Last Chance to Speak Up on PPL Power Line Proposal

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This week is the last chance for people to sound off about a proposed power line upgrade project in the Poconos.

PPL wants to put in a power line that would extend from the nuclear power plant near Berwick to New Jersey.

Officials with the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area have been opposed to the part of the plan that involves upgrading the current power lines that cut through the park.

Recently, PPL offered to give the park more land in exchange for allowing the upgrades to go through.

Juliette Caines of Bushkill says she doesn't notice the power lines going through the park now.

"It's beautiful, it's beautiful. I don't know why more people who live in the area do not come out and take advantage of what the park service gave us," said Caines.

PPL wants to build a power line that would go from the nuclear power plant near Berwick through the Poconos to New Jersey. A four mile section of that route is in the national park.

A spokesperson with PPL says "One criticism we get is this power line is not intended to benefit electric customers in Pennsylvania. That's absolutely not true. Every home and business in Northeastern Pennsylvania and broader regions will have more reliable power,".

PPL says the upgrade will help prevent power outages and will supply more energy to Northeast United States.

But PPL's plan is opposed by the national park service.

"It's going to change the scenic vistas, it's going to change the experience canoeists have when they go down the river," said John Donahue, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Superintendent.

The PPL plan will make the power towers twice as high and the area around the towers twice as wide.

A PPL spokesperson says just last week PPL offered to buy thousands of acres of land for the national park because the company understands its plan will impact the park's landscape.

"I think they're making a real effort but until we see something in detail and something substantial in hand, it's hard to react," said Donahue.

The national park service is hosting a public hearing Tuesday at Fernwood Hotel and Resort and Wednesday at Stroudsmoor. Both hearings start at 6:00 p.m.

The park service expects to make its final decision on the proposed power line in October.