Delmarva Power Conditional Use Amendment

OCEAN CITY – Resort officials this week agreed to eliminate testing requirements for an uptown substation.

On Monday, the Ocean City Council voted to amend a conditional use agreement and remove testing requirements for a Delmarva Power substation at 137th Street. Ryan Showalter, legal counsel for Delmarva Power, told officials this week that ongoing testing at the facility demonstrated the substation meets all noise and safety standards.

“Testing has been done at a significant cost to ratepayers for many years, and we demonstrated we are complying with your codes,” he said. “We respectfully request that you release us from any further testing of that substation.”

In 2013, Delmarva Power received conditional use approval from the Mayor and Council to expand its substation at 137th Street, but with the condition that the company conduct acoustic and electromagnetic frequency (EMF) testing at the substation twice each year. And since 2014, the company has provided reports and results to the town on a semi-annual basis.

“The substation was expanded and improved several years ago and as part of the town’s approval of the conditional use agreement, a condition of testing was imposed that required both noise and electromagnetic field testing on a semi-annual basis for that property,” Showalter told the council Monday. “The testing has been conducted since 2014 with reports provided to Ocean City. And all of those reports have demonstrated the substation complies with applicable noise and safety standards.”

Delmarva Power representatives this week came before the council with a request to remove the testing requirements from the company’s conditional use agreement. The company reports the cost to perform such tests range from $100,000 to $120,000 and are passed on to the ratepayers.

“We’ve searched throughout not only the Delmarva Power system, but also its sister companies,” Showalter said. “They are not aware of any substation in any of those systems that has a similar testing requirement.”

City Manager Terry McGean said he had reached out to the Caine Woods Community Association, with emails sent to the president, past president and a board member.

“I did reach out to the Caine Woods civic association to let them know this was on the agenda, let them know what the request was,” he explained. “They had no objections to the request.”

With no discussion, the council voted 6-0, with Council Secretary Tony DeLuca absent, to amend the conditions of Delmarva Power’s substation expansion and to eliminate acoustic and EMF testing at the substation.

“We think the demonstrable history of compliance warrants elimination of this extraordinary testing requirement,” Showalter said.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.