Empowering Fairfield Cheers Challenge to UI Power Corridor Plan

FAIRFIELD, CT —A fast-growing grassroots organization composed of local area residents, civic organizations, religious leaders and small businesses organized by the Sasco Creek Neighbors Environmental Trust Inc. (SCNETI) today issued the following statement of support for the actions of federal, state and local government leaders in opposition to United Illuminating’s power corridor plan:

A unique bi-partisan coalition of seven elected government leaders at the federal, state and town of Fairfield levels have united in pleas to The United Illuminating Company to heed public concerns about their plan for a new power corridor, withdraw the plan and ultimately re-file with an improved, less damaging approach.

Three different letters were sent including one penned jointly from U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes urging the Connecticut Siting Council to reject the UI plan. A second letter sent collectively from State Sen. Tony Hwang, State Rep. Jennifer Leeper, State Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey, and State Rep. Sarah Keitt as well as a third from Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick to UI President and CEO Frank Reynolds both highlighted the community’s distrust of UI and requested its withdrawal and refiling of the current plan. Each of the three letters can be seen posted on the website of the Sasco Creek Neighbors Environmental Trust Inc. (SCNETI), a non-profit organization formed to protect Fairfield’s environment, safeguard property rights, health and safety by opposing UI’s power corridor plan. The letters, sent late last week, can be seen at:


UI’s current plan involves the construction of new 100–145-foot monopoles and transmission lines along 7.3 miles South of the existing Metro North/Amtrak railway. Major questions have been raised about property loss through the 19.25 acres of easements the plan would require, as well as potential environmental risks to wooded areas and wetlands resulting from the excavation needed to support the new monopoles.

“The proposed plan carries severe economic repercussions for the Fairfield and Bridgeport communities. To date, UI has not demonstrated transparency and openness but rather has exhibited deception and evasiveness concerning the substantial easements affecting private property owners. These easements have the potential to reclassify certain properties non-conforming, possibly placing them at risk of complete seizure,” said Andrea Ozyck, a spokesperson for SCNETI. 

“We are encouraged by the unified support from our elected officials and are all actively seeking the opportunity to work with UI to identify a strategy that better balances the need for a robust, resilient power grid and the desire to protect our community,” she added.

The letter from U.S. Sen. Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Himes said, “This project, in its current terms, would negatively impact generations to come. We urge the Connecticut Siting Council to reject the current proposal and seek alternatives…”

The letter from the Fairfield area delegation to the Connecticut General Assembly pointed out that two additional hearings are set where intervenors can provide comment and suggestions, adding:

“…we join both community leaders and counsel for the intervenors to request that UI withdraw and immediately re-file the application to re-start the statutory deadline for the Connecticut Siting Council Decision.”

First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick’s letter echoed that request, “Such action would demonstrate a measure of good faith and provide a significant step for UI to repair the distrust it has within the community.”

About SCENTI and Empowering Fairfield

Empowering Fairfield is a grassroots effort spearheaded by the Sasco Creek Neighbors Environmental Trust Inc. (SCNETI), a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect the Fairfield/Southport community by opposing the current United Illuminating transmission line rebuild proposal, advocating instead for alternative solutions that better meet the needs of our community.

For more information visit EmpoweringFairfield

Submitted by Fairfield, CT

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