CSC: Docket No. 224 D&O

DOCKET NO. 224 - Northeast Utilities Service Company application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the replacement of a submarine electric transmission cable system from Norwalk, Connecticut to Northport, New York.

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Connecticut

Siting

Council

September 5, 2002

Decision and Order

Pursuant to the foregoing Findings of Fact and Opinion, the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) finds that the effects associated with the Connecticut portion of the replacement of a submarine electric transmission cable system from Norwalk, Connecticut to Northport, New York, including effects on the natural environment; ecological integrity and balance; forests and parks; scenic, historic, and recreational values; air and water purity; fish and wildlife; and public health and safety are not disproportionate either alone or cumulatively with other effects compared to need, are not in conflict with the policies of the State concerning such effects, and are not sufficient reason to deny the application. Therefore, the Council directs that a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need, as provided by General Statutes § 16-50k, be issued to Northeast Utilities Service Company for the replacement of a submarine electric transmission cable system from Norwalk, Connecticut to Northport, New York in the preferred route.

The facility shall be constructed, operated, and maintained substantially as specified in the Council’s record in this matter, and is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The Certificate Holder shall provide to the Council a copy of all decisions by the Army Corps of Engineers, and State or federal regulatory agencies concerning the proposed project prior to construction or installation. If there are provisions in any regulatory decision that are inconsistent with the Council's record in this matter, the Certificate Holder shall notify the Council immediately.

  2. The Certificate Holder shall comply with all future electric and magnetic field standards promulgated by State or federal regulatory agencies. Upon the establishment of any new standards, the facilities granted in this Decision and Order shall be brought into compliance with such standards as soon as practical.

  3. The Certificate Holder shall complete all in-water construction activities between November 1 and April 30.

  4. The Certificate Holder shall not commence construction of this submarine electric transmission cable system until it has secured Council approval of a Development and Management (D&M) Plan, which includes the following elements:

  1. A final site plan showing the placement of the equipment, method of installation, method of decommissioning the existing cables, depth of cable burial, submarine cable route, and upland cable route;

  2. An erosion and sediment control plan, consistent with the Connecticut Guidelines for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control as amended;

  3. Provisions for cable protection within Sheffield Island Harbor;

  4. Provisions for crossing the existing telecommunications cables in Long Island Sound;

  5. A plan for a pre-construction and post-construction survey of the benthic community;

  6. A post-construction electric and magnetic field monitoring plan for the area between Norwalk Harbor Substation and the high-water mark on Manresa Island;

  7. A pre-construction survey with obstructions noted and methods to provide cable protection noted;

  8. A plan to minimize impacts to shellfish, developed in consultation with the Connecticut Bureau of Aquaculture;

  9. A plan to minimize impacts to nesting birds and rare, threatened, and endangered species and species of special concern, developed in consultation with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection; and

  10. A plan including provisions for the removal of the existing cables subject to approval from the Council and all other appropriate agencies.

  1. The Certificate Holder shall hire an independent consultant, subject to Council approval, to monitor and report weekly to the Council on the environmental effects of the installation of the cable system, including impacts to rare, threatened or endangered species or species of special concern in the project area.

  2. The Certificate Holder shall indemnify and hold harmless any person that causes unintentional damage to the cable system.

  1. The Certificate Holder shall cooperate with the Army Corps of Engineers regarding any schedule developed for future development of the Federal Navigation Channel.

  2. The Certificate Holder shall notify the Council and provide a plan for the relocation or deepening of the cable system at its own expense, if the Army Corps of Engineers proposes to deepen the Federal Navigation Channel.

  3. The Certificate Holder shall schedule and coordinate the proposed installation within Norwalk Harbor with the United States Coast Guard, and the City of Norwalk. Installation shall be undertaken during off-peak periods to minimize conflicts with waterborne ship traffic, and permit conditions of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Office of Long Island Sound Programs, the Connecticut Bureau of Aquaculture, Norwalk Shellfish Commission, and the Norwalk Harbor Master.

  4. The Certificate Holder shall meet with commercial fishermen in the area regarding fishing activities and lobster migratory behavior within the cable corridor, in order to work together to minimize lobster mortality and disruption of fishing due to cable installation activities.

  1. The Certificate Holder shall provide to the Council an Installation Notification Plan identifying all parties with interests in navigation, State and federal regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction for the proposed cable system, and the commercial fishing, shellfishing, and lobster communities that would receive the following information:

  1. Notice of the cable system installation within one week prior to the commencement of construction;

  2. The proposed cable system route in Loran-C, Geographic Positioning System (GPS), and Connecticut State Plane Coordinates (NAD 83) coordinates;

  3. Notice of completion of cable installation; and

  4. Post-construction mapping of the cable system location and depth in Loran-C, Geographic Positioning System (GPS), and Connecticut State Plane Coordinates (NAD 83) coordinates, within two months of the completion of installation of the cable system, or as approved by the Council.

  1. The Certificate Holder shall provide to the Council an operating report within three months after the conclusion of the first year of operation, and annually thereafter, with information relevant to the overall condition, safety, reliability, and operation of the cable system.

  2. Unless otherwise approved by the Council, this Decision and Order shall be void if all construction authorized herein is not completed within three years of the effective date of the Decision and Order, or within three years after all appeals to this Decision and Order have been resolved.

We hereby direct that a copy of the Findings of Fact, Opinion, and Decision and Order be served on each person listed below, and notice of the Decision published in the Norwalk Hour and The Hartford Courant.

By this Decision and Order, the Council disposes of the legal rights, duties, and privileges of each party named or admitted to the proceeding in accordance with Section 16-50j-17 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

The Parties and Intervenors to the proceeding are as follows:

Applicant

 

Northeast Utilities Service Company

Anthony M. Fitzgerald

Carmody & Torrance LLP

195 Church Street, 18th Floor

P.O. Box 1950

New Haven, CT 06509-1950

Party

 

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal

Robert Snook

Assistant Attorney General

55 Elm Street

P.O. Box 120

Hartford, CT 06141-0120

Intervenor

City of Norwalk

Louis S. Ciccarello

Corporation Counsel

City of Norwalk

Law Department

City Hall; P.O. Box 798

Norwalk, CT 06856-0798

Intervenor

Save the Sound, Inc.

Leah Lopez

Staff Attorney

Save the Sound, Inc.

20 Marshall Street

South Norwalk, CT 06854

Party

 

Bob Duff

State Representative, 137th District

State of Connecticut

House of Representatives

50 Toilsome Avenue

Norwalk, CT 06851



Content Last Modified on 9/24/2002 1:13:44 PM