Welcome to Protect Sudbury blog, a place for information and ruminations about the community and natural areas that we are seeking to protect in response to Eversource’s Sudbury to Hudson Transmission Reliability Project. The project proposes to cut an eighty foot wide gash of hundred foot poles carrying high voltage transmission lines through the heart of Sudbury and some of our most beloved conservation land, Hop Brook Marsh and Memorial Forest.
Stone walls weaving their way through deeply wooded areas in our town are a testimony to Sudbury’s agrarian past, and past of clearing forested lands. In this century, rather than clearing forest, we as a town work to preserve it, both for the trees themselves and for all the myriad of wildlife and undergrowth the forest supports. The large tracts of undeveloped land and forest drew many of us to our town in the first place. Sudbury as a community is known for its foresight to preserve open and forested land. Land is the one thing we can’t just make more of (hat tip to Will Rogers) and once the gash is cut by Eversource and the poles are erected, our town will be scarred irreparably and the essence and beauty of our community will be forever changed.
When Eversource goes before the Massachusetts’ Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) in the next few weeks, the EFSB’s nine member board is tasked with ensuring a reliable energy supply for the Commonwealth with a minimum impact on the environment at the lowest possible cost. In a spectacular feat of twentieth century thinking, Eversource’s proposal emphasizes lowest possible cost at the expense of environmental impact. The full cost is to the distinctive nature of our town, its historic district, its residents, and the forested areas that supports a myriad of flora and fauna. The fight against Eversource’s “reliability” plan is a fight to preserve the character of our town, our properties, and our citizens’ health. It’s a fight against a huge corporate interest, bent on making decisions purely based on its pursuit of profit, rather than truly including all stakeholders – residents, local protected and unprotected species, and the natural beauty of the land itself.
Many of Protect Sudbury’s members have raised questions or put considerable effort and expertise into researching particular issues relevant to the project and posted comments, summaries, and links on our Facebook page. These include concerns about the health impacts of Eversource’s pesticides use plan, the effect of electromagnetic fields (EMF) from the transmission towers, the impact on home values and abutter rights, protected species that inhabit the forests that will be affected by the plan, the importance of uninterrupted forest and wetlands to our local community and in the context of the wider New England environment, and Eversource’s history of corporate malfeasance. As the weeks go by, posts will expand on these points and concerns as raised by our member. The goal is to present solid information our members can use in our fight against Eversource, but views are my own.
In the words of Chris Maser, “What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” Our reaction in response to Eversource’s plan is our chance to reflect well on us.