Environmental Impact Statement Required<br> for Electric Cable Project Proposed for Lake Champlain

Photo by Carolyn L Bates

The Department of Energy has determined that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be required for the proposed underwater electric cable planned for the bottom of Lake Champlain. Champlain Hudson Power, Inc. applied for a permit to construct, operate, and maintain a high-voltage direct current transmission line that would carry electricity from sources in Canada to the New York City area. Part of the route for the cable would run along the bottom of Lake Champlain. The EIS will investigate potential environmental impacts and reasonable alternatives, including a ‘no action’ alternative. “The scale and scope of the project mandate a very thorough review,” noted LCC Executive Director Lori Fisher who attended meetings on the project in April and July. “LCC is concerned about any permanent alteration of the lake bottom and the potential impact on fish and other wildlife, wetlands, recreation and cultural resources.” As part of the alternatives analysis, LCC wants the EIS to consider routes such as utilizing existing railroad right of ways and address worst case scenarios should any equipment fail. “If the underwater line is ultimately approved, the permit should be conditioned so that Champlain Valley communities gain some ecological and economic benefit. One idea we’ve proposed is for the electric cable to supply power for an invasive species barrier in the Champlain Canal” said Fisher.