Regional opposition to power line

| 29 Sep 2011 | 09:06

    NORWICH, N.Y. — Representatives of groups in two states that oppose a plan to run a power line through upstate New York to feed electricity to New York City’s suburbs met last Saturday to form a regional opposition group. About 40 farmers, lawyers, teachers and others from New York and Pennsylvania say they will oppose the 200-mile-long, high-voltage transmission line from Utica to the lower Hudson Valley. An alternate route runs along the federally protected Delaware River and the Pike County Commissioners have tasked County Planner Michael Mrozinski with maintaining a liaison with New York interests opposing the power line. The project already has drawn concerns from Democratic senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton. “It would destroy life as know it,” said Donna Jones, director of planning for Chenango County. She attended the meeting. The yet-nameless group will urge Gov George Pataki and federal lawmakers to stop the private company behind the plan, New York Regional Interconnect, from taking property by eminent domain. The group also will identify sites along the proposed route that are environmentally or historically sensitive. Schumer has asked NYRI to identify all proposed routes. Clinton has asked the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to hold a series of public meetings in upstate New York this summer on the plan. NYRI says electricity demand in New York City’s northern suburbs is expected to outstrip supply in a few years, and a new high-capacity line is needed to bring power from central and western New York. The company says the $1.6 billion project will save consumers more than $500 million a year.