November 27, 2021

NYSEG pulls plug on project

Company calls off plan to build 68.5-mile power line that would have cut through Cortland County

Jacob DeRochie/contributing photographer

Joe Mastriano stands across the road from his Truxton home, in the spot where a new power line would have gone. Last week, NYSEG notified residents in the path of a power line that it would not be constructed.

For almost a year, Joe Mastriano has lived a stressed-filled life in Truxton.

It was caused by the idea that New York State Electric & Gas would run a 68.5-mile, 345-kilovolt power line from National Grid’s LaFayette substation in Onondaga County, through Cortland County, to NYSEG’s Oakdale substation in Broome County.

On April 19, NYSEG sent a letter to residents affected by the power line stating the company project is no longer being pursued.

“Based on recent load forecasts from New York state and the New York Independent System Operator, We’ve reevaluated the need for Oakdale to LaFayette and have determined that Oakdale to LaFayette is no longer required to meet reliability criteria,” wrote Bob Pass, community outreach and development manager for NYSEG.

“We’re very pleased to hear from NYSEG it’s no longer needed,” said Kathie Arnold of Truxton, co-chairwoman of the Broome/Cortland/Onondaga Forest, Farm, and Home Preservation Alliance.

Arnold already has three power lines running through her property — she didn’t want a fourth.

“We’re grateful that NYSEG was willing to reassess the need for the power line,” she said.

NYSEG has said the project would’ve created a more reliable energy grid.

However, through the process, landowners were concerned about the easement being presented to them. The proposal stated that while NYSEG would get access to the land — including the vegetation — crops could be excluded — but all liability would still be on the landowner.

The company could store equipment and any materials on the land.

Mastriano has lived at his Kettlebail Road property for almost 10 years. He built his home from the ground up on the slope of a hill. “Everything I had or am going to have is tied up in the house,” he said.

When he first started building there was already one power line running across the road from his home. He never imagined he might have to face another.

When he heard the news that the line was not continuing, the weight came off his shoulders. The first thing he did was write a letter to Arnold thanking her for everything she and the alliance had done. “I was ecstatic when I heard the news,” he said.