TDI-New England, a company that has plans to spend $1.2 billion to lay a 154-mile power line from the Canadian border to a town in central Vermont, will pay $284 million to eliminate environmental concerns about the project. These concerns stem from the fact that the cable will be buried along the bottom of Lake Champlain, a body of water on the Vermont-New York border, for most of the route. This figure is $124 million above the company's originally planned contribution. In response, the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), a forefront environmental advocacy group, will not be opposing the project now.
That project, called The New England Clean Power Link, is one of five proposals to bring Canadian hydropower to New England. According to the project's website, once completed, the power line will cut costs for consumers, reduce emissions and more. This contribution is made to reduce the impact of the cables that will be laid, which will stir up sediment and have some effects on underwater life and how the lake is utilized. These funds will not raise the overall cost of the project because they will be paid out of operating revenues over the cable's 40-year lifespan — like property taxes.
Christopher Kilian, the Vermont office director for CLF, said his organization was satisfied by this deal. The money will be divided among organizations devoted to supporting renewable energy in Vermont, a fund dedicated to improving the lake and a final that backs efforts to reduce phosphorus levels in the lake. Along with the contribution, CLF will be appointed to a committee to advise TDI on renewable energy and another that oversees the lake-improvement fund.
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