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New England Power Company seeks permit to place fill to construct utility structures, transmission line in Westborough

Published May 22, 2012

CONCORD, Mass. – The New England Power Company, doing business as National Grid, is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the United States in conjunction with construction of utility structures and a transmission line in Westborough, Mass.


The work proposed by New England Power Company includes the discharge of fill material below the ordinary high water line of waters of the U.S. including wetlands for the construction of four utility structures in order to expand an existing electric substation and construct a new electric transmission line on East Main Street (Route 30) in Westborough.


The project purpose is to address electricity reliability issues in the Westborough/Southborough area.

A proposed 115kV electric transmission supply line will be constructed 50 feet northeast and parallel to an existing supply line. The new transmission line will require four new structures within wetlands, one of which will replace an existing structure. Structures will be of varying type and will range in height from 65 to 80 feet above grade. Permanent wetland impacts from the direct placement of the four electric structures will be approximately 0.01 acre.


To facilitate temporary access within wetlands during construction, swamp mats will be placed within wetlands and across an intermittent stream for access to new structure locations, equipment staging, and conductor stringing areas.


Swamp mats consist of heavy timbers or planking joined to form stable platforms that are placed over the surface of wetlands. Wetland areas covered by swamp mats will be restored in place at the end of construction. Temporary wetland impacts from the placement of swamp mats will be approximately 0.43 acre.


In order to build the new transmission line and to provide adequate safety clearance for new electrical conductors, it will be necessary to clear trees along a 50-foot width northeast of the centerline of the proposed transmission line structures along the entire length of the project. In wetland areas where this is necessary, there will be permanent conversion of forested wetlands to scrub-shrub and emergent vegetation wetlands. Secondary wetland impacts from wetland conversion due to tree clearing will be approximately 0.94 acre.


Total wetland impacts from permanent, temporary and secondary impacts will be approximately 1.38 acres. 


The application for the federal permit was filed by the New England Power Company with the Corps in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in United States waters, including wetlands. The public notice, with more specifics on the proposed work, can be viewed on the Corps website at Select Regulatory and then public notices or go directly to


Public comments on this proposed work by the New England Power Company (file # NAE-2011-297) should be forwarded no later than June 22, 2012 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Kevin Kotelly), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Kevin Kotelly at 978-318-8703 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to:


Tim Dugan

Release no. 2012-047