Numbers redux

This time last year, one of Protect Sudbury’s most popular blog posts, Let’s do the numbers, was published. Now that Eversource has filed with the EFSB, here are the numbers, updated with all the most recent information:

3 alternatives in Eversource’s filing to the Energy Facilities Siting Board.

Project” (i.e. underground along the MBTA right of way)
Noticed Variation” (i.e. overhead along the MBTA right of way)
Noticed Alternative” (i.e. under streets from Sudbury to Hudson)

6 “to be determined” as the answer in the first 29 pages of Eversource’s Environmental Notification Form. If an applicant came before the local conservation commission and had TBD as the response to a standard question every 5 pages, they’d have to start over.

4.3 miles – distance along MBTA right of way for both the “Project “ (underground) and “Noticed Variation” (overhead) options. 9 miles total from Sudbury to Hudson, through Stow and Marlborough. 

4 protected conservation areas bisected by MBTA right of way – Hop Brook Marsh, Memorial Forest, Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, and Marlborough-Sudbury State Forest

900 acres of connected conservation lands impacted. The MBTA right of way is the thread that links them all together. Managing entities are the Mass. DCR, Federal Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, Sudbury Valley Trustees, and the Marlborough and Sudbury Conservation Commissions.

5,930 linear feet (i.e. more than a mile) are within priority and estimated habitat areas for rare and endangered species

6,145 linear feet (i.e. more than a mile) abut protected town open space with public access

8 perennial stream crossings

10 vernal pools, 5 certified and 5 with documentation collected for certification

24 endangered, threatened or species of special concern as classified by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. 7 birds, 2 amphibians, 2 beetles, 3 reptiles, and 10 plants.

8 herbicides – still currently approved for use by Mass EEA on their Rights of Way Sensitive Area Materials List. Two are of particular concern: Glyphosate (Roundup) is classed as a probable carcinogen by the IARC. Fosamine (Krenite) is not approved for residential use although Eversource uses it on rights of way bordering residential properties.

1.7 miles, 1 water source, 18,000 residents – for both overhead and underground ROW route. The Sudbury Water District wrote of its concern about herbicide use in its letter to the Energy Facilities Siting Board “once contamination of groundwater occurs, it can be extremely costly to remove the contamination, if even possible.” Herbicide use is still spelled out in the overhead option and it’s unclear if they will be used for the underground option.

>600 properties listed as direct abutters, adjacent to the right-of-way, or in an impacted neighborhood
1/3 of the households in Sudbury within 3,000 feet of the right-of-way (>1800 properties )
1 – 30% impact on property values in Sudbury

Underground Option – “The Project” i.e. the preferred option with all the impacts along the ROW plus specifically:

26.7 acres of tree clearing

12,962 square feet of fill placed in bordering vegetated wetlands

13,794 square feet of other type of wetlands cleared of trees

A staggering 756,436 square feet of tree clearing outside of bordering vegetated wetland. That is over three quarters of a million square feet of trees cleared within wetland areas.

In excess of the area of 20 regulation size American football fields to be cleared of trees within wetland areas.

More than 12.5 acres of permanent wetland fill

30 feet – the width of the clear cut underground ROW option

50 feet – width of clearing required every 1500 feet in order to install splice boxes for the underground option.

30 feet long / 10 feet wide / 8 feet deep – dimensions of splice vaults placed every 1500 feet along the right of way, buried 12 to 15 feet below the access road.

4 feet wide / up to 8 feet deep – the dimensions of the duct bank trench the entire length of the underground ROW “Project” option.

Overhead Option – “Noticed Variation” i.e. the 2nd option with all the impacts along the MBTA ROW above, although details of fill requirements have not been submitted to date

82 feet – The width of the clearcut for the overhead option

60 acres, 27,000 trees removed to clear the 82 foot right of way

100 feet – The height of the monopoles for the “Noticed Variation” overhead option on the ROW

“Noticed Alternative” (under street option)

5.46 miles in Sudbury: Route 20, Green Hill Road, Old Lancaster Road, Hudson Road in Sudbury

Zero acres of tree clearing

Zero square feet of fill in bordering vegetated wetlands

Zero square feet of other type of wetlands cleared of trees

Zero acres of permanent wetland fill

Zero threatened species

Zero herbicides

Zero conservation areas negatively affected by under street route

Zero abutters experiencing anything more than temporary construction

115 kilovolts (kV) – the high voltage transmission wires, either underground (“Project”), overhead “(Noticed Variation”), or under street “Noticed Alternative”).

And the biggest zero goes to Eversource for the amount of experience it has in building recreation trails.



Eversource’s Siting Petition EFSB17-02
Eversource ENF Submission to MEPA:
Protect Sudbury YouTube playlist EFSB hearing:
Sudbury Valley Trustees
Mass EEA sensitive areas list
PS research: