The Trans-Allegheny Interstate Transmission Line Project – Threatened and Endangered Species Surveys and Relocation


Power Engineers


Pennsylvania, West Virginia & Virginia

CEC Services

  • Threatened and Endangered Species Surveys/Wildlife Surveys

Owner Objective

The TrAIL Company, a subsidiary of Allegheny Energy, headquartered in Greensburg, PA, sought to develop the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line (TrAIL) project, a new 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line, three new 138 kV transmission lines, two new substation facilities, and expansion of two existing substation facilities. The main portion of the TrAIL project, the 500 kV line, extends from southwest Pennsylvania for 47 miles, through West Virginia for 121 miles, and into northern Virginia for 28 miles to the Appalachian Trail. The three, 138 kV lines and both new substation facilities are located in southwest Pennsylvania.

CEC Approach

TrAIL contracted with Kenny Construction Company (KCC) for construction management services. KCC, in turn, contracted Power Engineers, Inc. (PEI) to design the transmission lines and conduct environmental permitting while PEI contracted CEC to complete threatened and endangered species agency consultation and surveys necessary for this project.

CEC conducted the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and Virginia Big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) presence/probable absence mist net survey for the entire TrAIL project during the summer of 2008. The mist net survey, which consisted of 440 mist net sites, resulted in the capture of 2,250 bats representing 8 different species. During the survey, no federally listed bats were captured; however, 42 state-listed Eastern Smallfooted bats (Myotis leibii) were captured. Additionally, two previously unknown bat hibernacula’s were found in West Virginia.

CEC conducted rare plant surveys for the following state listed species in PA: sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), Elephant’s foot (Elaphantopus carolinianus), and St. Andrew’s Cross (Hypericum stragulum). Based upon the results of the rare plant surveys, CEC designed and successfully constructed a 20-acre rare plant mitigation project, which included the relocation of 1,614 sourwood trees, 2,485 Elephant’s foot, and 150 St. Andrew’s Cross.

Additionally, CEC conducted presence/absence surveys, habitat surveys, and performed agency consultation for the federally listed endangered Running Buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum) and the West Virginia northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus).