Q:What is the Verde Power Line?
A.A 33-mile long high voltage power line with 90 – 125 ft. tall transmission towers spaced every 800 ft. carrying the huge electric load of 345-kilovolts that is only used for very long-range transmission—not local usage.
Q:Where is it located?
A. The towers will run from the Ojo Substation in Rio Arriba County to the Norton Substation in Santa Fe County. It will run alongside the western border of Hernandez, passing very close to Hernandez Elementary School, cross the northern foot of Black Mesa, and run along the border between Rio Arriba and Santa Fe Counties, which is the southern-most border of La Mesilla.At least 145 La Mesilla homes will be within the ½ mile danger zone.The line will negatively impact five schools and more than 800 homes in Santa Fe County and Rio Arriba County.
Q.Are there health risk associated with it?
A. YES:School children in Hernandez, Pojoaque and Espanola face significant health risks - such as childhood leukemia- from proximity to the line.Homeowners who live close by risk elevated levels of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. Livestock have been shown to have increased miscarriages and low milk yield.
Q. What are other impacts?
A. 1. ECONOMIC IMPACT: loss of revenue from tourism and film industry— New Mexico’s largest growing economic sectors — substantial decrease in property values and ensuing local tax revenue. According to Jemez Electric Coop, local utility bills will pass along increased costs.
2. DESTRUCTION OF NATURAL ENVIRONMENT:The towers will blight the natural landscape – including the sacred BLACK MESA.
3. WILDLIFE: Migratory birds will be harmed, wildlife habitat destroyed.
Q:Who is building it?
A.A private Texas corporation called Hunt Power.
Q.Who profits from it?
A.The Texas corporation, Hunt Power, as well as the heads of the Pueblos and Land Grants who will get millions for right-of way.But the tribal members were not even told about this deal, even though Hunt was in negotiation with the dealmakers for 6 years.
Q.Does Northern New Mexico NEED a new high power transmission line?
A. No.The line would not provide electricity for our communities.In all likelihood power will be delivered out of state to AZ, CA and/or Mexico.
Q.What groups oppose construction of the line?
A. TO DATE: Espanola City Council, Espanola School Board, Pojoaque Valley School District, Jemez Mountain Electric Coop, Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Northern New Mexico Protects, Sustainable Santa Fe, and more than 4,400 signatures on our opposition petition (see change.org).