[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 13 (Thursday, January 21, 2010)]
[Pages 3486-3487]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-1094]



National Park Service

Susquehanna to Roseland 500kV Transmission Line, Environmental 
Impact Statement, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Middle 
Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, and Appalachian 
National Scenic Trail, Pennsylvania and New Jersey

AGENCY: National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) for a construction and right-of-way permit requested from 
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Middle Delaware National 
Scenic and Recreational River, and Appalachian National Scenic Trail, 
in connection with the Susquehanna to Roseland 500kV Transmission Line.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 
U.S.C. 4332(2)(C), the National Park Service (NPS) is preparing an 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and conducting public scoping 
meetings for a construction and right-of-way permit requested from 
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Middle Delaware National 
Scenic and Recreational River, and Appalachian National Scenic Trail, 
in connection with the proposed Susquehanna (Berwick, Pennsylvania) to 
Roseland, New Jersey 500 kilovolt (kV) Transmission Line. The line is 
being proposed by Pennsylvania Power and Light Electric Utilities (PPL) 
and Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), and would cross 
the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA), Middle Delaware 
National Scenic and Recreational River, and Appalachian National Scenic 
Trail (AT), in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This NPS EIS will examine a 
range of feasible alternatives and evaluate potential impacts on the 
natural resource and cultural resource values, and the human 
environment in the areas of these NPS units.
    PPL and PSE&G, applicants for an NPS permit, have proposed 
expansion of an existing electric transmission line right-of-way that 
crosses the three NPS units. The Applicants currently have a 230 kV 
transmission line running through their existing right-of-way. They are 
proposing to replace the existing line with a double circuit 500 kV 
transmission line with one circuit being operated at 500 kV and the 
second circuit being energized at 230 kV. The two circuits would be 
separate but carried on the same structures. The existing single 230 kV 
power line and towers currently on the right-of-way would be removed 
and replaced with larger towers. This would necessitate widening the 
cleared area, and the granting of additional rights to expand the width 
of the transmission line right-of-way beyond the Applicant's current 
holdings. The Applicants are also proposing to build new roads and 
rehabilitate and widen existing roads in DEWA for accessing the 
transmission line corridor. The Applicant's stated purpose for the 
project is to strengthen the grid at the direction of the Regional 
Transmission Operator, PJM Interconnection (PJM). PJM oversees the 
overall movement of wholesale electricity between many electric 
utilities throughout a 13 state region. PJM's 2007 load forecast model

[[Page 3487]]

identified 23 projected reliability criteria violations, starting in 
2012 and beyond, that the proposed project is designed to alleviate.
    The Federal action under consideration in this EIS is the 
Applicant's proposal that the National Park Service grant the permits 
it has requested. The National Park Service's purpose in taking action 
is to respond to the Applicant's expressed need to expand its current 
right-of-way to construct new and taller power lines and add an 
additional 500kV power line, in light of the purposes and resources of 
the affected units of the National Park System, as expressed in 
statutes, regulations, and policies. Federal action is needed because 
the applicant has submitted the required applications and construction 
plan to replace and expand the existing line in accordance with 36 CFR 
Part 14 and applicable NPS Management Policies. The NPS therefore has a 
duty to consider whether, and with what conditions, if any, to issue 
the requested permits.
    The NPS will analyze the proposed action and no action 
alternatives, as well as other possible alternatives including granting 
of the permits as requested, granting of the permits with stipulations, 
or denying the permits, and alternatives to the proposed line both 
within and outside the park. The NPS expects to identify additional 
alternatives, issues concerning the alternatives, and alternative 
mitigation strategies during the public scoping process.
    This notice initiates the public participation and scoping process 
for the EIS. The public is invited to comment on the purpose, need, 
objectives, preliminary alternatives, or any other issues associated 
with the proposal. Information that details the purpose, need, and 
issues identified to date is available from the NPS Planning, 
Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dewa/.
    Dates and Meeting Notices: The public scoping period will commence 
on the date this notice is published in the Federal Register and last 
for at least 30 days. The NPS will hold public meetings near the parks 
and surrounding region to provide the public an opportunity to review 
the proposal and project information. All public meetings will be 
announced through local media, mailings, and the NPS PEPC Web site at 
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dewa/. Comments will be accepted within 30 
days after this publication date and/or until at least 15 days after 
the last public scoping meeting.

ADDRESSES: Comments on issues, potential impacts, or suggestions for 
additional alternatives can be submitted using any one of the following 
methods. You may submit comments through the NPS PEPC Web site at 
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dewa/, which is the preferred method. You 
may mail your comments to the National Park Service, Attention: DEWA 
PPL EIS Planning Team, Denver Service Center--Planning, P.O. Box 25287, 
Denver, CO 80225. Comments may also be submitted at any of the three 
public meetings to be announced.

Specialist, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, HQ River Rd. 
off Route 209, Bushkill, PA 18324-9999, telephone 570-426-2491.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Before including your address, phone number, 
e-mail address or other personal identifying information in your 
comment, you should be aware your entire comment--including your 
personal identifying information--may be made publicly available at any 
time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so. The NPS will not consider anonymous comments. All 
submissions from organizations and businesses, and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses, will be available for public inspection in their 

Michael T. Reynolds,
Acting Regional Director, Northeast Region, National Park Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-1094 Filed 1-20-10; 8:45 am]