October 3, 2012 —
NEWARK, NJ — The Susquehanna-Roseland power line received final approval from the National Park Service when the agency issued a Record of Decision on October 1, affirming the route the utility preferred. According to supporters, in addition to boosting electric service reliability, the new line will create jobs, reduce electric bills for some customers and provide a significant economic stimulus to the region.
Environmental groups, however, opposed the line saying that it was not needed, and it will harm views and the environment as it traverses the federally owned Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Appalachian Trail and Middle Delaware National Scenic River.
The approval of the project will likely face an appeal from the New Jersey Sierra Club over what they say is a giveaway of public open spaces. Director Jeff Tittel criticized the administration of President Barack Obama for “fast tracking” the project, the review of which was begun in 2009, and he criticized the National Park Service for “selling out” the national parks.
The companies building the project, Public Service Electric and Gas Company in New Jersey and PPL Electric Utilities in Pennsylvania, have started construction activities along some areas of the 145-mile route. The line is expected to be in service before the summer peak electricity demand period of 2015.