Proposed PSNH Transmission Line Prompts Questions

Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) appeared before the Planning Board on Wed-nesday, Sept. 3 for a review of a Conditional Use Permit for temporary and permanent impacts to the Conservation Overlay District, which prompted many questions from residents.

Resident Philip Sciandra asked what the impact would be to his property if he wanted to build a house on the edge of the property which borders the PSNH easement.

Matt Cardin of TRC Environmental Solutions said that the area of construction was further south and would not impact Sciandra’s property.

Sciandra said that he had tried to contact PSNH to talk with someone about it but could not get a definitive answer.

“I asked about what was going on and they either said that they’d get back to me or that they would get back to me after they got approvals. It seems to me that it should be before the town grants approvals that they should be answering questions,” Sciandra said.

Laura Games of PSNH said that Sciandra should email her with his contact information and that she would set up a walkthrough of the Sciandra property with a PSNH representative.

Resident, and local realtor John Verani asked when the project was due to start, to which Cardin replied, in late November. Verani also mentioned that he had tried to talk to PSNH by phone and that he couldn’t get answers.

He noted that there were beaver dams creating ponds and meadows and that he would hope that they not be disturbed.

Games said that if a beaver dam was threatening to compromise infrastructure that they would have to get the property owner’s permission to take action.

Resident Bob Merrill asked if the new poles would be on the east side of the existing right of way and Cardin said that they would be to the north and east side.

Merrill said that a gate was put in a few years ago on the easement through his property and he wanted to have his lock put on it, and he said that when telecommunication lines were installed back in 2007 he wasn’t sure if a land survey was done. He asked if there would be a land survey done and Cardin that he was not aware of any survey that was going to be done.

Resident Ray Breslin asked where the power that was being transmitted came from.

“Is it coming from the Seabrook nuclear power station?” Breslin asked.

Cardin said he didn’t know where the power originated.

Breslin said that there were “a lot of power lines in Londonderry that take up a lot of property that people could enjoy and now we’re talking about putting in more lines,” Breslin said.

Rugg said that the power lines would be put in a right of way that already exists.

Assistant Department of Public Works (DPW) Director John Trottier asked if helicopters would be used during the construction, and Games said that not to her knowledge as of now.

Board member Laura El-Azem asked if the project would be going through private property and Cardin said that it would all take place within the PSNH already existing right of way.

Board member Chris Davies asked where the permanent impacts would be and Cardin said they are where the poles will be located.

Board member Scott Benson questioned if there would be work after the project was completed to put the land back to where it was, and Cardin said that the timber mats used to allow construction vehicles to gain access to the area were placed, “not dragged” and when they were done they would be removed in the same manner. He said that after about a year or so the natural growth would return.

Board member Al Sypek asked if the poles were wood or steel and Cardin said that they were steel. He also asked if the structures were earthquake resistant and Cardin said that he would have to get back to him with an answer.

Board member Mary Wing Soares asked if the electro-magnetic field around the wires and right of way were measured and Games said that there were no anticipated measurements that she knew of that were going to be made but that typically the measurement was that of usual household electricity.

“They are typically well below established guidelines for public exposure,” Games said.

The PSNH plan is to construct a new 115 kV transmission line on already existing right of way between the Scobie Pond substation and the Huse Rd. substation in Manchester.

Cardin and gave the presentation of the 6.2 mile proposed transmission line. Cardin said that there would be 83 new poles with 84,184 square feet of temporary impact to wetlands and 216 square feet would be permanent. He said that the line would be within existing utility right of way.

Cardin said that there will be 58 new structures associated with the new line. He said that there will be about 28,000 square feet of clearing of existing right of way near the Scobie Pond substation.

“All the wetland im-pacts associated with the installation of the poles is 216 square feet and temporary impacts associated with the construction and installation of the poles is 84,153 square feet. Permanent impacts to the Conservation Overlay District wetland buffers is 710 square feet and temporary impact is 109,211 square feet. Wetland conversion where the right of way clearing in the wetland area is 7,528 square feet and right of way expansion within the buffer will be approximately 2,454 square feet,” Cardin said.

The board voted unanimously to grant the final CUP approval.

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