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Q&A on Potential Route Modification in Rockland County

The questions below have been asked during recent stakeholder meetings. If you have questions about CHPE, please email Jennifer Laird-White at Jennifer.White@transmissiondevelopers.com

UPDATED: 10.5.2017

Q: Will the route through Rockland County definitely be changed?

A: At this point, there is no official route change as TDI is still conducting outreach, field work and finalizing the design. In addition, the change can only occur if authorized by regulatory authorities. TDI has identified a new preferred route through Rockland County that is under discussion with community leaders, business groups, residents and other interested stakeholders.

Q: What is the new preferred route?

A: After considering concerns of Rockland officials and residents on the permitted route through the county, TDI undertook a review of 15 potential alternate routes on both sides of the Hudson River. As a result of that exhaustive review, TDI identified a preferred route that it believes minimizes impacts to the county. The proposed route will leave the Hudson River in Stony Point via the Tilcon quarry property. It will leave Tilcon through a short installation on Battlefield / Park Roads and then travel south to Clarkstown on State Route 9W before re-entering the Hudson River through property belonging to the Rockland Lake State Park Commission.

Q: How does the line cross CSX tracks near Tilcon?

A: The line is proposed to pass under the train tracks completely underground via a HDD (horizontal directional drill). Using the HDD method, the line is buried at significant depths under the railroad tracks.

Q: How does line cross Rockland Lake State Park?

A: The line is proposed to pass underground using the HDD technology in the same way it does under the railroad tracks near the Tilcon property. There will be no interference with the golf course or disturbance of the terrain.

Q: How does the line cross the bridge in Stony Point?

A: The proposed approach is to have the line encased in conduit and attached to the underside of the bridge.

Q: Does line stay on Tilcon property until it enters Park Rd?

A: Yes, that is the current preferred route.

Q: How does the transition from submarine cable to terrestrial cable happen?

A: The line will transition from underwater to underground (or vice versa) using an HDD as described above. The terrestrial and marine cables are then spliced together in jointing enclosures installed as part of the underground cable system. Splicing is a very specialized, meticulous process that is accomplished by the cable manufacturer.

Q: How much heat does the transmission line generate?

A: Any time electric current runs through a wire, heat is generated. For the CHPE cable, heat is expected to be produced at the equivalency of a small night light, at approximately 5.7 watts per foot. (A night light generates between 4-7 watts per foot of heat output).

Q: Will there be cooling stations?

A: There will be no cooling stations along the route. The advances in technology and use of heat dissipating materials (if ever required) within the cable conduit has made the need for the deployment of cooling stations unnecessary.

Q: How will CHPE deal with the Ramapo Fault?

A: The Ramapo Fault (or any fault), has no bearing on the safety impacts arising out of the placement of the transmission line. The cables are solid state, with no fluids, so, if there were to be a seismic event, there would be no release or discharge of material and the line would instantly shut down.

Q: What will occur once the CHPE is no longer operating?

A: The permit issued by the State of NY concluded that the cable would remain in place at the end of its useful life.

Q: Will local labor be used to build CHPE?

A: Local, union labor will be used to the greatest extent possible through a local Project Labor Agreement. However, there will be highly specialized work that may not be performed by local labor due to the expert skills involved in the work (cable spicing for example). This would be the exception rather than the rule. We will not know the exact labor needs until the project is bid and awarded. Pre-design survey work planned for fall, 2017 is being conducted by the Chazen Companies, which has offices located along the Hudson Valley.

Q: Is night work possible on 9W during testing and construction?

A: Yes. TDI is exploring methods, like work at night, to reduce inconveniences to residences and businesses.

Q: Does CHPE cross the AIM pipeline? If so, how will it be done safely?

A: The CHPE cable will cross the AIM pipeline north of Stony Point in the Hudson River. As will be the case with all instances where the cable crosses existing marine located utilities (i.e., co-located infrastructure), a protective crossing strategy (and associated agreements) will be worked out between TDI and the incumbent owner and relevant agencies, such as USACOE, USCG, and the New York State Public Service Commission. In the typical case, there will be a layer of industry standard mattress protection placed above the incumbent infrastructure and then, after the cables are laid, a top layer of the same protective mattressing will be installed to ensure the continued safety and integrity of both infrastructure.

Q: What is the strength of the Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF) of CHPE?

A: Electric and magnetic fields are present everywhere in our environment. AC and DC electricity both produce electric and magnetic fields, but the electric and magnetic fields produced by DC are different than those produced by AC lines. DC produces static fields that do not vary over time as they do in AC. DC electric fields are created by the voltage of electrical equipment and magnetic fields are created when electric current flows through a wire. The fields are strongest near their origin and decrease rapidly as you move away from the source.

There will be no external electric field associated with the CHPE project. The submarine and terrestrial cables that will be used have a metallic sheath that will serve to block the electric field so that outside of the cables the field strength will effectively be zero.

The magnetic field around the cables will be similar to the earth's magnetic field. Burying the cables close together will reduce the magnetic field strength so that it's undetectable from the natural magnetic field of the earth.

Q: What happens if you touch the line?

A: Nothing. It should be noted that once fully installed, the line will not be accessible to any unauthorized or unsuspecting persons to access or touch the line.

Q: What happens if the line breaks?

A: The transmission line is solid state and de-energizes within a fraction of a second. There is no discharge of electricity to the surrounding area.

Q: How will the transmission line survive storms?

A: The transmission line is solid state and de-energizes within a fraction of a second. There is no discharge of electricity to the surrounding area.