TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A coalition of environmental conservation groups filed a federal challenge Monday seeking to block a new high-voltage power line that will run through parkland spanning Pennsylvania and New Jersey, on either side of the Delaware River.
The lawsuit, filed in Washington against the National Park Service, challenges the agency's recent approval of the Susquehanna-Roseland line, which is slated to run through 16 municipalities in northwestern Jersey, from Berwick, Pa. to Roseland.
The roughly $1 billion project would raise the lines' capacity from 230 kilovolts to 500 kilovolts and raise towers to as high as 190 feet tall.
Parties to the suit say the project will have a negative environmental impact.
"This decision by the Park Service will permanently scar the landscape and degrade the visitor experience in some of the most visited national parks in the country," said Hannah Chang, an attorney with Earthjustice. The group is representing a coalition of a dozen local, regional and national environmental groups along with the New Jersey-based Eastern Environmental Law Center.
A message left for the Park Service on Monday afternoon was not immediately returned.
Utility officials have said the Susquehanna-Roseland line would double the capacity and the height of power lines. The project is necessary to avoid power problems that could result in brownouts or blackouts, according to the companies building the project, Public Service Electric and Gas Co. in New Jersey and PPL Electric Utilities in Pennsylvania.