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Eversource to present latest transmission line plan through Sudbury

Eversource officials will be meeting with the Sudbury Board of Selectmen in the coming week to present “refinements’’ to its proposal for a controversial new electric transmission line that will run through town to Hudson.

Company spokesman Mike Durand declined to give details of the plan, saying officials are still putting the finishing touches on the presentation.

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“We’ll be prepared to lay out those changes at next week’s meeting,’’ Durand said. “The refinements we’re making to the options are based on additional comments and suggestions we’ve received from the communities.’’

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Sudbury. Selectmen’s meetings are typically held at Town Hall but this meeting was moved to accommodate a large crowd.

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Ray Phillips, president of the opposition group Protect Sudbury, said residents are eager to see the plan.

“We don’t know what’s going to be in that presentation,’’ he said. “There is certainly a big question mark.’’

In September, Eversource revised its original plan to include four options for the line. Three of the four options were on the company’s preferred 9-mile route along an abandoned MBTA rail bed. The fourth option, a 10.5-mile alternative route, would put all lines underneath Sudbury streets.

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The rail bed options were: One that’s all above-ground power lines, a second that’s all underground lines, and a third in which the lines in Sudbury would be underground and those in Hudson above-ground. In all options, the route would include additional lines beneath Hudson Streets.

Protect Sudbury opposes any plan that calls for overhead or underground transmission wires along the rail bed, saying it would do irreparable harm to the community by destroying conservation land and wildlife, potentially contaminating the town’s water supply through the use of herbicides, and decimating home values.

Overhead lines require a right-of-way clearing of 82 feet, while the underground lines would require a 30-foot right of way clearing.

Durand said Eversource hopes to file its plan with the state’s Energy Facilities Siting Board soon after its meeting in Sudbury. The siting board will make the final decision.

Jennifer Fenn Lefferts can be reached at jflefferts@yahoo.com.
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