"The failure to require a
formulation of an underground alternative in Norwalk would set
a terrible precedent for municipalities in the future because
it would violate traditional notions of fairness and equity,"
stated the petition, which was sent on Wednesday. "If the
Siting Council were to ignore alternatives at this stage in
the case," the
petition continues, "it would be enabling an applicant to gain consideration of a version of a highly contested and controversial transmission route that substantially affects a municipality but from which that municipality was excluded during the final formulation."
A resident of Simsbury who holds degrees in environmental studies and engineering, Katz said she is doing "meet and greet tours" as the council's new chairman, conferring with environmental groups, municipal officials and utilities to determine how to make "good decisions for both the regulated industries and towns."
"I really want to encourage all
the affected towns to participate fully in the hearing
process," said Katz. "The questions that you generate at a
local level are very helpful to our process." The
nine-member Siting Council serves as arbiter between utilities
and local interests in deciding where the infrastructure of
power companies, hazardous waste generators, and
telecommunications providers will be placed. It held a public
hearing in the city Wednesday on the proposal by Northeast
Utilities to bring a
transmission line into Norwalk on 130-foot-tall poles.
"The (siting) process works best when we have a lot of local input, because sometimes we literally work in a vacuum," Katz said. Named chairman in January, Katz rejoined the council in 1997 after serving on it in the mid-80's, and has been a member of various state and local boards and commissions for 25 years. "It's a new day for them" said State Representative Robert Duff, D-137th Dist., of Katz's appointment as chairman of the council. Katz spoke to area officials and reporters in City Hall Friday at Duff's invitation.[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at THE HOUR (Norwalk, CT) website]
Northeast Utilities yesterday
unveiled designs for a proposed 69-mile, $500 million power
line from Norwalk to Middletown, which the company hopes to
bury under local streets. Under NU's favored scheme, the
345-kilovolt line would begin at the company's New Canaan
Avenue substation and run under local roads before reaching
Route 1 and heading for Milford.
NU's preferred plan then calls
for the oil-filled cable to run northeast from Milford to
Middletown atop three types of poles ranging in height from
about 80 feet to 130 feet.
The company also outlined several alternative designs in an eight-volume document NU delivered yesterday to leaders of 24 towns that could be affected by the Norwalk-to-Middletown line. The only option affecting Norwalk would involve stretching the line atop poles averaging 130 feet high from the Broad River substation to Wilton along the Route 7 right-of-way. "It's not our preferred or primary route under consideration," NU spokesman Frank Poirot said yesterday.
Mayor Alex Knopp yesterday hailed NU's plan to bury the Norwalk-to-Middletown line in the city , calling it "very good news." At a public hearing Wednesday, Knopp railed against NU's plan to use 130-foot poles for another 345-kV line that is slated to run from Norwalk to Bethel. "The preferred route in (the Norwalk-to-Middletown) application to go underground . . . from Norwalk to (Milford) is much more preferable than the skyscraper tower route," Knopp said. "But it just shows that there is a better underground option -- not just for the Norwalk-to-(Milford) phase . . . but also for the Bethel-to-Norwalk phase."[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the Stamford ADVOCATE website]
line, 2 years old but used only temporarily and on an emergency
until Friday, was energized at 12:25 p.m., according to New York Gov.
action came after utility and regulatory officials in the two
pressured to do something by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,
worked out a deal late Thursday to resolve differences.
concession from Connecticut negotiators apparently ends three
of controversy and legal battles that led to political tensions between
Connecticut and New York officials.
Long Island Power Authority, meanwhile, which desperately wants
power from the new transmission line, agreed to pick up half the cost of repairing
an old, damaged transmission line between Norwalk and Northport, N.Y. Total
cost of that project is about $95 million, according to Arthur J. Rocque Jr.,
Connecticut's environmental protection commissioner.
- A state Superior Court judge rejected a request by the
Cross-Sound Cable Co. to turn on the juice along its
long-stalled high-voltage power line to Long Island.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Sen. George L. Gunther, R-Stratford, hailed the decision Monday as appropriate, because the company failed to bury the 330-megawatt cable to the required depth under New Haven Harbor.
The head of Long Island Sound programming for the state Department of Environmental Protection said he had not seen a copy of the court decision, but it appeared to support state regulations. The company responded Monday that it is "disappointed" and reviewing its options.
Lynda B. Munro ruled that Cross-Sound Cable, a subsidiary of
TransEnergie US, failed to prove that a statewide moratorium on
new transmission lines was unconstitutional. Munro, in the
decision released through Blumenthal's office, said that the
burden on interstate commerce from the continued inactivity of
the power line
does not outweigh the environmental benefits.
"Maintaining a healthy seabed provides clean water, and healthy fisheries and shellfish beds, which in turn provide a safe food source and environment, and a viable job market for the welfare of the state's citizens," Munro wrote in a 43-page ruling. When it laid the 24-mile-long cable last year, the company failed to reach the mandated depth of 48-feet below mean low water in the harbor channel because of submerged rock and other obstacles along hundreds of feet of New Haven Harbor.
Opponents of the cable claimed that failure forced the project into the realm of the legislative moratorium on new power lines that was approved by the General Assembly last year and signed into law by Gov. John G. Rowland. "The court rightly rejected Cross Sound's effort to evade its clear legal obligations under the permits and its attempt to end-run state oversight and the legislative moratorium," Blumenthal said.[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the CT POST website]
Gov. John G. Rowland will veto a bill that would have imposed a one-year moratorium on all new energy lines under Long Island Sound - including a 24-mile transmission cable whose installation is set to begin as soon as next week.
After the state Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure and sent it to his desk Wednesday, Rowland said he would issue an executive order Friday for a siix-month moratorium on energy lines both in the Sound and over land.
The governor's plan also would allow installation of the controversial Cross Sound Cable between New Haven and Brookhaven, L.I., which has all regulatory approvals.
A source familiar with the governor's plan said Rowland believed stalling that project could leave the state liable for millions in court damages. Laying of the $135 million cable, which would involve plowing a 6-foot-deep trench across the Sound floor, could begin as soon as April 19 unless the legislature were to override Rowland's veto.
The cable is one of five electric-transmission lines or natural gas pipelines proposed to cross under Long Island Sound. The moratorium was sought so officials could assess the projects' collective environmental effect and consider coordinating their placement.
The Senate on Wednesday voted 31-2 in favor of the moratorium after it passed the House 138-11 last week.
In his seven years as governor, Rowland has not had a veto overridden. But with 90 percent of the legislature favoring the bill, Capitol observers late Wednesday were wondering whether that record would remain intact. Rowland is expected to argue that his plan is better because it addresses overland transmission lines not included in the legislation and because it would avoid costly litigation that probably would result from halting an approved cable.[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the Hartford COURANT website]
of a proposed New Haven Harbor power cable expressed
concerns about possible environmental damage from dredging Monday after the
Army Corps of Engineers said it is likely to approve the controversial electric project.
Corps officials said they are leaning toward approving the
the Cross-Sound Cable company agreed to increase the depth the cable is buried to
13 feet under the harbor's main navigation channel. Originally Cross-Sound proposed
burying the cable only 6 feet under the channel.
that time opponents said the cable would interfere with
regular dredging of the
channel and might be struck when large ships drop anchor.
am very distressed and disturbed," said state Attorney General
Blumenthal, "a deeper channel means more sediment going into Long Island Sound
and therefore more environmental damage."
who threatened to take legal action if the project is
approved, said he
hopes the state Department of Environmental Protection will schedule a public
hearing on the matter. "This project is huge and the impact will be humongous," he
Sen. George "Doc" Gunther, R-Stratford, one of the most
opponents of the New Haven cable, said he believes the deeper dredging will do
more damage to the harbor and Long Island Sound itself.
[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the CT POST website]
L.I. Sound pipelines
By CHARLES WALSH
one underwater electrical cable project nearing final approval
and a gas
pipeline under review, a bill seeking a one-year moratorium on applications for all
cross-Long Island Sound cables and pipelines is gaining momentum in the state
Sen. George "Doc" Gunther, R-Stratford, the bill's sponsor,
received verbal assurances from Rep. Jessie Stratton, D-Canton, chairman of
the Legislature's Environment Committee, that hearings on the measure will be
scheduled in March.
bill also calls for a non-partisan committee to conduct an
impact study of Long Island Sound cable and pipe crossings, and the possibility
of establishing an ecologically acceptable corridor for utility lines.
Connecticut Siting Council already approved TransEnergie US
Sound Connector project, a 330-megawatt cable from New Haven Harbor to
Shoreham, Long Island. All that remains before construction can begin are
approvals from the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Army
Corps of Engineers.
cable will follow the harbor's dredged shipping channel. It
criticized by state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and by New Haven
Mayor John DeStefano. Blumenthal believes that the electricity will benefit only
Long Island. DeStefano fears the cable will make dredging difficult and could
interfere with shipping. Gunther and some environmentalists fear the work
required to lay the cable will damage the Sound's marine life.
[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the CT POST website]
Underwater Power Line Gains
January 4, 2002
By JOHN M. MORAN, Courant Staff Writer
State regulators Thursday approved plans for the construction of a high-voltage, underwater electric cable crossing Long Island Sound, but opponents vowed to continue fighting the proposal.
The Connecticut Siting Council's unanimous vote is a major step forward for the Cross-Sound Cable project, which would see a 24-mile transmission line placed between New Haven and Brookhaven, N.Y. But in order to proceed, the project still requires approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. And it faces opposition from both environmentalists and those who say the cable will hurt Connecticut economically.
Council Chairman Mortimer A.
Gelston said the latest proposal from Cross-Sound Cable Co.
addressed the council's earlier concerns by rerouting the
transmission cable away from shellfish beds and into an
existing shipping lane. Gelston said the 330-megawatt
transmission line would reinforce the energy network in the
Northeast by better connecting Connecticut with Long
Island. "It just strengthens our regional ties. We can't
live as an
island," he said.
Cross Sound Cable Co. is a joint
venture between TransEnergie U.S. Ltd., a subsidiary of
Hydro-Quebec, and United Capital Investments Inc., a
subsidiary of United Illuminating. Last month, a
preliminary vote by the council had indicated it expected to
approve the proposal. But Thursday's decision also
represents a reversal of the council's position from last
March, when it rejected a similar proposal by a vote of 7-1.
[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the Hartford COURANT website]
The public present, as well as the elected Town officials sharply questioned the CL&P staff and consultants on the need for this upgrade, the power situation in CT generally, why the need to cross Long Island Sound--is it that CL&P is now competing with out of area power suppliers and wants the competitive advantage of even more power than Connecticut may need...lots of questions, and this is just the beginning of a community dialogue. One citizen pointed out that this very same proposal had been made 30 years ago...CL&P said it was now more than time to institute the upgrade.
A MAP BY CL&P FROM THE ABOVE REPORTED MEETING, OF
RESIDENTIAL POWER USAGE STATE-WIDE, CLICK HERE.
the basic data supplied in the package given to the Town, it
looks as if the high voltage lines will require 130 foot towers,
wider right-of-ways (typical ROW in Weston part of the line 80'
and typical additional land needed 45'), clearing of
trees. Please see below for a map reproduced from the
Planning and Zoning Commission files.