Harriman to Highland Falls Transmission Line Project FAQs
Article VII of the New York State Public Service Law, "Siting of Major Utility Transmission Facilities,” requires a full environmental, public health and safety impact review of the siting, design, construction, and operation of major transmission facilities in New York State. Any proposed electric transmission line with a design capacity of 100,000 volts (100kV) or more extending for at least 10 miles, or of 125kV or more extending a distance of at least one mile, must submit an application to the New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need.
Article VII prescribes the content of an application, including a description of the project’s location, alternative locations, expected economic effects and environmental studies. The Commission makes the final decision regarding all Article VII applications after careful review and with public input. For a complete description of the application review process, please refer to the Commission’s Article VII Review Process Guide.
The Project is not anticipated to induce significant changes to the residential, commercial, or industrial land-use patterns in the surrounding area. Most of the minor deviations to the existing right-of-way will be on property owned by the US Army Garrison – West Point and Vicinity (“West Point”). It will not impact the local economy due to its cost and duration of construction activities.
The Project is anticipated to result in short-term positive impacts to the local economy throughout the construction phase. Construction of medium-scale overhead transmission projects generally requires an increased workforce. The temporary workforce could be seeking lodging, food and supplies from the local communities, which will provide an influx of sales and tax revenues for the area. Construction of the Project will not significantly affect permanent employment rates in the Project area.
Yes, once the Woodbury Transition Yard to Highland Falls Upgrade of Transmission Lines 841, 851 and 853, Dean Substation, and Wilson Gate Substation Article VII application is filed with the Commission, there will be several opportunities for individuals to participate in the Article VII review process. The need for and the proposed location for this 138kV overhead transmission line, as well as its cost, environmental impact, and construction and maintenance practices, are all subject to review by the public.
Members of the public can provide comments to the Commission at any time during the Article VII process. This can be done by sending a written statement electronically or via US mail (Secretary to the Commission (Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary to the Commission, New York State Public Service Commission, Empire State Plaza, Agency Building 3, Albany, NY 12223-1350)), filling out a "Comment Form” on the Commission’s website, or calling the Commission’s Opinion Line (1-800-335-2120). This line is set up to take comments about pending cases from in-State callers, 24 hours a day. These comments are not transcribed verbatim, but a summary is provided to the Commission. Additionally, the public is encouraged to attend Public Statement Hearings, which are conducted by the Commission in the project vicinity to receive statements of position or concern from residents affected by the proposed project. These statements from the public are entered into the official record upon which the Commission will ultimately base its decision.
As the project is currently proposed, most of the new transmission line will be within the existing and slightly expanded right of way in some areas. There are some minor deviations to the existing but those are located on the property of West Point. During the planning stage, O&R and its environmental and engineering consultants have been focusing on evaluating the route for environmental impacts as well as access for future system maintenance. The proposed route is subject to approval of the New York State Public Service Commission; the final route for this Project will be determined at the end of the Article VII process.
Electricity plays an essential role in our lives. In addition to lighting our homes and workplaces, it powers our home appliances, computers, office equipment, medical equipment, train systems, elevators, and many other devices that add comfort to our lives. Electricity produces electric and magnetic fields (EMFs).
EMFs are invisible lines of force produced by electricity. Electric fields are related to voltage and magnetic fields are related to current. To understand what happens when electricity flows through a wire, visualize a garden hose. Voltage is like water pressure in the hose; current is like the water flow itself.
Despite the completion of thousands of studies there is no sound scientific or medical basis to conclude that EMF exposure causes health effects.
Several health organizations have conducted reviews of the EMF literature. You can access their assessments below:
During the routing phase of the Project, O&R focused on selecting a proposed route which would have the least impact to the environment.
In Exhibit 4 – Environmental Impact section of the Article VII application, we evaluate potential environmental impacts, including: cultural resources; noise; rare, threatened and endangered species; sensitive habitats including wetlands, and water resources; and EMF and outline mitigation measures that will be used to minimize impacts to these sensitive receptors.
Upon approval of the proposed route from the PSC, O&R will develop an Environmental Management and Construction Plan (EM&CP), which will outline the mitigation measures in the design that will be used during construction to minimize impacts to the environment.
To maintain and promote an open and transparent permitting process, the project Public Outreach Team ensures that affected landowners and the public receive important project information, and the ability to ask questions and voice concerns. O&R encourages our neighbors to contact us with their questions and concerns.
We can be contacted via:
- Public Informational Sessions
- Public Statement Hearings
- email: HHF@oru.com
- Project specific telephone line: 1-888-457-9304
- Project specific website
The Project Team will inform the public via Fact Sheet by mail or newspaper publication about key project milestones. Nearby landowners will receive correspondence from the Team during the permitting process. Prior to the start of construction, these landowners will receive written notification, and as the stages of construction unfold, landowners will receive periodic updates. The public is encouraged to visit the Project specific website to obtain a current status of the Project. This website will provide information/updates on project description, map of the proposed route, benefits, permits, overall schedule, construction progress, etc.