National Parks Conservation Association Says Energy Corridors Would Harm National Parks in Pennsylvania

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   June 13, 2007
Contact:   Cinda Waldbuesser, NPCA, 215-327-2529


National Parks Conservation Association Says Energy Corridors Would Harm National Parks in Pennsylvania

Parks Group Says Proposed Electricity Corridors Would Damage National Parks' Scenic Views, Worsen Air Pollution

PITTSBURGH - The nation's leading voice for the national parks, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), today testified against the proposed siting of new electricity transmission lines at a public meeting hosted by the Department of Energy. The National Parks Conservation Association stated that the proposed electricity corridors would directly damage national parks and their scenic views, and worsen air pollution.

"Siting electricity transmission facilities through national parks or within their scenic viewsheds would be unnecessary and ill-advised," said National Parks Conservation Association Pennsylvania Program Manager Cinda Waldbuesser. "America's national parks are not blank spots on a map in which to site new power lines."

The Department of Energy is considering the designation of several new energy corridors, which would allow construction of power lines and other facilities across public and private lands in multiple states.

As proposed, the New York Regional Interconnect would pass through 73 miles of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River and impair the very resources the park was established to protect. Additionally, the construction of new electricity corridors within the scenic viewsheds of Gettysburg National Military Park, Antietam National Battlefield, Monocacy National Battlefield, Shenandoah National Park, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and other national parks could seriously damage park resources, the experience of park visitors, and the tourism-based economies of nearby communities.

"National parks and other protected lands should be considered off-limits," Waldbuesser said. Waldbuesser also cited concerns about increased generation from Midwestern power plants resulting in greater pollution, exacerbating unhealthy air conditions downwind in Pennsylvania.

The Department of Energy is holding public hearings this summer about the issue in several states. The agency's proposals have already proven unpopular among members of Congress, state attorneys, private landowners, and conservationists.

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