Opponents of a proposed power line will meet this week in East Hanover and in Pennsylvania to learn "how to make the most powerful comments possible" at National Park Service hearings on the project later this month in hopes of having the plan derailed, according to an environmental group.
Kate Millsaps, program assistant for the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, said information sessions will be held on Thursday, ahead of the actual hearings scheduled for two weeks later. An email invitation from Millsaps said "we need all hands on deck at those hearings" in hopes of having the National Park Service nix the plan.
The Susquehanna-Roseland line has been discussed for about four years. Both Pennsylvania regulators and the NJ Board of Public Utilities approved the project. The Obama administration announced in early October its decision to make the project a priority as part of a program to create jobs and upgrade the power grid.
The National Park Service still needs to approve the plan because the line goes through part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the Appalachian Trail. It has said the environmentally preferred option would be not building the new line, but still needs to issue a final decision.
Opponents of PSE&G's plan say it would industrialize suburban landscapes, transmit additional coal power and would harm forests and water quality. They said any jobs created by the project would be temporary.
PSE&G officials say the project is needed to provide reliable electricity for millions of people in the region and that the company agrees a thorough assessment of the plan is important.
Millsaps wrote in an email,
At the end of this month, the National Park Service (NPS) will be holding hearings on their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Susquehanna-Roseland Transmission Line. The NPS declared the NO BUILD alternative as the "environmentally-preferred alternative" and we need all hands on deck at those hearings to ensure NO BUILD is selected as the "NPS-preferred alternative" as well.
Join us on January 12 to learn more about the NPS review process, the DEIS, and how to make the most powerful comments possible at the upcoming hearings. These information sessions will be held in two locations so that as many people impacted by this project as possible can attend:
East Stroudsburg University
Lower Dansbury Meeting Space
Corner of South Green St and Normal St (use parking lots 20 and 23)
East Stroudsburg, Pa 18301
7:00pm - 9:00pm
East Hanover Municipal Building
411 Ridgedale Avenue (2nd Floor)
East Hanover, NJ 07936
7:00pm - 9:00pm
The NPS hearings (click here for complete info) will be held from 6-9 pm: Tuesday, January 24, 2012
(snow date 1/31, if required)
Fernwood Hotel and Resort
U.S. 209 Bushkill, PA 18324
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
(snow date 2/1, if required)
Stroudsmoor Country Inn - Ridgecrest
RD#4 Stroudsmoor Road
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
Thursday, January 26, 2012
(snow date 2/2, if required)
Farmstead Golf and Country Club
88 Lawrence Road
Lafayette, NJ 07848
Millsaps said those attending information sessions should email her: Kate.Millsaps@sierraclub.org