New Jersey gets a bad rap, people here in the Midwest have no clue.  People think of New Jersey, and they think of Newark (which has its good points, I really enjoyed officing there during the Susquehanna-Roseland hearing) which is a mess, vacant buildings all over the place, TALL vacant buildings…

NewarkAnd that’s where the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is, rolling a cart full of boxes back and forth from the R.Treat (right) to the BPU (big black glass smudged building under “Aug 2012”) in the snow was a joy:

BPUTreatAnyway, there’s more to New Jersey than that.  New Jersey where the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line crossed is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.  It’s a lot like northern Minnesota, granite and pine trees, stunning.  Turns out my mother spent time there in the Army, and afterwards she worked at the Franklin Hospital, I think owned by the Franklin nickle mine.

Google Earth maps are now showing the summer’s construction of the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission project, and… OH… MY… DOG…

Here are photos from Stop the Lines in 2013 of new access roads through the Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, Lake Hopatcong, NJ to build this monstrosity:


MDReservation2And just google that park for another perspective:


And the view from Headley’s Overlook and Lake Hopatcong:

Headley's Overlook Lake Hopatcong 2

Here’s Lake Mohawk, another example of bizarre transmission routing:

LakeMohawkFrom Stop the Lines:

E Hanover 015And at the heart of Stop The Lines resistence:

Highview Road ConstructionHow’s that for a depressing photo?  That’s Highview in Newton, NJ, and that’s a 500 kV AC line, TRIPLE BUNDLED (it originally was QUAD bundled, but that was over-reach beyond belief, and hey dropped it), HUGE capacity line, HUGE.  Oh, and that’s the same configuration as the GNTL line.   AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!  Look how close it is, and if ice coated lines and towers meet high wind, what happens if these crumple like others we’ve seen?

Check out these solar panels, house on Marksboro Road.  The one just north has a roof full too, not just that garage!

FredonTwpSolarHere’s where it crosses Mt. Holly Rd. and you can see what the construction does to this field:

S-R Field

Here’s a view of the Picatinny Arsenal, thanks to Stop the Lines, and the tower is 215′ tall, the transmission towers through here will be ~25 feet shorter than this:


And yes, this is the transmission line that goes over the Delaware Water Gap and the Appalachian Trail!  Here’s on the eastern side, NJ side, of the Delaware Water Gap:


DOH!  The Delaware Water Gap is one of the country’s few Wild and Scenic Rivers (like our own St. Croix River):




Just the place for transmission! Enough… transmission sucks.

One of the perks of the job and being in the neighborhood was that I got to hear Phil Woods at the Deer Head Inn, he lives right around the corner.  That must have been 2009, maybe 2010.  His relatives on the Charlie Parker side came in from the east, place was packed, and as Ed Berger would say, “way outside.”




The Delaware Water Gap is one of the few National Park Service Wild and Scenic Rivers, and it’s in a struggle to stay that way.  I represented Stop the Lines before the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities administrative proceeding, which ended with a permit issued to PSEG.  Boooo-hisssss.

TODAY, a lawsuit was filed by National Parks Conservation Assoc.,  Appalachian Mountain Club, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, New Jersey Highlands Coalition, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, Rock the Earth, Sierra Club, Stop the Lines versus Ken Salazar as Secretary of the Interior and head of National Park Service, and Dennis Reidenbach as Northeast Regional Director of National Park Service:

Complaint – National Parks Conservation Assoc., et al. v. Salazar & Reidenbach

GOOD!  Serves them right, after caving to Obama’s transmission fast-tracking!

So what’s the scoop?  PSEG and PPL have targeted the Delaware Water Gap for a crossing of its Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line.  Here’s the NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PAGE for the project.

Here’s the full map:


Which is a small part of the bigger picture, part of line #1 on this Project Mountaineer, the transmission for coal scenario hatched at a top secret FERC meeting in 2005:


The alternatives evaluated by the National Park Service’s Delaware Water Gap in their EIS looks like this (click on map for larger version):


Here’s the link to the National Park Service’s Final EIS.  Inexplicably, National Park Service went from identifying the “no action alternative” as the Environmentally Preferred Alternative,  to a (rolling over) “STICK IT HERE!”  Oh, and a payoff of $30-40 million.  And then there’s “pre-approval” of the project by NPS…

Stay tuned!


PSEG’s mowing trees today

October 22nd, 2011


“We make things work for you.”  Oh, ja,  sure, you betcha…

And then there’s Obama’s “fast tracking” and PSEG’s Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line is one of the seven transmission lines Obama picked to ram through.  Northwestern New Jersey is beautiful, a lot like the Minnesota “Range,” lots of rugged terrain, granite, and pine trees.  My clients, Stop the Lines, are based in Newton, NJ, and Fredon Township, which are just west of the New Jersey Highlands, and just east of the Delaware Water Gap.  It’s is such beautiful country.  Not for long if PSEG has anything to say about it.


Guess what they’re doing at 7 a.m. on a beautiful fall morning?  THEY’RE MOWING TREES DOWN:


This is a view off Verdona Road, a cul de sac off of Stillwater Road in Fredon Township.  They started on Tuesday, and were out there today at 7:00 a.m. mowing down everything down to dirt.  There was no notice to landowners and neighbors, just equipment out there clearcutting everything.

I’ve asked neighbors for more photos, will post if they arrive in the inbox.


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.
Read the rest of this entry »



Yes, indeed, PSEG is making things work for us…

PSEG has announced through its 2Q report that the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line will be delayed until at least 2015.  Just like the Brookings line part of CapX 2020!  Funny how that works.

PSEG – 2nd Quarter – Press Release

Here’s what they said in this about D-E-L-A-Y of the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line – two little snippets:

Ralph Izzo indicated that PSE&G has notified the PJM Interconnection that the in-service date for the eastern portion of the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line has been delayed by 2 years to 2014 with the in-service date for the western portion of the line delayed until 2015. He added, “We are disappointed by the delay, but look forward to meeting the region’s reliability requirements in partnership with our regulators and PJM.”  The delays are due to on-going environmental permit reviews.

PSE&G notified PJM that it has not obtained certain environmental approvals that are required for completion of the Eastern and Western segments of the Susquehanna – Roseland transmission line. Consequently, at this time, we do not expect the Eastern portion of the line to be in service before June 2014, and we do not expect the Western portion to be in service before June 2015.

You can learn more about the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission project at!

Interesting 2Q report, some pretty juicy dry numbers here, look how far down their net income was, and look at how their bottom line recovered — it’s those “excluded items” that make the difference:


As Business Week notes:

PSEG 2Q profit falls 21.5 percent

It’s hard to type that headline without two or three exclamation points!!!

Here’s the report from the Star-Ledger:

PSE&G delays construction of controversial Susquehanna-Roseland power line

Published: Friday, July 30, 2010, 4:14 PM
Brian T. Murray/The Star-Ledger

Public Service Electric & Gas announced this morning a three-year delay in completing its controversial Susquehanna-Roseland transmission lines, which will cut across New Jersey’s protected, water-rich Highlands.

PSE&G broke the news in its second-quarterly earnings report, explaining that obtaining environmental approvals has taken longer than anticipated. The announcement came just days after the state Department of Environmental Protection found the company’s wetlands permit applications incomplete.

Now, the $750 million power project the company hoped to complete by 2012 will not be done until 2015.

The New Jersey Highlands Coalition and the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, two groups opposed to the project, said it may be the beginning of the end for the power line. But PSE&G said it plans to move forward, contending the power lines are needed to prevent blackouts and keep the region’s power grid reliable.

“We are disappointed by the delay, but we are going to work with the regulators. … We are still committed to constructing the line. It’s just going to be delayed,” said PSE&G spokeswoman Deann Muzikar.

Already approved by the state Board of Public Utilities and the New Jersey Highlands Council, the project involves a 500,000-volt transmission line along a 146-mile route between Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey and erecting 500-kilovolt transmission towers along a path where smaller, 230-kilovolt towers already exist. The main hurdle has been the National Park Service, which must approve a western leg of the line to run through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

PSE&G split the project into two segments earlier this year, hoping to at least begin construction this summer on an eastern leg between Hopatcong in Sussex County and Roseland in Essex County. But that strategy caused trouble for its wetlands permit reviews by the DEP, which noted the BPU had approved the project in one piece, not in a bifurcated process.

Additionally, the National Park Service has stood firm on its plan to delay action until 2012, as it holds public hearings and considered alternative routes for the line. Three hearings are scheduled for Aug. 17 through Aug. 19 in Pennsylvania and Sussex County.

Environmental groups, contending the project will ruin sensitive land and promote polluting, coal-generated electrical plants in the west, applauded the park service for its careful approach.

“PSE&G has been playing a high-stakes game of chicken with the public and regulators, whom they are now blaming for their not getting their permits on a fast track. This doesn’t surprise us, considering the vast environmental and scenic damage that will be imposed on the Highlands for this risky, ill-conceived, and expensive project,” said Julia Somers of the Highlands Coalition.