Last week, there was a Prehearing conference for the New Jersey docket in the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission project.  Stop the Lines was there, and several other potential intervenors, to discuss the schedule, which will stretch out likely most of the year, with a decision probably in early 2010.  This project is in the Mid-Atlantic National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor, so if the utility doesn’t get its decision in a year, they could push it up to the Feds.


Their site is cute — it starts with the bold proclamation:


The purpose of the Susquehanna-Roseland

line is to ensure reliability in our

region — not to sell power to New York City.

Uh-huh… right…

Here’s a “Regional Planning” powerpoint from PSE&G from the 2/26/09 Highlands Council meeting:

PJM Regional Tranasmission Planning

And a recording of that meeting with the PJM presentation:

Highlands Council Meeting February 26, 2009


Power line critics want to state case before BPU

Citizens group wants PSE&G to pay for its experts

By Colleen O’Dea • Daily Record • March 3, 2009

A citizens group that opposes Public Service Electric and Gas Co.’s proposed power line project is seeking to intervene in the company’s application before the state Board of Public Utilities.

The 300-member Stop the Lines group also is asking the BPU to require PSE&G to pay for it to hire experts to refute the company’s contentions in support of its application to build new towers and add 500 kilovolt lines along the 46-mile transmission corridor from the Pennsylvania border through Morris County to Roseland.

“It was absolutely crucial for us to intervene in this process on behalf of citizens along the proposed route of this seemingly unnecessary expansion,” said David Slaperud, a resident of Fredon and trustee of Stop The Lines.

Motion filed

Slaperud said the organization filed a motion to intervene in PSE&G’s application before the BPU last Thursday during a scheduling conference on the $750 million project. He said the Fredon School District and Willow Day Camp in Lake Hopatcong have filed similar motions. The BPU has not acted on any of these yet.

Last Thursday, PSE&G attorneys met with several BPU staffers, and state Deputy Attorney General Kenneth Sheehan in Newark to discuss a schedule for the application.

“Board staff expects the board to issue a pre-hearing order setting forth the procedural schedule and overall nature of the proceedings after its agenda meeting on March 12,” said Doyal Siddel, a BPU spokesman.

PSE&G has filed an application to upgrade the existing power line corridor with towers as high as 195-feet tall and add lines carrying another 500 kilovolts of power to prevent circuit overloads and power outages that could begin in 2012 without the work.

PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission cooperative, has ordered the work be done.

In papers filed last week, Slaperud said it’s important that Stop the Lines become a party to the process because its members “live, work and recreate” along the line and “will be substantially, specifically and directly affected by the outcome of this contested case.”

The papers question the need for the upgrade and the requirement that all ratepayers in New Jersey and the rest of the 13-state region pay for it. Stop the Lines asks that alternatives, including greater conservation, be considered. The group also asserts that the taller towers will destroy scenic vistas, would be unsafe if placed in the existing 150-foot right of way and the lines on them will generate higher electromagnetic fields, which could affect the health of those living nearby.

Pay for experts

Stop the Lines’ filing asks that PSE&G be required to pay for it to hire experts because the “current economic crisis” has made it difficult for the group to hire its own lawyers and because “PSE&G was saved the expense of intervenor experts that would have been assessed had they brought their application to the 15 individual planning boards in communities along the route.”

PSE&G officials were unavailable to comment Monday, but a spokeswoman said last month that the company did not believe it should be forced to pay for expert testimony for the line’s opponents.

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