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Environment

Leveraging Existing Rights-of-Way

NYES will leverage existing rights-of-way to the greatest extent possible, resulting in a significant reduction in the amount of corridor that could be impacted.

Emission Reduction

NYES will allow for a significant amount of constrained wind energy to be delivered. This will result in net, statewide reduction in CO2 and NOX emissions.

Diverse Energy Sources

The NYES will improve transmission system capacity to provide better access to diverse sources of energy, including renewables. NYES will address and alleviate two constraints to delivering wind energy that were identified in a 2010 New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) Wind Study: upgrading transmission systems to allow for the currently constrained wind energy to be delivered to the bulk transmission system, and better transfer of bulk power allowing renewable energy to more freely flow to downstate markets.

Agriculture

NYES will consult with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (Ag & Markets) throughout all phases of the project; the Article VII application process, the Environmental Management and Construction Plan (EM&CP) process, construction and post construction.

Ag & Markets has design criteria for transmission lines that traverse agricultural lands, requiring that projects be designed to the extent possible to a) avoid or limit the placement of structures and guys on crop fields or other active agricultural land where the structures or guys may significantly interfere with normal agricultural operations or activities b) use taller structures to provide longer spanning distances c) locate structures on field edges. The locations of rights-of-way and structures will reviewed by Ag & Markets prior to the final design and, where practical, adjustments will be made to mitigate agricultural impacts to the greatest extent possible.

The Ag & Markets guidelines for transmission line construction include protection measures for agricultural lands during construction as well as post-construction including site restoration and post construction monitoring. An Agricultural Monitor will be hired to ensure that agricultural protection measures are implemented and will consult with individual landowners and Ag & Markets throughout all phases of construction. Agricultural resource protection measures may include, among others, the use of timber matting to reduce soil compaction and the installation of fences and gates to contain livestock and control undesirable property access. In areas where matting is not practical, topsoil stripping and stockpiling may be used to restore the original soil profile during the restoration phase of the project. Noise reduction standards are also included to protect and prevent undue disturbance to livestock. Additionally, NYES mitigation measures will require management of invasive species. This includes construction practices such as the cleaning of equipment to reduce the transport of the seeds of invasive species.

Agricultural lands will be monitored post-construction to address the needs of agricultural landowners. NYES will continue to respond to the reasonable requests of agricultural landowners to correct project-related effects on their land.