Two transmission line projects have had their contracts finalized, pending approval by the NYS Public Service Commission (PSC). CHPE is a 339 mile cable that proposes to bring 18 million megawatt-hours of hydroelectric power from Canada to the greater New York City metropolitan area. It will mostly be laid in the Hudson River by a process called jet plowing, which will cause considerable sediment resuspension.. The Clean Path NY project proposes a 174-mile underground transmission line that will deliver more than 7.5 million megawatt-hours of electricity to New York City annually from wind and solar in Western and Upstate New York.
Clearwater shares concerns recently summarized by Riverkeeper and Sierra Club regarding CHPE including:
- Environmental justice impacts of flooding lands, which First Nation people in Canada depend upon for sustenance by hunting and fishing.
- Methane release from decaying vegetation if future flooding occurs will exacerbate climate change; methyl mercury will contaminate the food chain.
- Sediment resuspension here in the Hudson that could impact the seven communities that take their drinking water from the Hudson.
- Impact on aquatic species from strong electromagnetic fields generated by powerful direct current (DC) transmission.
- CHPE represents an export of energy dollars that would be better invested in renewable energy infrastructure here in New York.
Here is the link to the Riverkeeper and Sierra Club video: Informational Session on CHPE for Hudson Valley Advocates & Partners (access code wZp2QA+m) and presentation slides: CHPE: What Do Advocates Need to Know?
These projects must be approved by the State Public Service Commission. The comment deadline will be February 7, 2022 for both projects.
Here is the public comment link for CHPE.
Here is the public comment link for Clean Path NY.