CSC: Salem Docket No. 198 Opinion

DOCKET NO. 198 - Crown Atlantic Company LLC and Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon
Wireless application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the 
construction, maintenance, and operation of a cellular telecommunications facility at one of two 
locations in the Town of Salem.
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Connecticut

Siting

Council

July 25, 2001

Opinion

On July 21, 2000, Crown Atlantic Company LLC (Crown) and Cellco Partnership (Cellco) d/b/a Verizon, applied to the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a cellular telecommunications facility in the Town of Salem, Connecticut.  The proposed prime site is located at 399 West Road, Salem, Connecticut, in a Rural A Zoning district.  Access along a 1500-foot driveway would require 200 feet of new gravel driveway.  The proposed alternate site at 329 West Road, Salem, Connecticut, is also within a Rural A Zoning district.  Access would be along an existing 300-foot driveway, with a new gravel 250-foot extension required.

On March 15, 2001, the Council denied without prejudice the proposed prime and alternate sites, finding that the construction and visual intrusion of these sites would outweigh the need for their existence.  The Council further stated it would reconsider these sites if it could be proven that the need for these sites exists as a viable alternative to provide coverage to uncovered areas of west Salem and East Haddam, Connecticut.

At the request of the applicant, the Council reopened this docket and conducted a field review and hearing on May 23, 2001 in the Town of Salem.  Upon reconsideration, it became apparent that the visual impact of the proposed prime tower would be minimal.  This proposed tower is within an area of forest, and would not be visible from Devil's Hopyard State Park or from West Road.  The proposed tower would likely be visible through 75-foot trees during the winter months from one residence, but at a distance of over 900 feet.  The alternate tower would be significantly more visible due to its 250-foot height and FAA lighting requirements.

The prime site tower would provide needed coverage to local roads in the western part of Salem and eastern portions of East Haddam.  The Council gave strong consideration to the use of existing towers in the Salem area, but now reluctantly concludes that such existing towers, although offering significant coverage to State Routes 11, 85, 82, and 354, do not in this case equal the projected coverage from the prime tower to local roads west of Routes 11, 85 and 354, in western Salem and the eastern portion of East Haddam.

Electromagnetic radio frequency power density levels are a concern of the Council.  However, the radio frequency power density levels at the base of the proposed prime tower would be well below federal and State standards for the frequencies used by wireless companies.  If federal or state standards change, the Council will require that the tower be brought into compliance with such standards.  The Council will require that the power densities be remodeled when other carriers add antennas to this tower.

Based on the record in this proceeding, we find that the effects associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the telecommunications facility at the proposed prime site, including effects on the natural environment; ecological integrity and balance; public health and safety; scenic, historic, and recreational values; forests and parks; air and water purity; and fish and wildlife are not disproportionate either alone or cumulatively with other effects, and are not sufficient reason to deny this application. 

Therefore, we will issue a Certificate for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a telecommunications facility at the proposed prime site and deny certification of the proposed alternate site.



Content Last Modified on 10/9/2002 11:53:34 AM