[Infozone] Fwd: Newsclip: morris Daily Record - National Park Service says 'no' to Susquehanna-Roseland power line upgrade

David Barna david_barna at nps.gov
Tue Nov 22 21:26:32 EST 2011



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>> Morris Daily Record (parsiappany, NJ)
>> Tuesday, November 22, 2011
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>> National Park Service says 'no' to Susquehanna-Roseland power line upgrade
>> 
>> by Abbott KoloffStaff Writer
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>> The National Park Service has come out against upgrading a power line that runs through parkland in a draft report that was applauded by environmentalists on Tuesday while power company officials said they remain hopeful a final report will approve the line.
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>> A draft environmental report issued by the park service late Monday night came out against building the Susquehanna-Roseland power line, designed to increase transmission capacity from Pennsylvania to New Jersey and approved by the state Board of Public Utilities.
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>> Officials with Public Service Electric & Gas, which would build the New Jersey portion of the line, said on Tuesday that there is still a chance that the Park Service will make a different decision by the time a final environmental impact statement is made by the fall of next year, following a period of public comment.
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>> “The identification of the environmentally preferred alternative is not necessarily indicative of the final choice the NPS will make,” Karen Johnson, a PSE&G spokeswoman, said in a prepared statement.
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>> Conservation advocates praised the park service on Tuesday. They had been critical of the federal government’s recent decision to fast track the power line.
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>> “We call on President Obama to support the work of NPS and the science behind their decision, instead of calling for the fast track permit program that takes the side of the fossil fuel industry,” Kate Millsaps, a New Jersey Sierra Club official, said in a statement.
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>> Elliott Ruga, of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition, said the decision “is very significant news for us, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
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>> “It is so rare that the National Park Service says no to a project like this,” Ruga said. “The park service has gone through the impacts of the (project) and based on 600 to 700 pages of study, it is their analysis that the environmental impacts will be to such an extent that their recommendation is not to do it. There’s a lot at risk. There are environmental and cultural resources that we need to look further at.”
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>> PSE&G officials said the route through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and across the Appalachian Trail is the best alternative and failure to build it would lead to higher electricity bills and potential power outages. They also said changing the route would cost more and require going back to the BPU for site approvals that could delay the project by more than a year.
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>> The Park Service will hold three public hearings over the next two months, with two in Pennsylvania and one in Lafayette in Sussex County.
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>> The power line would be built along an existing power line route, but would increase towers to almost 200 feet, twice the height of existing towers. The New Jersey portion of the line would cover 45 miles and cost $750 million to build. It would run 101 miles in Pennsylvania.
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>> In Morris County, it would go through parts of Boonton Township, East Hanover, Jefferson, Kinnelon, Montville, Parsippany and Rockaway.
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