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Proposed Power Line From Canada Worries Rockland Lawmakers

Champlain Hudson Express Transmission Line under Hudson would take underground detour through Stony Point, West Haverstraw, Clarkstown.

Three Rockland County Legislature members are opposing the proposed Champlain Hudson Express Transmission Line, saying there hasn't been enough public input.

Legislators Jay Hood Jr., Douglas Jobson and Ed Day also say the state should be looking at using the closed Lovett and Bowline power plants in North Rockland to generate electricity instead of importing energy from Canada.

The proposed 330-mile line, which would run from Quebec to Queens, would provide electric power to the Hudson Valley. The line would
run under the Hudson River, and would be routed to land at Tomkins Cove
to avoid disruption of the environmentally sensitive Haverstraw Bay, and
continue through Stony Point and Haverstraw and head back into the river
an at exit point at Clarkstown’s Rockland Lake.

“This project would have a major economic and environmental impact on
this entire county,” said Legislator Ed Day, R-New City. “We’re being told by the applicant and governmental agencies ‘Not to worry.' Well, I will not accept that, and neither should any Rocklander. With more questions than answers, this project deserves zero support.”

The three legislators stated their concerns in a resolution passed at
the June 19 meeting of the Rockland County Legislature, which will be presented
to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state agencies and Rockland’s state-level elected
officials. The resolution outlines their concerns that the
installation will have detrimental ecological impact on the environment
and dependent species in and along the Hudson River, that it will
negatively impact real estate values where it is routed to land in
Rockland.

The lawmakers recommend consideration of the former Lovett and Bowline
energy plants as site for electricity production, which they said would bolster the economy through the creation of jobs and stabilize the local tax base destroyed by plant closings.

“Our resolution also calls upon Governor Cuomo to make certain that
all effected communities have an opportunity to have public comment,”
said Hood of Haverstraw. “There was one public hearing,
held in Stony Point that only a few people knew about.  We have limited
information on this project, as well as limited opportunity for
residents to voice concerns.”

Jobson, a Stony Point resident, contends the Lovett and Bowline plants could be retooled and put back into operation.

“I believe it is incumbent upon the (state Public Service Commission) to encourage local operations at available properties like these, before allowing us to become dependent on foreign energy sources,” Jobson said.

The U.S. Department of Energy on June 15 ended the supplemental scoping period for the Environmental Impact Statement for this project.

Written comments received during the supplemental scoping period are  posted in the Document Library. The DOE is slated to continue considering comments received through the New York State Public Service Commission’s public comment period for the proposed project through to June 29.

Champlain Hudson applied on Jan. 27, 2010, to DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability for a Presidential Permit to construct, operate, maintain, and connect a 1,000-megawatt high-voltage direct current Voltage Source Converter controllable transmission system from the Canadian Province of Quebec to the New York City.

Here's the description of the full route of the proposed line:

From the U.S.-Canada border, the submarine transmission cables would be routed through Lake Champlain for approximately 101.5 miles (163.3 km) entirely within the jurisdictional waters of New York State. In the town of Dresden, NY, the cables would exit the water and would be buried within the right-of-way (ROW) of New York State Route 22. The cables would continue within the Route 22 ROW for approximately 10.4 miles (16.7 km) through the municipalities of Dresden and Whitehall, except for a crossing of South Bay. The cables would then be buried within an existing railroad ROW owned by Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) for approximately 65.1 miles (104.8 km) through the municipalities of Fort Ann, Hartford, Kingsbury, Fort Edward, Moreau, Northumberland, Wilton, Greenfield, Saratoga Springs, Milton, Ballston, Clifton Park, Glenville, and Schenectady, NY. In the town of Schenectady, the proposed cable route would exit the railroad ROW and transfer to Erie Boulevard just north of the railroad crossing at Nott Street, and continue along Erie Boulevard to a point south of State Street where it would again enter the railroad ROW. In the town of Rotterdam, NY, the buried route would transfer to the CSX Railroad (CSX) ROW and proceed southeast for approximately 22 miles (35.4 km) through the municipalities of Guilderland, New Scotland, Voorheesville, and Bethlehem. At this point, the proposed Project route would shift to a CSX ROW that runs south parallel to the Hudson River for approximately 29 miles (46.7 km) through the municipalities of Coeymans, Ravena, New Baltimore, Coxsackie, Athens, and Catskill. In the town of Catskill, the proposed Project route would exit the railroad ROW and enter the Hudson River by following Alpha Road to a landing area on private land.

Upon entering the Hudson River, the two cables would be buried in the river bottom for approximately 67 miles (107.8 km) until they reach the Town of Stony Point, where the cable would leave the water and enter another CSX ROW. The cables would be buried for approximately 7.7 miles (12.4 km) in the CSX and New York State Route 9W ROWs as well as under Rockland Lake State Park and Hook Mountain State Park, before reentering the Hudson River.

The cables would be buried within the Hudson River for approximately 20.7 miles (33.3 km) before entering Spuyten Duyvill Creek and the Harlem River. The cables would be buried within these waterways for approximately 6.6 miles (10.6 km) before transitioning upland to enter a CSX ROW in the borough of the Bronx. The cables would be buried within the CSX ROW for 1.1 miles (1.8 km), crossing beneath the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge and the Hell Gate railroad bridge. The cables would then enter the East River for approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) before exiting the water. The cables would terminate at a proposed HVDC converter station on Consolidated Edison Power Park property near the site of the former Charles Poletti Power Plant in Astoria, Queens, New York. From the converter station, the double-circuit 345 kV AC cables would connect the converter station to an electric substation recently constructed by the New York Power Authority on the same property. From the substation, AC cables will be located within the streets of New York City for approximately three miles (4.8 km) to connect to the Rainey Substation in Queens, New York.

The Project's precise final route is subject to a number of factors, including resource issues, permitting, land acquisition, and stakeholder agreement. The approximately 336 mile (541 km) portion of the Project within the United States will be owned and operated by the Applicant.

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