Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) has proposed a number of significant environmental mitigation measures as part of its current application before the Highlands Council for the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
PSE&G amended its Highlands Applicability Determination (HAD) filing by submitting a comprehensive mitigation plan. The plan is designed to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts of the proposed project, providing further assurance that activities are consistent with the goals and purposes of the Highlands Act.
The mitigation plan addresses concerns raised by the Highlands Council, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, environmental organizations and the public since the company filed its HAD application in September 2008, seeking an exemption permitted under the terms of the Highlands Act.
A transmission line is needed to maintain the reliability of the regional electricity grid and prevent brownouts and blackouts. The New Jersey portion of the line will be placed primarily in an existing power line right of way for its entire 45-mile length. About 26 miles of the line go through the Highlands region.
The mitigation plan includes the following elements:
– revisions to the original project design that provide additional measures to avoid or minimize impacts;
– restoration and maintenance plans for natural resources disturbed during construction of the line; and
– an $18.6 million contribution to a Highlands Preservation Fund to address impacts to the area from the project that cannot be avoided or minimized.
SOURCE: Public Service Electric and Gas Co.