Thursday, May 17, 2007

Norwalk's Shellfish Commissioner Thinks a New Sound Cable Will Damage Oyster Beds

The underwater cable that Bryan Brown wrote about, here, a few of weeks ago, is the subject of a Stamford Advocate story, here. In particular, John Frank, Norwalk's Shellfish Commissioner, isn't convinced that the project won't damage the area's oyster beds. He says he'll force a public hearing -- all he needs is 25 signatures on a petition, he says -- unless Northeast Utilities works a little harder to minimize the damage.

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Blogger Sam said...

Gee Tom, barges and towboats, heavy lifting equiment, excavators, boring drills, robotic cable-layers, trenching and filling, sounds turbid to me!

But on the other hand, you have several old cables there and some are leaking electrical insulation fluid, being similar to the oil used in transformers (and hopefully not a dioxin compound which used to be used long ago).

I'd say the project should proceed but there should be conditions in the permit such as having 1-2 certified biologists on the boats every day. You really don't want a paper study but real biologists in boats. They get to halt work when turtles, prorpoise, and any endangered species are present. They can also watch the turbidity and say which tides are best so as to minimize excessive siltation.

Finally, the trenches should be repaired, especially in shallow waters and the shell beds. This would involve ensuring the trenches are properly filled, re-seeding oysters, and restoring any sea or marsh grass, as would be appropriate.

The biologist contractor should have posted telephone numbers and several means of contact in case people have complaints or need information. Maybe all that would work. /sammie

12:14 PM  

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