TRENTON – A state appeals court Monday rejected environmentalists’ challenge to a Public Service Electric & Gas transmission line project.
The court upheld a Board of Public Utilities’ ruling that the project was of such public importance that it could not be held subject to normal municipal land use restrictions and regulations.
The environmentalists’ groups, including the Highlands Coalition and the Sierra Club, had argued against the project – extending from Berwick, Pa., to Roseland, N.J. – on various grounds: environmental, cost, and more.
BPU had sided with PSE&G that the 500,000-volt, 45-mile upgrade was essential to public safety and service reliability. The project would run through parts of 16 municipalities in New Jersey, including the Highlands and the Delaware Water Gap, raising environmental concerns about degradation to water supplies and other issues.
Among other things, the court rejected the groups’ contention that this project was part of an overall plan to export coal-generated electricity to the Northeast.
PSE&G is part of a 13-state transmission system known as PJM Interconnection charged with, among other things, system reliability.