Eversource wants to run transmission cables we don’t need through Little Bay. If approved this project will stir up decades of nasty chemicals that have settled in on the bottom of the bay. This upcoming public comment hearing will be one of the last chances we have to stop the project from going forward.
If enough people sign up to speak at the hearing more public comment hearings will be scheduled. This helps delay the process and makes the project more expensive for Eversource To sign up email email@example.com. and include your name, the city or town where you live, your position on the proposed project, and whether you require any special accommodations or if you have a particular request or limitation regarding the schedule.
More information on the project from frontline fighters:
Eversource wants to replace the standard wood poles in Durham, not used since the 1990s, with a new 115 kV transmission line on huge ‘weathering’ metal poles (rust-colored) three times taller than the poles there now. The poles will be taller than the trees because the easement through Durham is narrow. The lines will follow the railroad track from Madbury through UNH to the Mill Road substation on the north side of Mill Road by the bridge over the railroad track.
The two 100 foot poles next to Mill Road will be on the north and south sides of Mill Road by that railroad bridge. The line will follow the tracks south through Foss Farm to the Bennett Road substation where it turns east, paralleling the north side of Bennett Road through the Beaudet and Moriarty Farms conservation land to the Moriarty farmhouse on the north corner of Bennett Road and Newmarket Road. From there it continues east, crossing Newmarket Road, Timber Brook Lane, Cutts Road, Ffrost Drive and Sandy Brook Road. Then it continues east through the conservation land north of Longmarsh Road, crossing the town-owned Langmaid Farm, until it almost hits Durham Point Road. There it turns southeast, crossing the east end of Longmarsh Road, then Durham Point Road further south between the Gsottschneider and Hoffman houses. At Durham Point Road the east pole is 103 feet high and visible from this designated Scenic Road, then the line crosses the field opposite the Hoffman house and reaches Little Bay between the Getchell and Miller houses, close to the bald eagle nest. http://littlebaybaldeagles.weebly.com/
At the shore the transmission line goes underground. Eversource plans to jet plow (power blast with a high pressure water jet attached to a large triangular grapnel) 3 trenches 42” deep in the floor of Little Bay for 3 separate cables; this will require jet plowing three times across the floor of Little Bay. After the cable is laid in Little Bay there will be 3 sets of 25 large concrete slabs laid on the mudflats on each side of the bay to cover the cable for 200 feet out from the shore. These overlapping slabs will be visible, each slab weighs 6,000 pounds.
The electric line easement through town is 100 feet wide but the trees have grown in, because the lines were dead and the power company did not bother to maintain the easement. Eversource plans to clear cut the full 100 foot width, cutting back 20-30 feet of trees on both margins of the easement. Some transmission line poles will be a double-H type, but most poles will look like the pole shown below, except taller by 20 to 30 feet. Heavy equipment will be used on town roads and all over the easement corridor including cement trucks, mobile cranes, flatbed tractor trailers, metal-tracked stone drilling rigs, dump trucks and mechanized tree felling and log hauling equipment. The DES Alteration of Terrain Permit application filed by Eversource shows 1,100 cubic yards of bedrock will be blasted and removed.
The Durham Historic Association effort has been focused on preservation of the historic resources crossed by the easement, including 66 stone walls, the Smart-Pinkham-Mathes granite quarries, 2 cellar holes, 4 burial sites, 2 Class VI town roads dating from the 1680s, and the 10 foot granite slab bench used by workers at the quarry.
We need all residents to speak out against this project at the official public hearing at Pease Tradeport on October 11th from 4 pm to 7 pm. This when the Site Evaluation Committee (who decides whether to issue the permit Eversource needs) will find out what the residents of Durham think about this proposed high voltage transmission line. If the public input is weak, the Committee will think the people of Durham support this project. People who are willing to say something, even for just a few minutes, are needed. Sign up is needed because additional hearing dates will be scheduled if warranted (as happened for the Northern Pass project, which the Site Evaluation Committee rejected last February). Even people who cannot speak in public are needed to attend the hearing to show support for the people who are willing to speak out against these transmission lines. All electric lines now in town are low voltage distribution lines carrying electricity to houses. The Eversource plan is about a new high voltage Transmission line carrying electricity through Durham to somewhere else, ultimately to benefit greater Boston. The DHA and other official interveners cannot speak at this hearing – the Site Evaluation Committee wants to evaluate resident reaction to the proposed construction of transmission lines through Durham.
A typical 115 kV transmission line pole for the Merrimack Valley Reliability Project, built in 2017 through Pelham, Windham, Hudson and Londonderry. That utility easement is 350-550 feet wide and carries multiple transmission lines so residents did not care about the addition of one more transmission line – that section of their towns was already ruined.