Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Save Walpack Bend!

Take action to save the Walpack Bend section of the Delaware River from the electric utilities.

Please stand up for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and one of the premier paddling and camping spots in our region by letting the National Park Service know you oppose PSE&G and PPL's proposed Susquehanna-Roseland Transmission Line Alternative Route B, which would seriously impair a portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA), particularly where it would cross the Delaware River, just below Walpack Bend. Send this along to your friends and fellow paddlers too!

This link will take you to a recent article that describes the different route alternatives.

This is not an easy issue in that advocating for or against a particular route (A, B, or C) just puts the thing in other folk's backyards. And after researching this issue I would argue that the expansions should not occur at all if one considers the bigger picture: increased generating capacity created by coal fired power plants, some of which would be using coal from mountaintop removal and more importantly, dubious and unsubstantiated claims that this is needed in the first place.

If you are interested in learning more about the issues behind this proposal visit this website. You can also watch a You Tube video that features a few township mayors in NJ. 

Please note there is an existing 85' power line crossing this part of the river, but it is relatively small and not very intrusive compared to what is being proposed.
The proposed expanded 500 kilovolt transmission lines would be 195 feet, more than double the size of the existing line. That would create an obscene intrusion for paddlers, hikers, fishermen, camper and tourists, as well as severely degrade the Park and the Delaware River.

The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting an environmental impact study to document the impact these power lines will have on the natural resources and "visitor experiences." NPS provides a summary of the proposed project here:

You can provide comments directly to the National Park Service here:

Please tell NPS how important it is to preserve the scenic beauty in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Let them know how much you value the quality paddling experience found in the Walpack Bend portion of the Delaware River. Urge the National Park Service to deny approval of the Right-of-way Permit for Route B and forbid its crossing through this National Park.

Deadline for comments is March 5, 2010.