Monday, January 11, 2010

Top 5 Required Actions/Fixes for Transmission Line Clearing Projects

There must be an immediate moratorium state-wide on any further transmission line clearing including projects currently underway, with individual approvals to re-commence work only after proper public review. (Exceptions would be made for instances of urgent public safety.) Too much environmental damage and property value loss has occurred already!

  1. Restitution to homeowners and municipalities for improper and excessive removal of trees. (See last item below concerning updating the vegetative management guidelines for a list of issues, both property and eco-system related, to be addressed by replanting, remuneration or other agreed upon methods.)

  2. Review of original PSC 2005 SEQRA filings (and related PSC or utility filings) concerning transmission line clearing – invalidate and establish new public hearings with a science-based, fact-based EIS analysis. (Why? Original SEQRA actions had no public hearings, no public review. PSC used ‘short form’ SEQRA which is invalid for such extensive work state-wide. Also, short form indicated “no environmental impact” with absolutely no discussion of factors such as habitat loss, stormwater issues, noise abatement, privacy loss, property value loss and other ecological and aesthetic concerns.)

  3. Update / moderization of PSC and utility Vegetative Management guidelines for ROW. Based upon NERC recommendations for tiered-cutting dependent upon tree height & distance from centerline of transmission towers, while taking tree species into consideration. New guidelines must take into account: property value impact, aesthetic impact, view shed buffers, habitat protection, stormwater mitigation, noise abatement, management of invasives and deer (as the cut corridors. esp. clear cut, are “highways” for the spread of invasives, while at the same time provide optimum browse for white-tail deer.) Public review and feedback required.

  4. Proper advanced notification by utility including detailed written description of intended work. On-site consultation with both private and municipal property owners affected by project. Second opinions via Senior arborist. Documentation and sign-off of all agreed upon work.

  5. Use of better-trained, higher skilled and more closely supervised contractors for any line clearing or ROW maintenance. Contractors must also share greater liability (with Con Ed) for trespass, improper removals and so forth. Supervision on-site by senior arborist at all times. Clearly defined and publicized escalation and stop-work procedures. Enforcement of hours-of-work limitations based upon local regulations. Follow-up monitoring and evaluation of work – every day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These are excellent recommendations. Elected officals have been listening to angry residents across Westchester and Rockland counties for several years. Now it is time for these same elected officals to work together to do something sigificant to stop this type of unnecessary destruction and damage. To pass it off to the Chair of the PSC has not yielded any cosntructive solutions and is a waste of time. The PSC needs to be investigated.