In the federal lawsuit now pending before Chief Judge Richard W. Roberts of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (National Parks Conservation Association et al. v. S.M.R. Jewell et al., No. 1:12-cv-01690-RWR), the ten plaintiff environmental organizations today filed a motion with the Court for a preliminary injunction to halt the initial construction, planned for September 3, 2013, of utilities PPL/PSEG's "Susquehanna-Roseland" 500kv electric transmission line (with two lines of 190 ft. towers) through the heart of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Plaintiffs' motion argues that "the start of tree clearing and road building in the [DWGNRA] in two week's time will inflict irreparable harm on the parks" and that "if that construction is allowed to begin and continue, [the] Court's review and Plaintiffs' efforts to protect the parks from the consequences of unlawful agency action would be fruitless." The irreparable harm that would be caused by the construction includes damage that the National Park Service has already admitted will occur: irreversible harm to multiple resources in the park -- clear-cutting of acres of trees, roads crossing fragile wetlands, damage to stormwater flows, and fragmenting of wildlife habitats -- degradation of the scenic landscape, and appreciable diminishment of key aspects of the park that visitors come to enjoy.
Defendants (U.S. Dept. of the Interior and National Parks Service and intervenors PPL and PSEG) have 7 days to file a response.
A court hearing on the motion has been requested but not yet scheduled.
The plaintiff environmental organizations seeking to halt the construction include: Appalachian Mountain Club, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, National Parks Conservation Association, New Jersey Highlands Coalition, New York–New Jersey Trail Conference, Rock the Earth, Sierra Club, and Stop the Lines.
For more info. contact: