UPDATE: The National Park Service has published its Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed action. It concludes that the preferred environmental alternative is the “no action” alternative. The public comment period on the DEIS is open until January 31, 2012.
The National Park Service is deciding whether to allow the construction of a new 500 kV electric transmission line to cross the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Today (January 21, 2010) it issued its Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a construction and right-of-way permit requested from the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, in connection with the Susquehanna to Roseland 500kV Transmission Line.
You can view the Federal Register notice here. The public participation and public scoping process under the National Environmental Policy Act commences with the Federal Register publication today. The public can comment on the project’s purpose, need, objectives, preliminary alternatives, mitigation and other issues by submitting comments through the NPS project website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dewa/.
The project proposes to expand upon an existing right-of-way which contains a single 230,000 volt (230kV) electric transmission line by replacing the existing towers with new, taller tower structures and adding an additional 500,000 volt (500kV) transmission line. The request would necessitate widening the existing ROW and constructing new access roads. The expanded line and new towers will impact three units of the National Park Service: the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area; the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River and National Recreation Water Trail; and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (AT). The NPS is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the permit request.
Additional information, including the NPS internal scoping meeting report, is available from the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment page for the project.