HA!  I love it when this happens.  Just before National Park Service public hearings (schedule below), PSEG screws up and an application gets tossed back in their face!

I’m representing Stop the Lines against PSEG”s Susquehanna-Roseland transmission project in New Jersey.

PSEG thought they’d be “smart,” and given the length and intensity of process for the federal environmental review of its proposal to cross the federally designated Wild & Scenic Delaware Water Gap with massive transmission…


… they tried to divide the line in half for its News Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection wetlands application and other DEP applications too.

First the DEP rejected that maneuver, short and sweet, and rejected their wetlands application:

PSEG Deficiency Letter July 28, 2010

Here’s the meat of it, first the funny part:


… and then, the substantive issue…


So then, PSEG withdraws their other DEP applications:

PSEG Letter of Withdrawal July 29, 2010

I love it when that happens… and what great timing.  Bring on the National Park Service hearings!

Here’s an Alert from the New Jersey Sierra Club:

Urge the National Park Service to Select the “No Action” Alternative!

The National Park Service will be hosting 3 public meetings to present the Preliminary Alternatives for the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line as part of its NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) review for this project. The meetings will consist of an “open house” portion where information will be available and NPS staff can answer questions and a formal “public hearing” portion. The meetings will be held:

Tuesday, August 17
Fernwood Hotel and Resort
US 209 North
Bushkill, PA
Open House: 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Public Hearing: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Stroudsmoor Country Inn – Terraview
North 4th St
Stroudsburg, PA
Open House: 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Public Hearing: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 19, 2010
Farmstead Golf and Country Club
88 Lawrence Road
Lafayette, NJ
Open House: 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Public Hearing: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

The proposed alternative routes can be viewed here.  Click on the “Preliminary Alternatives Newsletter” for details and mapping of the 6 proposed routes.

Please come to these meetings and voice your support for the “No Build Alternative”!  If you are unable to attend the hearings, comments can be submitted online here.  NPS will accept comments on these alternatives August 8- September 7.


And word is getting out:

Opponents of powerline upgrade are happy that project is delayed


Opponents are cheering the news that Public Service Electric and Gas Co.’s transmission line upgrade will be delayed by three years because of problems with environmental permits.

But they are still urging people to comment on the National Park Service’s proposed alternatives to the line, which would span 47 miles in New Jersey. Some of those options would bring the line south into areas of Morris County that are more congested.

The utility had hoped to begin work this summer to add 500-kilovolt lines on towers as high as 195 feet, along its existing 230-kilovolt Susquehanna-Roseland line. It received approval from the state Board of Public Utilities and was awaiting OKs from the state Department of Environmental Protection and NPS.

Last week, PSE&G’s second quarter earnings statement disclosed that the utility would not complete work on the eastern half of the line, from Hopatcong through portions of Morris County to Roseland, until 2014 and on the western section to the Delaware Water Gap until 2015.

“We are disappointed by the delay, but look forward to meeting the region’s reliability requirements in partnership with our regulators and PJM,” PSE&G President Ralph Izzo said in a press release. PJM is the regional electricity transmission organization.

“The delays are due to ongoing environmental permit reviews,” according to a statement from the utility.

PSE&G on July 29 withdrew its flood hazard application for the eastern half of the project, citing the DEP’s determination that its wetlands permit for the western half was administratively incomplete because the BPU approved the line in its entirety, not in two separate parts.

Those opposed to the line upgrade were cheered by the news.

“I can’t tell you how absolutely elated I am. I’m just so happy for the people living under those lines,” said East Hanover Mayor Joseph Pannullo. “The fight is not over but this is definitely a victory for us.”

East Hanover had refused to take settlement money from PSE&G. Most towns along the route had agreed to take settlement money in return for not opposing the project.

“These lines are not necessary,” said Jeff Tittel, New Jersey Sierra Club Director. “The delay shows that this line is completely unnecessary and will undermine New Jersey’s attempts at clean and renewable energy. This line is a waste of money and would cause destruction to environmentally sensitive areas and public lands.”

Tittel said the line could be delayed past 2015 because the utility also needs to get permits to do work on a portion that crosses Picatinny Arsenal.

Deann Muzikar, a PSE&G spokeswoman, said the utility hopes to submit new permit applications to the DEP soon.

The utility’s announcement of the delay followed closely on the heels of the park service’s announcement of its alternate route proposals and the opening of a public comment period –including three public hearings — to consider them.

As part of its review process, which is expected to last into 2012, the NPS developed other prospective routes to minimize the project’s impact on the park’s resources. The park service said other options include no line upgrade or using the power company’s planned route for the new lines.

Of the park service’s five suggested optional routes, two would not change the line’s location through Morris County. The remaining three would take the transmission line completely out of Delaware Water Gap National Park and would bring it further south through New Jersey and through more of Morris County: one route would parallel Route 80 and two would take it just north of the Flanders Valley Golf Course and south of Route 10 into Roseland.

People can comment on those alternatives via the NPS website at or at three public hearings. One hearing is being held in New Jersey at the Farmstead Golf and Country Club in Lafayette on Aug. 19, with an open house beginning at 2:30 p.m. and the hearing at 6 p.m.

In its update last week, the park service wrote that it “is not dictating or directing where the power companies can, will or might choose to place their transmission lines outside of lands and waters of the National Park units involved. The portions of alternatives displayed outside of park lands are shown only as examples of potentially viable and feasible alternative routes that these power companies could choose to complete a transmission line between their two identified end points along other existing rights-of-way.”

“We still maintain the route we proposed is the best one to minimize impacts on the local communities,” Muzikar, of PSE&G, said.

Opponents are urging people to support the park service’s first alternative, which would not allow any upgrade in any location.

“The more, the better,” said Dave Slaperud of the Stop the Lines citizens group. “We need to continue the public outcry on this.”

PSE&G says the line upgrade is still necessary to prevent power outages that could begin in 2012 and had hoped to have the work completed by then. Its $750 million project would cross from Pennsylvania through the Water Gap, then proceed through Warren, Sussex and Morris counties before ending in Roseland. More than half the line would traverse Morris County, through Jefferson, Rockaway Township, Kinnelon, Boonton Township, Montville, Parsippany and East Hanover.

Ratepayers would foot the bill.

The project was challenged in BPU hearings by the citizen and environmental groups, several municipalities and the Montville School District. The environmentalists and citizens group have launched legal challenges against the BPU’s approval of the plan.

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