Opponents of an electrical transmission line slicing across the state fear a new assessment by the federal government paves the way for the project to become a reality.
The transmission line would run west to east passing through more than 10 Arkansas counties. The latest trajectory is about 1,000 feet wide, meaning precisely where the line will cross and whose property will be impacted still remains a bit of a mystery.
A Texas company called Clean Line is behind the project which would stretch 700 miles from Oklahoma to Tennessee, delivering power generated from wind farms in the Plains region.
The project requires a 200-foot right-of-way for power lines and an access road.
The company says 22 structures, including homes, barns and businesses are potentially in the way.
Lawyers who handle these type of cases have been getting calls from concerned property owners.
“It’s not about money,” said attorney Brandon Moffitt. “It’s about just losing the right to control what maybe has been in the family for generations.”
An environmental impact study released by the federal government cited some impact to ecosystems the line crosses and notes concerns of property owners who would have to look at it. But experts believe, overall, the study is a sign the federal government will approve the project.
Directly impacted property owners would be eligible for compensation.
The project has created an interesting split in the environmental community with some Arkansas activists worried about local impact.
Meanwhile, organizations like the Sierra Club are supporting it as a way to help reduce dependency on coal power plants.
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