Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) has reached agreements, totaling about $570,000, with three New Jersey municipalities involving the proposed Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line.
John Margaritis, project director, transmission expansion, communications and outreach with PSE&G, told TransmissionHub Oct. 23 that the company reached an agreement for almost $80,000 with the town of Newton, N.J., noting that the municipality will use the money for firefighter training as well as to address construction impacts, such as roads, and other items deemed appropriate.
As part of the agreement, “[w]e hold the town harmless, nor liable, for lawsuits on the project,” he said.
Margaritis also said that as PSE&G upgrades the 80-plus-year-old line, it recognizes that building a project of this scope will cause temporary construction impacts on the community.
“The agreement provides a measure of financial aid to ensure municipal services and budgets are not strained as a result of project construction,” he said.
A town official could not be immediately reached for comment Oct. 23.
PSE&G has also reached a $350,200 settlement with the municipality of Jefferson Township, N.J., and a $139,446.90 settlement with the municipality of Kinnelon, N.J., Margaritis said.
The National Park Service (NPS) issued Oct. 1 its record of decision (ROD) affirming the route for the 500-kV Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line chosen by PPL (NYSE:PPL) subsidiary PPL Electric Utilities and Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE:PEG) subsidiary PSE&G, saying that the chosen alternative will not impair park resources or values. It will also allow the NPS to preserve park resources and provide for their enjoyment by future generations, according to the document.
On Oct. 15, 10 East Coast conservation groups filed a lawsuit seeking to revoke the ROD, claiming that the NPS acted contrary to its duty to protect park areas from the adverse impacts of the transmission line.
“We see this lawsuit as a threat to reliable electric service for millions of people throughout the mid-Atlantic region,” a PPL spokesperson told TransmissionHub Oct. 16. “We intend to fight the action vigorously on behalf of the customers who need this power line.”