Please read this action alert. I may set up an event to go to the Parsippany Hotel for an investigation into what is going on. It seems that the beloved Appalachian Trail is in threat of encroachment by PSE&G....
NJ Sierra Club Action Alert
PSE&G is proposing to expand their right-of-way through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and across the Appalachian Trail. They propose to add a 500kV line to the existing 230kV line and double the height of the existing towers to 175 feet. To build the towers they will need to carve new access roads and staging areas through the park, and MOVE THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL!
Who does PSE&G think they are?
The National Park Service (NPS) will be preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to research all of the potential environmental, historical, and recreational impacts of the project. The NPS needs to hear how people and the land will be impacted.
Do you love the Water Gap? Did you ever want to hike the Appalachian Trail? Here is your chance to speak up and become a champion for the things you care about most.
Below is information on ways to comment, talking points, and the process.
Thanks for your support,
The Sierra Club Staff
Ways to Comment:
Come to a meeting and show the NPS the face of people who care about the Water Gap.
* Tuesday, February 16, 2010 from 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
U.S. Route 209 North
* Wednesday, February 17, 2010 from 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
81 Weldon Road
Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
* Thursday, February 18, 2010 from 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Sheraton Parsippany Hotel
199 Smith Road
Parsippany, New Jersey
Can?t make it to a meeting? Submit your comments directly to the National Park Service.http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?parkID=220&projectID=25147&documentId=31664
* The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was created to give people open space, protect water quality in the Delaware River, and provide recreation space. This is a National Park, not PSE&G?s corporate playground.
* The New Jersey section of the Appalachian Trail is one of the most historic and scenic. For more than 100 years people have hiked this portion of the trail. Construction will impact the trail directly and will ruin the views from one of the best portions of the trail.
* The Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line is only one of many transmission lines being proposed around the country to move coal power to the best paying markets. The National Park Service should consider the cumulative impact of these lines ? including air quality and climate change.
* Federal lands on the East Coast are rare. Congressional legislation was required to create the National Recreation Area, we should respect the few federally protected lands we have.
* PSE&G's right-of-way was created when the country was just being electrified, transmission lines are no longer cutting edge technology. Investing in renewable energy distributed around New Jersey would be a safer and cleaner alternative.
* The impacts of constructing the line go beyond the right-of-way, the creation of new roads will affect a huge area in the Highlands Region.
* The population of New Jersey has boomed, there aren?t that many places left for natural recreation and to see wildlife.
* PSE&G cannot just purchase land somewhere else to make up for what they are ruining in the Water Gap. There is no way to mitigate.
* The impacts of building this line include more water and air pollution. Mercury from the Midwestern states enters the air and settles in the surface water in the Highlands.
* The views seen from the Delaware Water Gap and the Appalachian Trail are priceless. PSE&G should not be allowed to ruin the view shed for private gain. This will impact the view shed in the Highlands as well as the Upper Delaware River, which has been designated a wild and scenic river.
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a study that is required for projects by federal agencies that will significantly affect the quality of the environment. It requires federal agencies to examine the alternatives that would limit environmental impact.
There are three steps for an EIS:
First the agency, in this case the National Parks Service, does scoping. They take public comment on what issues they should look into.
Second, they write a draft of the EIS. After the draft is written it becomes open to public comment.
Third, they publish their EIS with a determination of an approved alternative, which could be the project as proposed by PSE&G, an alternative proposal, or a "no build" alternative.
[For more information and videos about this issue, visit http://www.opposethetowers.com