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Public comments due by Dec. 20: Corps proposes expanding transmission line easement in Mansfield Hollow area towns of Mansfield Hollow, Chaplin

Published Nov. 20, 2012

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing to grant to the Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) an expanded utility easement, totaling approximately 5 acres, adjacent to CL&P’s existing 150-foot-wide utility easement, across approximately 1.4 miles of federal lands in the Mansfield Hollow Flood Control Facility in the towns of Mansfield and Chaplin, Conn.


The expanded easement, which will increase CL&P’s transmission line right-of-way (ROW) width by 25 feet for 0.9 mile across federal lands in Mansfield and by 35 feet for 0.5 mile across federal lands in Chaplin, will allow CL&P to construct, operate, and maintain a proposed new 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line, adjacent to the existing 345-kV transmission line that presently occupies the existing easement.


The Corps has conducted an analysis of the proposed easement expansion and has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment/Finding of No Significant Impact/Record of Non-Applicability (EA/FONSI/RONA) regarding the action. The draft EA/FONSI/RONA is available for review on the Corps’ website at:

http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/projects/EPindex.htm. In addition, copies are available for review at the Mansfield Public Library at 54 Warrenville Road in Mansfield and at the Chaplin Public Library at 130 Chaplin Street in Chaplin.


The public and local, state and federal agencies can send their comments about this proposal to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District. Comments should be submitted by Dec. 20, 2012.


The Mansfield Hollow area property owned by the Corps totals approximately 2,472 acres. These lands were acquired by the federal government approximately 60 years ago for the construction of the Mansfield Hollow Dam and Lake, which is designed to reduce flooding in the Thames River basin in conjunction with other federal projects in the area. The Corps presently leases 2,300 acres of this property to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), which manages it as Mansfield Hollow State Park and the Mansfield Hollow Wildlife Management Area.


The construction, operation and maintenance of the new 345-kV transmission line across the federal properties will be performed in accordance with CL&P’s best management practices and the conditions of all federal and state permits and certificates relevant to the Interstate Reliability Project. The Corps has evaluated alternatives to the 5-Acre Minimal ROW Expansion, as well as the environmental impacts and CL&P’s proposed mitigation measures, and has determined that the conveyance of 5 additional acres of easement to CL&P will not result in significant adverse environmental effects. This incremental expansion of the existing utility easement across the Mansfield Hollow properties will provide a cost-effective approach for achieving the objective of providing the best solution for improving the critically needed reliability of the regional electric transmission system.


Public comments on this proposal should be sent by Dec. 20, 2012 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Engineering/Planning Division, Evaluation Branch (Attn: Ms. Judith Johnson), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Ms. Judith Johnson at email: judith.l.johnson@usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2012-119