Stop the Lines has appealed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities decision approving the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line through northern New Jersey.

NJ BPU Order – April 21, 2010

The New Jersey environmental coalition that intervened in this docket, represented by Eastern Environmental Law Center, has appealed too!

This is yet another case of utility wants but NO NEED, and now, they’re trying to build only the eastern section!  Say what?!??!!  That’s not what the BPU approved!


Stop The Lines appeals BPU decision on PSE&G Susquehanna-Roseland power line project

Stop The Lines, a grassroots opposition group, has filed an appeal in the Appellate Division of NJ Superior Court challenging the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) decision to allow Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) to build a massive power line along an existing right-of-way that was not designed to accommodate a line of this magnitude.

“Building 195-foot high towers within a 150-foot wide right-of-way is simply unreasonable,” said David Slaperud, a Stop The Lines trustee. Slaperud said that the proposed line would negatively impact property values, and that a project of this size running through residential areas is detrimental to public health and safety. “The BPU has not adequately addressed these concerns.”

“BPU was asked several times during evidentiary hearings to look at the most recent energy demand data, and they failed to request the additional information,” continued Slaperud. “Instead, they relied solely the word of Mr. Steven Herling, Vice President of Planning, PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM), who stated, ‘We will do the analysis, but we already know what the results will be,’ when questioned during hearings. No facts, just basically a plea to ‘Trust us.’”

Tom Hill, another trustee of Stop The Lines added, “How could the BPU take Mr. Herling at his word, rather than simply looking at the data that is currently available?   Something just doesn’t seem right – while energy demand continues to drop, BPU is willing to take PJM at their word rather than requiring data to back that assumption up.”

Stop The Lines attorney Carol A. Overland strongly agrees.  “This BPU decision comes at a time when any utility infrastructure is suspect.  PJM’s demand has been steadily decreasing since 2006, and recently PSE&G proposed to build only a part of it.  That alone shows we’re not going to be freezing in the dark, the lights won’t go out. Add PJM’s State of the Market Report and the increasingly delayed RTEP, it’s just not plausible that they need this line.  What’s clear is they WANT it, but their business plan and PJM’s marketing plan are not sufficient reasons to put landowners and communities through this transmission hell.”  Overland stated that the proposed new project is far beyond what a demand increase would require. “It’s transmission on steroids at a time when we are in conservation training. The Susquehanna-Roseland Project is going backwards down the wrong path.”

The Stop the Lines appeal will focus on the lack of need for this massively expanded transmission line, and the BPU’s refusal to consider new PJM information showing an decreased demand now or in the foreseeable future; the uncertainty of rate-recovery, which is currently at issue at FERC; health and safety impacts on landowners, residents and the environment; and economic impacts ranging from loss of property value and tax revenue to inability of homeowners to obtain mortgages.

Stop The Lines also fully supports the issues raised by the four Environmental Groups – Environment New Jersey, New Jersey Highlands Coalition, New Jersey Environmental Federation and the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club – in their appeal of the BPU decision, and will work in collaboration with them throughout the appeal process.

Leave a Reply