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.


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.


It was one of those weeks.   First CapX 2020 provides official notice that the Brookings-Hampton transmission line is delayed.  [Motion to Suspend Proceedings!]

Hot in the heels of CapX 2020’s notice of “delay” of the Brookings-Hampton transmission line, PSEG provides official notice that it is withdrawing their NJ DEP permit for the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line:

Please take notice in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:A12.6(f). Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is hereby amending the above-referenced permit applications submitted to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). PSE&G is withdrawing the applications for the section of the Project located to the west of the proposed Hopatcong Switching Station. The municipalities west of the Hopatcong Switching Station include Sparta Township, Byram Township, Andover Township, the Town of Newton, Fredon Township, Stillwater Township and Hardwick Township The company may resubmit a new application or applications to NJDEP for the western section of the Project at a later date.

It’s all here in their Notice to affected towns:

PSEG’s Notice of Withdrawal – NJ DEP

And here’s the real deal:

PSEG Amended NJ DEP Permit filed 5/14/10

The funniest part is this — AS IF!!!


We know that they’ve got a problem at the Delaware Water Gap… we know they’ve got a problem at the NJ DEP… Now I wonder… how much of the Pennsylvania part is withdrawn???

Just like the CapX 2020 transmission project, the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission project was approved as a whole, the studies used to justify it were on the project as a whole, the BPU decision approving the project was on the project as a whole… so what, now they can say they just don’t need that part???  I don’t think so…

It’s here, the testimony of the Intervenors against PSE&G’s Susquehanna-Roseland transmission project, well, it was last week, and FINALLY I’m getting around to posting it.

STOP THE LINES needs donations to keep up the fight.  Donations can be made by check payable to: Stop The Lines   PO Box 398  Tranquility NJ 07879.  You can also use paypal — just go to STOP THE LINES and scroll down.

Tax-deductible checks are also accepted,  made out to “NJ Highlands Coalition”, and put “Stop The Lines” in the memo
Mail to: NJ Highlands Coalition, ATT: Stop The Lines, 508 Main St. #3,  Boonton NJ 07005



Testimony of Helene Jaros

Exhibit JH-1 – HRA 4150-2, p. 6-7

Exhibit HJ-2 – HRA 4150-2, p. 11-12

Exhibit HJ-3 – VA Pamphlet 26-7, p.13


Testimony of Benjamin Sovacool

Exhibits will take a while — there are a LOT

BKS-1 – PEC Motion to VA Supreme Court


BKS-3 – PSEG 20-K 2008

BKS-4 – NERC PR 05-19-09

BKS-5 – PSEG 2009 Q1 Earnings Call Transcript

BKS-6 – 2009 PJM Load Report

BKS-7 – Rosengren Reuters June 5, 2009

BKS-8 – PEPCO PR MAPP May 19, 2009

BKS-10 – Rebecca Smith, Wall Street Journal

BKS-14 – Brattle Group Evaluation of PJM Forecast Modeling

BKS-15 – PJM Manual 14B

BKS-16 – PATH 1st Delay

Testimony of Steven Balzano


Testimony of Dr. Martin Blank