Delaware Riverkeeper Network

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Susquehanna Roseland Powerline

DRN, along with several other environmental organizations, continue to challenge the Department of Interior, the National Park Service, PSE&G and PPL in federal court in an effort to stop forest clearing and construction of a new, high voltage transmission line through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  These new powerlines will be 2-3 times taller than the existing towers and twice the height of the surrounding forests.  They will be seen from 10 miles away.  The power company states it’s for grid reliability, but the 11% guaranteed profit may have something to do with their zeal.

A preliminary injunction was filed on August 19, 2013 to keep the power companies from widening the right-of-way along the 4.3 miles the powerlines will traverse the Park.  The Susquehanna Roseland powerlines runs for 147 miles from Susquehanna, PA to Roseland, NJ.  A total of 72 miles within the Delaware River Basin.  Construction has already begun outside the park both in PA and NJ.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) could have required the power companies to obtain permitting from them for the entire 72 miles due to the extensive ground vegetation clearing required for this project and determine what the total and cumulative impacts would be in the river.  They chose only to assess the impacts along the 4.3 miles (less than 6% of the mileage in the Basin).

In addition to legal challenges, DRN is asking volunteers to make a point to watch what the power companies are doing and take photographs of any of the construction practices that might be a violation of their permits.  Possible violations could be driving vehicles through wetlands, piling mulch and dirt up against un-cut trees, and not maintaining erosion and sediment fencing/hay bales.  Do not trespass and only legally and safety stop and park to take pictures.  Forward them to fred@delawareriverkeeper.org with a specific caption as to where and when the pictures were taken.