December 16, 2008, Utica Observer-Dispatch: Only 2 NYRI routes would be acceptable AT ISSUE: Both would require power line be c

Only 2 NYRI routes would be acceptable

AT ISSUE: Both would require power line be constructed underground

Posted Dec 16, 2008 @ 10:11 PM

link to full article is here:

If the Public Service Commission decides it’s necessary to run a 190-mile, 1,200-megawatt line from the Mohawk Valley to downstate, there are only two acceptable options.

* Follow the existing Marcy South route and bury the line underground.

* Build an underground route that follows the New York State Thruway.

While both of these routes will likely still generate public controversy, either is better than New York Regional Interconnect’s preferred route, which would cut through local communities including South Utica, Sauquoit, Clayville, Cassville and Waterville on its way to Orange County.

That proposal disrupts the very heart of the Mohawk Valley and would cause unnecessary disruptions when there are other feasible options.

Department of Public Service staff recently recommended that if the line were built, the preferred route would be Marcy South, which goes through the Herkimer County towns of Schuyler, Frankfort, German Flatts, Litchfield and Columbia.

The Public Service staff is right to question NYRI’s proposal and force the company to consider all of its options. NYRI must realize that it can’t disrupt the quality-of-life we have here or cause our energy rates to increase.

While the NYRI plan is flawed on many levels, it’s unlikely that power-rich Upstate New York isn’t going to be tapped for energy in the future, especially as wind power grows as a source in our region.

That’s why selecting routes that minimize the impact on our region, its communities and its rural landscape must be the paramount objective for all.

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