The Woodward News

Local News

February 3, 2013

DOE discusses Clean Line impact

(Continued)

Woodward, Okla. — OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT QUESTION AND COMMENTS

Another concern broached dealt with socioeconomic impact of the project, as audience members wanted to know what kind of financial benefit the area might see from the project.

Mario Hurtado, executive vice president of Clean Line, who also attended Thursday's meeting, said that the project would have an approximately "$2 million per mile investment" into the area economy just for construction of the transmission line alone.  Hurtado said Clean Line would then be responsible for paying Oklahoma ad valorem taxes on an annual basis with the revenue to be paid to the counties, divvied up based on how many miles of the line stretch through a particular county.

Another question dealt with waste management impacts and who would be responsible if the transmission line were to be abandoned at a later date.  Summerson said that is something the DOE would have to research as part of the EIS to see how the lines could be decommissioned and what the recommended action would be.  She added that if DOE chooses to join in the project, "it could be built into an agreement between the Department of Energy and Clean Line that after the transmission line is left abandoned for a certain time, then Clean Line would have to take certain steps to decommission it."

Something else Summerson said the DOE would have to do more research into is the potential health hazards the transmission line could have on persons living and working around the operational line.  The issue was broached Thursday after an audience member expressed concerns over the fact that the proposed Plains & Eastern would be a direct current (DC) line, whereas traditionally electricity transmission lines have used alternating current (AC).

Summerson explained that the direct current technology is fairly recent, but that "in terms of the electric magnetic field effect, I've heard that DC is better and has less of an effect on organic tissue such as those in animals and humans than AC."

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