The U.S. Department of Energy has issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the New England Clean Power Link transmission line project. The issuance of the FEIS concludes the review of the project's potential environmental impacts mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act and enables the DOE to render a decision on the application for a Presidential Permit for the project.
The New England Clean Power Link is a proposed 154-mile underwater and underground transmission line that would deliver 1,000 MW of clean, lower-cost, hydroelectricity to the Vermont and New England market. The line is being developed with private sector financing by TDI New England and would originate at the U.S.-Canadian border and travel approximately 97.3 miles underwater down Lake Champlain to Benson, Vermont, and then be buried along town and state road and railroad rights-of-way or on land owned by TDI New England for approximately 56.7 miles to a new converter station that would be built in Ludlow, Vermont. The project is expected to be in service in 2019, at a cost of approximately $1.2 billion.
The FEIS expressly states that, "The DOE's Proposed Action (Preferred Alternative) is the issuance of a Presidential permit that would authorize the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Project, which would cross the United States–Canada border." In addition, the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. Secretary of Defense have previously reviewed the project and concluded that they have no objection to the issuance of a Presidential Permit.
TDI New England's CEO Donald Jessome said, "The issuance of the FEIS marks another significant milestone in the permitting of the project. The Department of Energy has completed a thorough, comprehensive review of our project, and we are extremely pleased that this Final Environmental Impact Statement has been released and is available for the public to review. We appreciate the great deal of effort many people put forth at the federal, state, and local level to review this project and produce a final report."
Jessome continued, "We are confident that, once built, the New England Clean Power Link will deliver environmental and economic benefits to the people of Vermont and New England and do so in a way that minimizes impacts to communities and helps meet the region's growing energy and environmental challenges."
The New England Clean Power Link FEIS is the product of an intensive review and analysis overseen by the DOE. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Coast Guard served as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the FEIS.
TDI New England anticipates that all major federal and state permits for the project will be secured by the end of 2015.