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 at: Article VII Guide Web 9-14-16 Final.pdf (dps.ny.gov website)
Yes, once the Western Nassau Transmission Project (WNTP) Article VII application is filed, there will be several opportunities for individuals to participate in the Article VII review process, and PSEG Long Island encourages our neighbors to contact us with their questions and concerns. The need for and the proposed location (and alternative locations) for this 138kV underground transmission line, as well as its cost, environmental impact, and construction and maintenance practices, are all subject to review. To maintain and promote an open and transparent permitting process, the WNTP Public Outreach Team ensures that affected landowners and the public receive important project information, and the ability to ask questions and voice concerns. We can be contacted:
The WNTP Team will inform the public 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.
Members of the public can also provide comments to the New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) at any time during the Article VII process. This can be done by sending a written statement (electronically or via mail) to the Secretary to the Commission, 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 project proposal. These statements from the public are entered into the official record upon which the Commission will ultimately base its decision.
During the siting and routing process, PSEG Long Island and its contractors have worked to lessen the overall need for new property to build the proposed transmission line by using public rights-of-way to the greatest extent possible. Since an overhead transmission alternative was not viable to interconnect the two substations in question, an underground solution has been proposed.
The proposed route is subject to approval of the New York State Public Service Commission, and the final scope of property rights to be acquired for this Project will not be determined until late in the permitting process. Currently, our assessment is that this scope of property rights will be quite narrow: one parcel acquisition could possibly be done to provide a corridor on which the new underground line would enter the East Garden City Substation; and a small number of easements adjacent to roads along the route might be necessary, although even most of these would be temporary easements in effect only for the construction period.
If you have any questions or concerns about the acquisition process, please contact us via our hotline or website email (info@WesternNassauTransmission.com).
As a public authority, The Long Island Power Authority, and PSEG Long Island as its operating entity, have the right to exercise eminent domain for projects such as this Project. Eminent domain cannot be exercised until the Project is officially certified with a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need, and the Environmental Management and Construction Plan is approved by the New York State Public Service Commission.
However, LIPA and PSEG Long Island strive to resolve all real estate acquisition concerns in an amicable and mutually agreeable fashion when at all practical.
Electric and magnetic fields can be generated from a wide variety of sources, including transmission lines. We recognize that there is scientific uncertainty as to whether EMF have an effect on health or not, but we design our lines to adhere to New York State guidelines.
The World Health Organization (or WHO) provides detail and study regarding the relationship between humans and EMF. The WHO is an independent non-governmental organization which has collected data from hundreds of studies regarding EMF, and has compiled its data on its website:www.who.int.
The electric field from the WNTP will be blocked by the cable shielding and will not be present aboveground. We conducted a model analysis of the anticipated aboveground magnetic field (MF) levels from the WNTP during normal operation of the line. The results of the study demonstrate that the anticipated MF levels of the WNTP would be well below the maximum levels allowed by New York State Public Service Commission guidelines.
Two of the primary advantages of an underground transmission system are the environmental benefits of (a) the ability to construct the system through or into areas where right-of-way is not available and (b) the reduced visibility of an underground system.
Exhibit 4 of the Article VII application will detail the consideration we gave to the impacts and tentative proposed mitigation for potential environmental impacts, including: cultural resources; rare, threatened and endangered species; sensitive habitats including wetlands, contaminated or unique soils and water resources; and EMF.
Detailed design will incorporate environmental impact mitigation, which will be contained within the Project’s Environmental Management and Construction Plan (EM&CP).
Traffic studies will be conducted to determine the potential impacts to the vehicular flow within the Project area. Traffic impacts will be minimized as much as possible to not disturb commuter flow, or the needs of emergency services. The WNTP team will work with Nassau County and the various municipalities to identify potential detour routes where applicable.