STL in the news!

June 12th, 2010


Stop The Lines! has appealed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ determination on the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line, I’ve been representing them in this fracas, and from the news reports below, it looks like we’ve hit all the bases!

The Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line is absurd — they’re tearing down an existing low capacity line and putting up towers twice as high with … well… imagine this, QUAD bundled 500 kV line.  Really… that is what they applied for, but midway through the hearing, they admitted that the structures couldn’t handle that and reduced it to TRI-bundled 500kV.  ACSR at that, could it be more primitive?  It’s absurd, if they 190 foot towers fell, with a 75 foot Right of Way, that’s 115 feet that it could extend beyond the Right of Way.  It’s beyond absurd — it’s insane, and earth to mars, there are people right there, RIGHT THERE, don’t they care?


Plus it’s not needed, the Marketing Analytics report says it all:

Marketing Analytics – PJM 2009 State of the Market Report

Here’s the BPU order that we’ve challenged:

NJ BPU Order – April 21, 2010

This is from the Pocono Record — be sure to click on the linkedarticle below to get to the Pocono Record comment section:

Power line fight heads to NJ court

By Wayne Witkowski

For the Pocono Record
June 11, 2010

New Jersey activists fighting proposed increases in the voltage and tower height of the Roseland-to-Susquehanna power lines are taking their battle to appeals court.

Four environmental groups and one onf the two private organizations made up of concerned homeowners filed court papers this week against the state’s Board of Public Utilities and utility company PSE&G. The papers charge that BPU, which approved the plan unanimously without comment in February, did not exercise due diligence in properly reviewing the proposal.

Stop the Lines, based in Fredon, N.J., has filed suit. It is one of two active private organizaitions in New Jersey opposing the project, along with the recently established Save the Park group in Hardwick Township, N.J., which has a sign advertising its cause on Hollow Road in Smithfield Township.

The suit contends the review lacked a proper analysis of the need for the project, failed to consider the environmental impacts of construction or weigh the secondary impacts of importing coal energy from Pennsylvania.

The existing 47-mile link of the 145-mile route, which extends through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and specifically through Saw Creek Estates in Lehman Township, would add 500,000 kilovolts and raise towers to 195 feet. It is under the auspices of the PJM Interconnection, which includes PPL on the Pennsylvania side and PSE&G, which is looking to recoup $3 billion in costs stemming from the deregulation of the energy sector in New Jersey.

The project still awaits approval by the National Park Service. New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez recently sent a letter to park Superintendent John Donahue asking him and the National Park Service to exercise due diligence in its decision, which is due in 2012.

PSE&G spokesman Karen Johnson defended BPU’s decision, saying PSE&G is aware of the appeal and believes there is “ample evidence” to support its decision.

And from the Daily Record:

Morris area citizens group sues over power line plan


The citizens group Stop The Lines has filed an appeal challenging the state Board of Public Utilities’ approval of Public Service Electric and Gas Co.’s transmission line expansion through Morris, Sussex and Warren counties.

Stop The Lines’ appeal of the BPU’s January decision permitting the upgrade on PSE&G’s Susquehanna-Roseland power line is the second filed in appellate court in the last week. Four environmental groups that like Stop The Lines also had intervened in the proceedings filed an appeal last Friday.

The Stop the Lines appeal will focus on the lack of need for the expanded transmission line, which would add 500-kilovolt lines to towers as high as 195 feet along the 47 miles in New Jersey. The group also faults the BPU’s refusal to consider information on a possible decreased demand, 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.

“Building 195-foot high towers within a 150-foot wide right-of-way is simply unreasonable,” said David Slaperud, a Stop The Lines trustee.

“We believe the ample evidence in the case fully supports the BPU decision that this line is needed for reliability,” said PSE&G spokeswoman Karen Johnson.

PSE&G is awaiting final environmental permits to begin working on the eastern half of the $750 million project, from Hopatcong to Roseland. It hopes to begin work this summer. The western portion, from Hopatcong to the Delaware River, has to await the completion of a National Park Service review because the line runs through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. That is expected to take until 2012.

The project was challenged in the BPU by citizen and environmental groups, several municipalities and the Montville School District. Ratepayers would foot the bill.

The line crosses from Pennsylvania at the Delaware Water Gap and proceeds through Warren and Sussex Counties. More than half the line would traverse Morris County, through Jefferson, Rockaway Township, Kinnelon, Boonton Township, Montville, Parsippany and East Hanover before ending in Roseland.

And in the New Jersey Herald:

Activists appeal state’s power line approval

FREDON — The most outspoken local opponent of the Susquehanna-Roseland power line is appealing its state approval in the court system.

Stop the Lines, the activist group that has been the most vocal and omnipresent adversary to the PSE&G line since its proposal in 2008, is appealing the Board of Public Utilities approval issued in February.

The appeal focuses on the need of the 500kV line, running 146 miles from the Poconos across northwestern New Jersey and into the heart of the Garden State. They will also question the economic impacts to property owners and municipalities along the line — which will double the height and triple the power of the existing 1920s-era transmission towers.

“Building 195-foot-high towers within a 150-foot wide right-of-way is simply unreasonable,” said David Slaperud, a Stop the Lines Trustee.

Four state environmental groups also appealed the BPU decision by the June 7

PSE&G has maintained brownouts could roll down the line as early as 2012 if the upgrade is not complete. However, the National Park Service blessing to cross the Delaware Water Gap will not be available until that year — and PSE&G put off seeking final environmental permits for the 20-mile Sussex County stretch of the line last month.

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