Docket No. 217
Connecticut Light and Power Company
Development and Management Plan Section V
Archers Lane Transition Station
March 15, 2005
On January 19, 2005, the Connecticut Light Power Company (CL&P) submitted to the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) for review and approval the Development and Management (D&M) Plan for a transition station identified as Archers Lane II site located in Redding. This D&M Plan is consistent with the October 26, 2004 Council order specifying a construction plan for the Archers Lane II. The Town of Redding has reviewed and submitted comments on this D&M Plan.
The Archers Lane II site will provide a transition from a 345-kV overhead transmission line to a 345-kV high pressure fluid-filled (HPFF) underground transmission cable. The site is situated on an approximate 2-acre parcel of property located approximately 1,000 feet north of the intersection of Diamond Hill Road and Fox Run. There are six residences primarily west of the transition station within 950 feet, with the nearest being 400 feet to the west. Various forms of shrubs and trees and conifers and deciduous vegetation exist as a buffer. Land for the right-of-way (ROW) and transition station lie within the Saugatuck Falls Natural Area. Therefore, a land use conversion process must be initiated. This land use conversion process is administered by the Department of Environmental Protection in consultation with the municipality (Redding in this case) and proposed land use (transmission facilities). This process is still ongoing.
Access to the site would be from Diamond Hill Road along a 1,250-foot drive with the first 350 feet paved and the remaining 950 feet covered with gravel. At station 6+44 a culvert would be installed to control drainage flowing north. Council staff recommends CL&P maximize sheet flow for runoff and mitigate runoff parallel to the access road
The elevations at the proposed site range from 506 feet above mean sea level (amsl) at the northwest corner to 564 feet amsl at the southeast corner. The site compound would have a finished elevation of 530 feet amsl. Therefore, 5500 cubic yards is required for 23-foot high fill at the northwest corner and the slope will be reinforced with STRATA geogrids, STRATA geotextiles, stone rip rap, and a specified structural fill. Conversely, 18,000 cubic yards would be removed from mid-site to the southeast corner. The depth of the cut would be as much as 60 feet high along the east and south sides of the site. Slopes designed for soil and rock conform to 2002 Connecticut Guidelines for Erosion and Sediment Control including a transition zone at the top of the steep slope. A 50-foot section of rip rap berm on top of the east side of the excavation and 120 foot section of rip rap berm along the top of the southeast portion of the excavation. In addition, two areas of a 10-foot by 35-foot rip rap apron would be installed on the north and west sides of the compound for drainage control. All other areas of disturbance would be loamed and seeded. CL&P contends construction of the access road and transition station would not affect inland wetlands. Council staff recommends CL&P reconsider a steeper grade for the access road, step or terrace excavation for site work, and construction of berms to reduce material to be removed off-site. Also, berms could be a method to reduce visibility of the transition station. Also, Council staff recommends that soil stabilization measures are installed and maintained consistent with the 2002 Connecticut Guidelines for Erosion and Sediment Control.
The Town of Redding consultants queried CL&P about drainage, right-of-way clearing, and alternative access to the compound. On March 14, 2005 CL&P has provided responses including revised site plans. Such changes include the rip rap aprons on the north and west sides of the compound, rip rap berm at the top of excavation, grass-lined drainage swale around the compound, and improvements to the culvert at station 6+44. CL&P contends access from the northwest corner would restrain equipment ingress and egress and maneuverability with the site compound. Also, construction of an access road with a 15 percent grade is not practical compared to the proposed 6-8 percent grade.
The transition station site would be a 240-foot by 135-foot compound, surrounded by a seven-foot chain-link fence, including an additional fence around the top of the excavation, consisting of a 345-kV transition structure, power switching equipment, redundant battery system, 14-foot by 35-foot relay and control enclosure, 14-foot by 50-foot self-enclosed pressurization plant to maintain a 200 pounds per square inch pressure in the HPFF pipe, station transformer, and propane-fueled emergency generator. Both the relay and control enclosure and pressurization plant would be located on the west side of the compound.
Any dielectric-fluid spill of the 15,000 gallon reservoir in the pressurization plant would be contained well within the building itself.
The 345-kV termination support structure is configured as an A-frame integrated within the middle section of the bus equipment. This structure is 101 feet in total height and 20 feet in width. Also, the shunt reactors are placed on the north and south sides of the bus equipment.
CL&P provided no site plans for landscaping; however, notes on the drawings state shrubs and trees would be planted around the site to best provide screening to adjacent properties. The Town of Redding provided suggested species for planting, primarily located close to residences to buffer the visibility of the transmission facilities. CL&P objects to the plantings on property it does not own because it will not have control of maintenance. Council staff does not recommend requiring CL&P to plant vegetation on property it does not own; this is similar to an order in the Norwalk Junction transition station site D&M Plan. However, CL&P and Town of Redding have been fully engaged in the development of the transition station site in the Town and Council staff encourages continued collaboration to mitigate impacts on adjacent properties. Council staff recommends CL&P provide a landscaping plan to the Council upon completion of civil work and fencing.
Project administration is overseen by CL&P. CL&P will use temporary construction offices in vicinity of the project. Similarly, CL&P’s construction contractor will establish a contractor’s yard for office trailers, staging of equipment, materials and supplies, and a parking area for construction workers. This contractor’s yard will be about two to four acres in size and located proximal to the project. No contractor’s yard or other staging areas have been identified in the D&M Plan. Council staff recommends that the contractor’s yard and staging areas be identified and provided to the Council prior to use.
The D&M Plan specifically outlines the methods of construction and guidelines for clearing, temporary access roads, trenching/excavation, soil erosion and sedimentation control, dewatering, blasting, spoil placement, and restoration of disturbed areas to pre-construction conditions.
Special procedures have been developed for traffic, work within and adjacent to stream and inland wetlands, noise sensitive receptors, fugitive particulate emissions, dust and mud control, management of solid and/or hazardous substances, protection of cultural and historic resources including an unanticipated discoveries plan, visual impact and residential mitigation plan, and worksite safety plan. No archeological reconnaissance survey for this site has been provided and staff recommends that such surveys be submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office and Council prior to commencement of construction.
Work days will be Monday through Saturday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Extensions of the workday and hours may occur on a temporary and case-by-case basis. Council staff recommends that the Council be notified of workday and/or work hour extensions verbally, as soon as possible, documented in a construction progress report.
CL&P developed a soil erosion/sedimentation control and revegetation plan and procedures regarding access road development, erosion control and minimization of effects on natural systems incidental to construction. Also, CL&P developed a wetland vegetation monitoring and maintenance plan and invasive species control and management plan and these plans comply with the 2002 Connecticut Guidelines for Erosion and Sediment Control.
A Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan has been developed to address actions used to prevent spills in addition to actions that shall be taken should any spills occur including emergency notification procedures. The on-site Environmental Inspectors are responsible for ensuring that contractors implement and maintain spill control measures. All oil and hazardous materials management will be in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines. Council staff recommends CL&P attach copies of spill reports with its construction progress report.
CL&P provided information on the operation and rights-of-way maintenance plan and post-construction electric and magnetic field monitoring plan. Council staff recommends that the post-construction electric and magnetic field monitoring plan be reviewed prior to commencement of operations.
CL&P will notify landowners directly along the rights-of way not less than 48 hours prior to the initiation of construction and/or blasting. A toll-free number, staffed during working hours and voicemail other hours, will be available specific to the project. All calls will be documented which will initiate a protocol of response. If, within 30 days an issue or concern cannot be resolved, CL&P will forward to the Council relevant information and summary of activities that were performed to attempt closure. Council staff recommends landowners directly along the rights-of way are notified not less than 48 hours prior to the initiation of construction and/or blasting, and changing the period of resolution from 30 days to 15 days to be more responsive to constituent concerns.
CL&P proposes to begin construction of the transition station during the third quarter of 2005 with a projected completion date one year later. CL&P contends full restoration work may require additional time into the spring of 2006. Council staff recommends CL&P provide two week advance notice prior to commencement of construction.
Prior to commencement of construction CL&P requires all personnel (CL&P and Contractor) involved in construction activities attend project specific safety and environmental training session. These training sessions summarize the D&M Plan and other permit/certificate requirements governing the project. The training will emphasize the importance of workplace safety and environmental compliance including disciplinary action. Furthermore, an environmental inspector, the BSC Group, will be responsible for inspections and weekly reporting to verify that the construction is performed in accordance with environmental requirements.
CL&P proposes the following procedures to address deviations of the D&M Plan:
- For proposed deviations prior to the start of construction or well in advance of commencement of any specified activity, CL&P will submit a request in writing for review and approval by the Council;
- For proposed deviations during construction based upon field conditions, conduct a telephone conference with Council staff to present the proposed modification and receive verbal approval from the Council’s Chairman with written specification of the deviation to be submitted within 24 hours after the request; and
- Implementation of deviations to the D&M Plan that are approved by the Council will be documented within the monthly monitoring reports to be submitted by the independent environmental inspector.
Council staff recommends that proposed deviations be authorized by the Chairman with written specification of the deviation submitted within 24 hours after the request and all other changes require advance notification and Council approval or be subject to enforcement by the Attorney General.
To summarize, the Council staff recommends approval of the Section V D&M Plan, Archers Lane Transition Station, with the following conditions:
- That CL&P provide two weeks advance notice to the Council prior to commencement of construction.
- That CL&P provide a bi-weekly activity report to the Council of construction, including spill reports.
- That CL&P provide a weekly Environmental Inspector’s report to the Council.
- That CL&P and the Town of Redding discuss opportunities to plant vegetative screening and submit a joint letter, to the Council, describing the resolution between CL&P and the Town.
- That CL&P provide a landscaping plan to the Council upon completion of civil work and fencing.
- That CL&P reconsider a steeper grade for the access road, step or terrace excavation for site work, and construction of berms to reduce material to be removed off-site.
- That CL&P maximize sheet flow for runoff and mitigate runoff parallel to the access road.
- That CL&P provide the location of the contractor’s yard and staging areas prior to use.
- That CL&P notify the Council of workday and/or work hour extensions verbally and documented in a construction progress report.
- That CL&P notify landowners adjacent to the transition station not less than 48 hours prior to the initiation of construction and/or blasting.
- That erosion and sediment controls be installed as proposed and shall comply with the 2002 Connecticut Guidelines for Erosion and Sediment Control.
- That archeological reconnaissance surveys be submitted to the SHPO and Council prior to commencement of construction.
- That CL&P submit non-resolution of constituent concerns after 15 days to the Council.
- That proposed deviations are authorized by the Chairman with written specification of the deviation submitted within 24 hours after the request and all other changes require advance notification and Council approval or be subject to enforcement by the Attorney General.
- That a post-construction electric and magnetic field monitoring plan be reviewed prior to commencement of operations.