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From Ray Phillips at PS.

The author of the article says, “let's imagine what things will be like ten years from now”

Yes, Protect Sudbury, the Town of Sudbury, and the entire community have thought long and hard, and ‘imagined’ many of the possible outcomes, both intended and unintended. And while we hope that none of these will ever come to pass, there is enough fact based evidence to suggest that many of the outcomes described below are more probable than not. Our community’s own experience with Eversource suggests that the utopian view presented in this article borders on fantasy. Our ‘imagi-nation’ provides a somewhat different view.

Eversource and their PR machine will be long gone.

Eversource as a corporation will in all likelihood have been acquired, have declared bankruptcy, or rein-vented themselves somehow, leaving in their wake a 9 mile unhealed scar through Sudbury’s business district, residential neighborhoods, and conservation lands. A scar that by then will have regularly been sprayed with thousands of gallons of herbicides by contracted crews that would have long since forgotten where all those ‘sensitive areas’ identified by MEPA and the Sudbury Conservation Commission are located (private wells, rivers and streams, zone 2 aquifer, etc.).
The former rail bed will have been transformed into a sun scorched corridor, no longer frequented by man or beast due to the inherent dangers and devastated environment. Nothing along this nine mile corridor will have recovered, in ten years, because nothing could recover due to the regular spraying and clearing of this 30 to 50 foot high voltage transmission corridor.

In ten years, there will still be no sign of a ‘rail trail’, only a poorly maintained ‘access road’. With no budget of their own, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will be unable to fund any development of such recreation trails, never mind repairing the damage done by Eversource to the bridges on the rail bed. The bridges that were left unusable and unsafe by Eversource for pedestrian use in the aftermath of the construction project.

The only thing crossing the streams is the 115kv high voltage transmission line. With the eventual and inevitable planned upgrade of that line to 345kv, the level of EMF emitted by the line increases exponentially, making continuous exposure even more hazardous to those that would walk adjacent to the line.

In far less than ten years, many of the protected species within the conservation areas will have declined or disappeared altogether, either poisoned by the herbicides or run over by the Eversource construction vehicles and unauthorized ATV’s that regularly travel up and down the access road day and night. The additional sunlight that now warms up Hop Brook will have killed the remaining Brooktrout in the one of the few protected cold water fisheries in the State, just as it will have completely transformed the natural ecosystem that once thrived there.

In about ten years, the Sudbury Water District will be alerting residents that additional wells are now threatened as the plume of contamination from the rail bed continues to spread. By this time, at least two wells have already been shut down as the toxins released during the construction project would have migrated through the sandy and porous aquifer into the Raymond Road well sites. The removal of the numerous containments will be virtually impossible and the Town will be forced to operate year round under severe water restrictions until a solution is found. Residents will be reluctant to even bathe in the limited water that is still supplied. The Town will have already spent close to a million dollars in legal fees trying to obtain some form of monetary remediation from the corporate successors of Eversource, but the assets of this once billion dollar corporation will now be almost non-existent or unobtainable.

Because of the loss of so much of our wetlands due to the thousands of acres of fill dumped by Ever-source, flooding of Sudbury’s roadways, once a rare event, will now occur on a regular basis throughout all the low lying areas in town. Traffic and commerce will be disrupted due to the flooded roads that now must be shut down until the water recedes. Many of the residences along the rail bed, will now regularly deal with flooded basements and backyards. The loss of 27,000 trees and the two million gallons of water they retained now flows freely into surrounding areas.
The properties that initially saw a decline of 30% of their value, will remain depressed and entire neigh-borhoods will be transformed as those residents able to flee will do so. The loss in property values will further depress tax revenues, placing greater pressure on the schools and other town services.

Contrary to the claims of Bob Clarke, there is no amount of mitigation or “water management” that a project of this scale can perform without some or all of these ‘unintended consequences’. Mr. Clarke further states: Infrastructure in general isn’t popular...What we’re trying to do is move forward... in a responsible manner.”

There is nothing ‘responsible’ about the actions of Eversource
.
It’s not responsible to destroy a natural habitat

It’s not responsible to threaten drinking water supply

It’s not responsible to clear cut a forest that supports aquifer
recharge and flooding control

It’s not responsible to do invasive trenching in sensitive wetlands in on contaminated rail beds

It’s not responsible to do these things in a way that puts people and the environment in jeopardy

It’s not responsible to spend rate payers’ money to build something not needed in the first place.

The actions of Eversource are in fact, a demonstration of the extreme irresponsibility that corpora-tions can demonstrate when they are left unchecked and are granted rights and privileges to willfully destroy communities and the environment.

An exaggeration? Perhaps. But a real possibility if Eversource and the siting process aren't kept in check. Bob Clarke admits all they see is the 'most direct route' - to finally doing this 2012 project, getting their corporate returns, and moving on. What is not mentioned in the article is that should this underground plan prove to be infeasible due to the inability to obtain necessary permits or any other significant impediments, Eversource can revert back to the overhead solution, by merely providing a 60 day notice to the Siting board. Given the environmental challenges and construction obstacles, it is not difficult to ‘imagine’ those 105 foot transmission towers being erected to get the job done and move on.

Sudbury, Hudson, Marlboro and Stow have imagined the possible outcome ten years from now if the high voltage transmission line project goes through. What we imagine is not as rosy as the Eversource outcome and our fears are based on real and actual data. Their imagined outcome is based on a desire to fool the public and to push our communities aside so they can get their 12% on this construction boondoggle. If a transmission line is needed, Eversource can and should put it under existing roadways as this is the only way to prevent the devastating environmental damage their MBTA right of way routes would cause. A temporary inconvenience of roadway construction pales in comparison to a ‘Silent Spring’ like outcome if they are allowed on the right of way.
Under-streets may not be the shortest path, Bob, but it is the most responsible one!
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A short film produced by Sean O'Neill.

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Just to give you the slightest idea of how the process of siting utility projects is stacked against the average American, I have attached a projected calendar of EFSB hearing dates. Tomorrow's hearing will address the upcoming hearing scheduling. It will be the first of 28 or more hearings! Some, a week long! Yes folks, for abutters or business owners or concerned families who truly want to intervene, you would need a minimum of 10 people to form an intervener group and you would need to pay for or find a pro-bono attorney. And yes, you would need at least 28+days off from work. Meanwhile, all of the utility emplyees are paid for this task. Paid by you. You are now officially a surf. ... See MoreSee Less

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MEPA public comment period is till July 3rd

Eversource has filed their plan for an underground route along MBTA right of way to Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Board. We currently have open 20 day window for public input to MEPA through an assigned representative till July 3rd. Please continue to follow our Facebook page for further information.

At the Hudson Board of Selectman meeting on April 24th, they stated that town supports under the road option rather than the MBTA.

Send your comments to MEPA by using this template. Email address to send the letter to MEPA is Czepiga@state.ma.us

Download the template letter here, and feel free to update it with your comment about how it will affect you.

Eversource Energy wants to build an 8.9 mile long, 115 thousand volt, 80 foot wide, 70+ foot high, line of high tension powerlines from central Sudbury to Hudson Light and Power on Forest Ave in Hudson, MA

This project, billed as a “power upgrade”, will follow the abandoned MBTA rail line on Rte. 20 in Sudbury and will head west, abutting small businesses and 350+ families’ homes. It then enters the Assabet Valley Wildlife Refuge, 1 of only 4 federal wildlife refuges in MA and into the Marlboro State Forest, 1 of only 70 state forests in MA. It then enters Hudson and passes scores of families’ homes as it crosses White Pond Rd, Parmenter Rd and Main St near Kane Industrial Park. It then heads towards downtown Hudson where it will be connected to Hudson Light and Power.

Please read the most recent proposal by Eversource Energy as well as the initial Northeast Utilities Greater Boston study solution. You will realize that this has been in the planning stage for years with no input from stakeholders. Eversource Energy states that ‘Hudson town representatives” were met with and shown this proposed project in early 2015. The public was made aware February 2016. Eversource Energy constantly states that they have “sought community input and listened to stakeholders”. They have never done either. The current proposal by Eversource Energy is so flawed and packed with false information it is shocking.

Current project proposal

Transmission Projects

This project, as proposed, will result in property devaluation which will affect the tax assessment for the whole town. Thus affecting budgets for all Town of Hudson entities. Police, Fire, schools, DPW ect. The immediate environmental destruction, possible detrimental health effects and long term blight will be the legacy left by Eversource Energy, local, state and federal government and all entities that would allow this to happen. We as abutters, residents, and all who cherish these forests and our rural town must stop this from happening by organizing against this project, labeled “The Sudbury to Hudson Transmission Reliability Project”.

It is important to know that this project is surveyed to pass directly over ALL of Hudson’s watershed protection districts. It is certain that if the MBTA right of way (ROW) is the site for this utility route. Herbicides will be sprayed directly on the ground where the towers or trench (possible underground installation) is located. As you can see in the included Hudson watershed protection map, herbicides will be sprayed directly over al aquafers in Hudson!

Hudson watershed protection map

Mass DEP assesment of Hudson water

April 24th Board of Selectman’s Meeting

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Upcoming Meetings:

Board of Selectman’s meeting – July 10th at 7 PM

You can find more events on the town calendar – Town of Hudson Meeting Calendar

We are thankful for their support. Click on the image to see the support letter.
Hudson Conservation Commission Comments