Utility Companies Offer to Swap Land Near National Park Sites in Exchange for Building Massive Power Lines through Park

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   January 23, 2012
Contact:   Bryan Faehner, Associate Director for Park Uses, National Parks Conservation Association P: 202.419.3700 C: 202.731.1847
Alison Zemanski, Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association P: 202.454.3332; C: 202.384.8762


Utility Companies Offer to Swap Land Near National Park Sites in Exchange for Building Massive Power Lines through Park

Controversial power line proposal threatens health, views and wildlife at national parks on the Delaware River

Statement by Bryan Faehner, Associate Director for Park Uses, National Parks Conservation Association

“Three popular national parks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are threatened by the controversial Susquehanna-Roseland power line project, one of several transmission projects proposed for fast-tracking by the Administration. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area alone enjoys more than five million visitors annually – most of whom come from nearby urban areas – seeking the park’s inspiring views and outstanding recreational opportunities.  Building massive power lines across these parks will harm the very resources the parks were established to protect.

“Pennsylvania Power and Light Electric Utilities (PPL) and Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) propose to build massive power lines including 200-foot-high towers across the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Middle Delaware National Scenic River, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The utilities must first receive permits from the National Park Service (NPS) to move forward with constructing the proposed power lines and have recently offered to purchase and conserve adjacent lands near these national parks in exchange for the Administration’s support for the power line project.

“PPL and PSE&G’s proposal to protect additional lands around the park disregards the damage that would occur through the construction and operation of their proposed massive power line.  Of particular concern, the power lines would serve as giant extension cords to polluting coal-fired power plants upwind of these parks, increasing air pollution that could threaten park forests and wildlife as well as residents and park visitors. The proposal would violate several NPS-related statutes which were created to protect our national parks from such encroaching development threats.

“Approval of this power line would violate the National Park Service Organic Act, which calls on the agency to “conserve the scenery” and to “leave parks unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”  While this Act instructs the Park Service to conserve the scenery, this proposal would do the opposite, and make the park less attractive for park visitors.

“We encourage all park advocates to submit your comments for the National Park Service’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Susquehanna-Roseland power line project. Comments will be accepted through January 31, 2012.”

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