Know the Facts about the Mark Twain Transmission Project

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Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) is planning to build a 345,000-volt transmission line in northeast Missouri along with a new substation near Kirksville. Known as the Mark Twain Transmission Project, it consists of two line segments, from Palmyra to Kirksville, and Kirksville to the Iowa border. The total length of these segments is approximately 100 miles. The Mark Twain Transmission Project also includes construction of a 161,000‐volt connector transmission line from the existing Adair Substation to the Zachary Substation. This connection will be approximately 2.2 miles in length. 


A need for delivering wind energy – Missouri law requires utilities to provide greater amounts of renewable energy. To help meet this need for renewable energy, the Midwest region’s transmission system operator developed an electricity grid improvement plan, including the Mark Twain Transmission Project, to provide the transmission capacity needed to promote the development and delivery of renewable energy.
   
Greater reliability – From communications and transportation to manufacturing, virtually every aspect of our society depends not just on electricity, but a reliable supply of electricity. The Mark Twain Transmission Project will improve reliability by strengthening the Midwestern transmission grid.
   
Job creation and economic benefits – The construction of the Mark Twain Transmission Project will create 200 well-paying jobs in rural northeast Missouri.
   
A source of tax revenue – The Mark Twain Transmission Project will lead to approximately $3.5 million dollars in tax revenue and $700,000 in construction taxes to support schools, roads, police and fire protection districts in five counties of Northeast Missouri. Learn more.
   
No one source of power – The power carried by the Mark Twain Transmission Project line will not come from any one source, but from any and all electric generation sources connected to the Midwest grid.
   
A cleaner environment – In its Sept. 30, 2014 study, the regional transmission operator finds its plan will reduce carbon emissions from electric generating units by 9 to 15 million tons annually.
   
Compatible with farming – The Mark Twain Transmission Project will utilize single‐shaft, steel poles that do not require guy wires. Farmers can continue to use land under the transmission line for crops and pasture. Large equipment can be used around and under the transmission lines, with some restrictions and recommendations regarding proximity to the pole structures and clearances under the line. The line will be designed to meet or exceed minimum NESC code design clearances (25 feet for 345,000 volts). GPS operations in farming practices will continue to function as there is significant frequency difference of Mark Twain lines and GPS systems. Our goal is to minimize the impact on agriculture.

   
Acquiring easements – The Mark Twain Transmission Line Project will primarily be built on permanent easements ranging in width from 100 feet to 150 feet depending on the voltage of the line. ATXI will need to acquire these easements, and additional land rights, from landowners. Project representatives will be contacting landowners for the purpose of conducting good‐faith negotiations with a goal of reaching agreements with each landowner. Fair market value paid for the easements is discussed in more detail below. ATXI cannot rule out the possibility that eminent domain authority would be exercised if our good‐faith efforts to negotiate the required easements prove unsuccessful.
   
Fair compensation for transmission line impact – Landowners are fully compensated for the impact of the transmission line. ATXI’s offer of compensation for easements is intended to “make the landowners whole” by fully compensating them for any effect on the market value of their property caused by the imposition of the easement. Upon completion of construction, ATXI’s representatives assess, and, if necessary, repair or compensate landowners for damages that may result from construction of the transmission line. This includes damages to crops, soil, fences and other property or improvements. 
   
No government funding – No federal, state or local tax monies will be used to build, operate or maintain this transmission line. This transmission line will be built, operated and maintained by ATXI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation.
   
Explaining electromagnetic fields – Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are generated by anything that uses or conducts electricity. Some typical in-home sources of EMFs include refrigerators, microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, video display monitors and fluorescent lamps to name just a few. Distribution and transmission lines also can contribute to magnetic fields in homes, but the electric field from these outside sources contributes little to indoor levels because it is effectively shielded by building materials.
   
Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level EMFs. Furthermore, it is clear that the exposure to EMFs of people living in the vicinity of high voltage power lines differs very little from the typical range of exposure of the entire population. Studies have also found no adverse effect of EMFs from power lines on crops or farm animals, including cattle that graze below power lines. No direct effects of EMF on honeybees have been demonstrated in scientific studies.
   
Compatible with hunting – The Mark Twain Transmission Project will not interfere with hunting. According to the University of Michigan, “White-tailed deer prefer forest edges that are close to farmlands, old fields, and brushland.” Thus, deer populations tend to do well where transmission lines border wooded areas. Ameren has also fostered a relationship with the National Wild Turkey Federation to improve turkey habitats in the right of way.
   
   
   
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