The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) has decided to grant a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need, subject to certain provisions and conditions, to Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. for the construction and operation of an underground 345-kV electric transmission facility known as M-29.

“The construction of the M-29 transmission line was deemed in the public interest because it will enhance Con Edison’s ability to provide reliable power supply and improve reliability of the transmission and distribution system by relieving overload conditions and increasing capability to import power into New York City,” said Commission Chairwoman Patricia L. Acampora. “However, the Commission also recognizes the significant issues about the project raised by citizens and businesses in the affected area, and therefore it has decided to impose necessary checks on the project that will help mitigate those real and important concerns.”

The Order approved this week by the Commission addressed the active parties’ exceptions to the decision. The Order finds that the local community impacts from the construction of the transmission facility can be adequately minimized and mitigated by Con Edison. An environmental management and construction plan for the project will be used to require Con Edison to properly manage the noise, traffic, land use and community impacts during the construction period. Work on the transmission line will begin only after the Commission approves the environmental management and construction plan.

Con Edison considers the nearly $300 million transmission line project an essential infrastructure upgrade that will improve overall service. Local communities along the route, however, were deeply concerned about the noise, traffic, land use and community impacts associated with the construction of the project. To help identify possible concerns, the Commission held public statement hearings in Yonkers, Manhattan, and Riverdale. Several of the hearings were well-attended. The Commission took the concerns raised at the public statement hearings into account in its decision-making.

The Commission expects Con Edison to inform and work with every school, religious organization, residential complex, business, fire house and police station along the route to mitigate and minimize the adverse impacts due to construction and to allow the entities to make any necessary arrangements to manage their operations during the construction phase. The company must seek approval if there are any changes in the construction plan.

In June 2006, Con Edison filed an application to construct a 9.5 mile electric transmission line from Con Edison's existing Sprain Brook Substation in Yonkers to a new Academy Substation in upper Manhattan. The company subsequently revised its application to include a tunnel under the Harlem River. In the Bronx, the facility will run through Riverdale. The high-pressure, fluid-filled underground transmission cable will be placed primarily within the curb-to-curb portion of public road rights-of-way. Hearings were held to obtain the public’s views about the proposal and hearings were also held to consider Con Edison’s evidence supporting its application and the evidence presented by the other parties who participated in the proceeding.