Residents react to Clean Line project - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Residents react to Clean Line project

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - Clean Line will meet with Poinsett County residents Tuesday to answer questions and provide information about the Plains and Eastern Clean Line project.

The company is hoping to build a 700-mile transmission line from Oklahoma to Arkansas, Tennessee and other states in the mid-south. An associate with the company said this project would create hundreds of construction jobs in the area and low-cost energy for the state. Residents in Poinsett County are concerned the project will have a negative impact on their land and the environment. 

"I feel that if I don't stand up, I'll be the one to suffer the consequences," said Rachel Barber, a Fisher resident and landowner. "Anytime you try to impose mechanical structure on land that is wildlife, I fear those consequences are something we cant take back.

Clean Line has proposed a converter station in Arkansas that would have the capacity to deliver up to 500 megawatts power. StateRepresentativee John Hutchinson said this amount of power has only been used in Europe. 

"I have done research that says it can cause brain tumors in young children, it can alter migratory flight patterns in birds," he said. 

Hutchinson said he hopes Clean Line will see the negative impact this transmission line will have on residents. 

"I represent the people, and I'm against it," Hutchinson told Region 8 News. 

Clean Line had office hours Tuesday at the Poinsett County Courthouse Annex building. Chris Hardy with Clean Line said this gives residents the chance to voice their concerns and ask any questions to representatives. Clean Line expects to pay millions of dollars per year in taxes and other revenue to counties and communities that the host the transmission line. 

"We are here to listen and engage in one-on-one conversations with you as a landowner," Hardy said.

Clean Line wind transmission project is projected for 2018. Wind power would be transmitted 700 miles for use by the TVA. 

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