Feds to conduct environmental study of proposed underwater transmission line

The Department of Energy will prepare an environmental impact statement for a proposed power line that will pass under Lake Champlain to connect power supplies in Canada to the Coolidge substation in Ludlow.

TDI New England is proposing the 154-mile transmission line. It estimates the line would deliver 1,000 megawatts of hydro and wind power from Quebec to the New England electric grid.

The New England Clean Power Link, as the $1.2 billion project is called, would be located underwater and underground. About 97 miles of the project will be buried beneath Lake Champlain.

The department’s study will analyze the environmental, health and safety impacts of the project. It will also consider a range of other possible alternatives to the project. According to the department’s Notice of Intent, a draft EIS would be issued by April 2015 with a final draft expected by October.

DOE has scheduled two public meetings on the EIS on Sept. 16 in Burlington and Sept. 17 in Rutland. These meetings will be used to determine the scope of the EIS. DOE will accept public comments postmarked by Oct. 10.

The EIS is part of the company’s presidential permit review required for international energy projects. The company filed for a presidential permit in May.

The company is also hosting public information sessions at locations along the underground section of the project.

John Herrick

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