Press-Republican

Business

November 25, 2013

Locals support underwater cable project

PLATTSBURGH — There was little public comment locally on the U.S. Department of Energy’s draft environmental impact statement for the Champlain Hudson Power Express project.

The applicant, Transmission Developers Inc., wants to build a $2.2 billion, 333-mile-long, high-voltage, direct-current transmission line to be buried underwater and in railroad and highway right-of-ways between the Canadian border and New York City.

It would carry up to 1,000 megawatts of hydro- and wind-power sources in Canada to the greater New York City area.

TRUST FUND

Speaking during the recent hearing at West Side Ballroom, William Wellman, Council Region 5 vice president for the New York State Council of Trout Unlimited, said the environmental impact statement, in large part, mirrors the findings of the New York State Public Service Commission’s Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need, which was granted in April.

“That was a very comprehensive and detailed review,” he said, noting it included a $117 million environmental trust fund to protect, restore and improve the aquatic habitat and fisheries along the route.

JOBS EXPECTED

Jeffrey Kellogg, business representative for District 106 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, said the project is expected to provide employment for many of their workforce. 

“I want to go on record stating we fully endorse this project,” he said.

Kellogg later said they have been told there would be about 110 jobs for operating engineers, mainly its members who operate heavy equipment.

John Donoghue Jr., business manager for Local 186 of the Laborer’s International Union of North America, said he and his members are also looking forward to the jobs created by the project, the savings to New York residents and the environmental protections.

Local 186 covers Clinton, Essex and Hamilton counties, where most of the workers will be involved in getting the cable from land onto the barges for installation.

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