Posted on August 25, 2008 in PPL by Matthew SekolNo Comments »

Some of you are familiar with two other transmission projects in PA that our group is watching.  One is in Bucks County, being fought by SBULU and the other is the AP TrAIL project being opposed by StoptheTowers.

Well, there’s some encouraging news from the latter.  It seems two Pennsylvania judges agreed with many points brought up by the StoptheTowers group. 

You can read the AP article or go right through the 364 page report.

Posted on August 11, 2008 in PPL by Matthew SekolNo Comments »

We are humbly asking anyone who can to donate to our newly formed organization – Drop the Lines, Inc.  This non-profit group has been formed to keep our interests around the power line issue active for many years to come. 

We will remain active even after the PUC votes on the current PPL/PSE&G Route B solution.  Just because PPL/PSE&G have not picked Route C this time, does not mean that they will not come back to this area in the future!  Stay vigilant and make a donation today!

Posted on August 7, 2008 in PPL by Matthew SekolNo Comments »

As iterated in the meeting last night, our fight is not over.  We need to keep a close eye on the machinations around Route B assessment and planning.

PPL and PSE&G could come out and switch their opinion that Route C is best if required federal constructions permits do not come through.

I think two articles illistrate this point very well.

Pocono Record – National Park Service responds to high-voltage power plan
Pocono Record – Massive power line will cut through Poconos, national park

We need to stay vigilant and we will by continuing to hold monthly meetings and gathering donations from our active members in case we need to move quickly.  This could be tomorrow, next year or even 10 years from now.

Keep up the good work and don’t let up!

Posted on August 5, 2008 in PPL by Matthew SekolNo Comments »

While we have reason to celebrate, we need to be cautious in claiming mission accomplished.  We have gained some time, and we may have PPL’s attention, but we also need to keep in mind that about 92% of Route C in Pennsylvania uses existing or future right of way owned by PPL Electric Utilities and this includes all the rights of way in Northampton County.

We can fully expect PPL to work quietly to acquire the missing 8% just as they did to acquire their existing 92%.  We need to work together to identify the PPL rights of way in Northampton County and find a way to purchase them back.

We also need to remember that the federal government designated most of Pennsylvania to be part of the national power line transmission corridor.  The NIETC corridor covers 52 of 67 counties in Pennsylvania, including Northampton County.  The designation gives the federal government power to overrule the state in siting of large electric transmission lines.  We are not trying to stop the responsible development and distribution of energy as we all benefit from it, but we need to make sure the development is safe and that those who are asked to sacrifice their homes and their quality of life are properly and justly compensated.

By continuing to work together now we can strengthen our position, protect our neighborhood and help others protect theirs.  We can make sure the law in Pennsylvania is changed to fairly compensate Pennsylvania residents not based on the value of the land but on the profit generated by the transmission line.  This will make sure that great care will be used in maximizing existing lines before new ones are created.

Please join us on Wednesday August 6th 2008 at 6:00 pm at the Klecknersville Rangers fire company, we need your help.

Posted on August 5, 2008 in PPL by Matthew SekolNo Comments »

The official line selection has been made!  PPL and PSE&G have chosen to go with Route B.  Some are reporting getting letters as early as this morning outlining the selection and I’ve heard from people affected by Route A on the New Jersey side that they are hearing it is Route B as well.
 
We will still be meeting tomorrow and highly encourage you to attend!  The process is not over.
 
Consider this:
 
– My deed states the line is called Alburtis-Bossards. not Susquehanna-Roseland.  This means that just because PPL chooses not to use it today doesn’t mean this will not come back up again!
– PPL and PSE&G could decide that Route C is a good backup option and we need to stay focused and organized, with the ability to move quickly.
– PPL will be holding additional meetings in the affected townships along Route B.  It is possible that participation in these meetings will change their filing with the PUC.
 
We’ve invited many media outlets and need to remind PPL that Route C is NEVER a good option!  Hope to see you there!

Update:

Here is a copy of an email received today by many of you.  Thanks!

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (Aug. 5, 2008) — After an exhaustive study process that
included 10 public input workshops throughout the region and numerous
discussions with residents, elected officials and others, PPL Electric
Utilities has chosen Route B as the route for the Susquehanna-Roseland
power line project in Pennsylvania.

The selected route runs north from Berwick, Pa., past Wilkes-Barre and
Scranton, then east to Hawley and southeast to Bushkill where it crosses
the Delaware River. It follows existing power lines for almost its
entire distance.

The New Jersey portion of the power line, from the river to Roseland,
N.J., will be built by Public Service Electric & Gas Co.

“Two of our main goals were to minimize the impact of this project on
residents near the line, and on the environment,” said David E.
Schleicher, vice president-Transmission. “We are convinced that this is
the best route to accomplish those goals while providing very real
reliability benefits for electric customers in eastern Pennsylvania and
throughout the region.”

The 500-kilovolt power line is needed to handle increasing customer
demand for electricity that could otherwise lead to overloads and even
blackouts on the regional power grid. Because overloads can have
widespread regional effects, the line will benefit all electric
customers in the region, regardless of where they live or which electric
company serves their needs, Schleicher said.

He pointed out that the regional blackout of 2003 – which started with
power line failures in Ohio – spread as far as New York City, leaving
nearly 50 million people without electricity. “The regional electricity
transmission system is only as strong as its weakest link,” Schleicher
said.

The PJM Interconnection, which oversees reliability planning for the
regional power grid, identified the need for the new line and assigned
PPL Electric Utilities to build the Pennsylvania portion.

PJM determined that if this upgrade is not made by May 2012, there is
the potential for overloads on other power lines. The danger is greatest
during periods when demand is highest – the hottest summer days and the
coldest winter nights.

Because this type of power line provides regional benefits, its cost is
shared by all electric customers in PJM, a region of 51 million people
encompassing 13 states and the District of Columbia.

“We understand that new power lines – even if they are built where
existing lines now stand – can cause concern for nearby residents,”
Schleicher said. “We will work very hard with individual property owners
to answer their questions and address their concerns about this project
as we move forward.”

PPL Electric Utilities evaluated three possible routes for the line. Two
of the possible routes went north through Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wayne and
Pike counties. The third possible route went south through Schuylkill,
Lehigh and Northampton counties.

The decision to choose Route B was made after careful consideration of
impacts along all three routes, and after considering public input. PPL
Electric Utilities received extensive comments from interested people
along all three routes, including comments made in person at public
input workshops, by phone using a special toll-free number, and by
e-mail from the project’s Web site, www.pplreliablepower.com.

The company will ask the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to
approve the route in an application that is expected to be filed in the
fourth quarter of 2008. The PUC review process, which also includes
input from the public, could take as long as a year. The line is
scheduled to be in service by May 2012.

Construction of the line will provide an economic boost to the region of
at least $100 million over three years, creating 165 to 330 construction
jobs during that period, according to an economic impact study conducted
by the Penn State Workforce Education and Development Initiative Team.

“This project will help ensure that PPL Electric Utilities can continue
its long-standing record of providing excellent and reliable electric
service to our customers in Pennsylvania, while supporting continued
electric service reliability for all electric customers across the
region,” Schleicher said.

PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation that
provides electricity delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in
Pennsylvania, has consistently ranked among the best companies for
customer service in the United States. More information is available at
www.pplelectric.com.

Posted on August 1, 2008 in PPL by Matthew Sekol1 Comment »

According to today’s Morning Call article, many local politicians were made aware that next week PPL will be making a decision regarding the lines.

I hope that they are putting a lot of thought into these options and really coming up with other solutions.