the effects of the project on historic properties and evaluation of alternatives or modifications which could avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse effects on historic properties.

HISTORIC PROPERTY IDENTIFICATION:   The Corps identified historic properties within the Corps permit area.  A cultural resources survey was conducted on the project site and a report prepared: “Phase I Cultural Resources Survey of the Wishing Start Substation Project”, prepared by Dutton + Associates and dated November 2022.  The cultural resources survey and report are a reasonable and good faith effort to identify historic properties.  The survey identified one archeological site (44LD1280), a segment of the Manassas Gap Railroad (MGRR) Loudoun Branch. The Loudoun Branch of the MGRR was an approximately 27-mile planned railroad which was put into construction in the 1850s. This venture was part of the trend in the early 1850s of rapid, speculative railroad construction which was aborted due, in part, to the financial panic of 1857 and never restarted as a result of the Civil War.  This resource has been determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

ADVERSE EFFECT DETERMINATION:  In consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office, and in consideration of views concerning effects provided by consulting parties, the Corps applied the criteria of adverse effect to historic properties within the permit area.  The Corps determined that the proposed federal action would result in an adverse effect on a portion of the Manassas Gap Railroad (MGRR) Loudoun Branch.  The Corps is consulting further to develop and evaluate alternatives or modifications to the undertaking that could avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse effects on historic properties.  The Corps, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the permittee, and other consulting parties are proposing to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) under Section 106 of the NHPA.  

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to, or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN:  CENAO-WRR), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia  23510-1011, and should be received by the close of business on June 22, 2023

PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY:  Comments and information, including the identity of the submitter, submitted in response to this Public Notice may be disclosed, reproduced, and distributed at the discretion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Information that is submitted in connection with this Public Notice cannot be maintained as confidential by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Submissions should not include any information that the submitter seeks to preserve as confidential. 

If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, contact Keith R. Goodwin at 757-613-5431 or by email

Vicinity Map
Project Drawings