NORWICH – A crowd of about 100 attended a public meeting Saturday at the Norwich Fire House to protest the federal government’s potential use of eminent domain, a law that would ultimately allow privately-held New York Regional Interconnect Inc.’s power line to go through.
Congressman Michael A. Arcuri, D-Utica, hosted the gathering to highlight the Department of Energy’s “disingenuous” effort to inform the public about the matter at an upcoming meeting in Rochester, more than 125 miles away from the nearest affected landowner.
“It seems to me that this location is more for the convenience of representatives of the DOE and not the constituency the proposed (www.evesun.com/topics/news/NYRI/">NYRI) project would affect,” Arcuri said.
Arcuri also hosted a similar gathering in Utica on May 31.
NYRI’s 190-mile long line of towers – many as high as 115 feet – would transmit upstate’s electricity to meet customer demands downstate. The proposed route begins in Utica and extends to Rock Tavern in Orange County. The opposition says the project would bring higher prices for electricity upstate, scar the scenic region’s tourism industry and pose health risks.
The DOE announced a draft mid-Atlantic Area National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor for New York State in April. The corridor encompasses NYRI’s proposed route, 44 miles of which cut through Chenango County.
Arcuri told those gathered that U.S. Representatives Maurice Hinchey, John Hall, himself and other elected officials in New York are encouraging those affected by the DOE’s proposed corridors in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio to join what he called a “non-partisan, national issue.”