NYRI sets power line public hearings

River valley opponents set meetings too

By FRITZ MAYER

NEW YORK STATE — New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI), the company that wants to install new high-voltage power lines along the Upper Delaware River valley, has scheduled six public hearings. The first is scheduled for Thursday, April 27, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the New Windsor Town Hall in Orange County. There are no hearings scheduled for Sullivan County.

Troy Bystrom of the Upper Delaware Preservation Coalition (UDPC) said he will attend the meeting, and other members of the group are making arrangements to attend as well. In an email, he said, “It may be a crowded town hall.”

Article VII of the New York State Public Service Law mandates a review process before the construction of a major utility transmission facility. The law requires that prior to construction, an applicant receive a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need. The hearings are part of that process, and the public is invited to ask questions and provide comments about the project.

NRYI project manager William May predicts that the permitting process will take two years. He said the company expects to begin construction of the facility in spring 2008, and it will be operational in 2011.

However, many groups in towns along the proposed route are planning to fight the project. As presented by NYRI, the high voltages lines would run 200 miles from Utica, NY, through eight upstate counties, including Delaware and Sullivan, before ending near New Windsor in Orange County.

A van is being provided for area residents who wish to attend the meeting. For more information, residents can contact the Roebling Inn in Lackawaxen at 570/685-7900.

Opponents plan meetings too

The UDPC, which is actively opposing the construction of the power lines, has scheduled an informational meeting for Sunday, May 7 at the Inn at Lackawaxen, PA at 11:00 a.m.

The Business Owners of Lackawaxen, another grassroots group opposed to the lines, will hold their monthly meeting at 3:00 p.m. the same day. The NYRI project will be discussed.

On its website, UDPC list 28 separate groups and organizations that have joined in opposition to the power lines from the Upper Delaware Council to Milanville Poets, Unlimited.

Relevant websites

The Upper Delaware Preservation Council, http://www.udpc.net

New York Resists Interconnection, http://www.nyri.info

New York Regional Interconnect, http://www.nyri.us

NYRI public hearing schedule

(All hearings run from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.)

Thursday, April 27, New Windsor Town Hall, 55 Union Ave. New Windsor, NY 12553

Wednesday, May 3, American Legion Post 80, 76 Main St., Binghamton, NY 13905

Thursday, May 4, Mount Hope Community Center, 1706 Route 211 West, Otisville, NY 10963

Tuesday May 9, North Utica Senior Center, 50 Riverside Drive, Utica, NY 13502

Wednesday, May 10, Deposit High School, 171 Second St., Deposit, NY 13754

Thursday, May 11, Norwich High School, 19 Eaton Ave., Norwich, NY 13815

TRR photo by Laurie Stuart
With the Central New York Railroad tracks on the other side of the guardrail, this spring view of the Upper Delaware River Valley, and many others along the Upper Delaware River corridor, would be interrupted if the high voltage power lines proposed for the railroad’s right-of-way by New York Regional Interconnect become a reality. (Click for larger version)