Wednesday, December 23, 2020

PUC Judge Concludes Transource Did Not Prove Franklin, York Counties Power Line Is Needed, Or Protects Natural Resources As Required By Environmental Rights Amendment

On December 23, PUC Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth H. Barnes
issued a 153-page opinion saying Transource Pennsylvania, LLC did not prove its proposed Independence Energy Connection power line project in Franklin and York counties was needed or protects natural resources as required by the state Environmental Rights Amendment.

Judge Barnes said Transource “has not met its burden of proving that the proposed Independence Energy Connection Project is in compliance with applicable statutes and regulations providing for the protection of the natural resources of the Commonwealth or that the proposed Independence Energy Connection Project would have a minimum adverse environmental impact, considering the electric power needs of the public, the state of available technology and the available alternatives.”

Specifically, the opinion finds Transource did not meet its burden of proving the project provided for the protection of natural resources and referenced the state’s Environmental Rights Amendment (page 127)

“As there is no need for the project, the siting applications, shelter petitions for zoning exemptions and eminent domain applications must also be denied.” 

“Finally, I recommend that the Commission issue a Rule to Show Cause directing Transource Pennsylvania LLC to show cause why the certificate for public convenience issued to Transource should not be rescinded as there is no need for the transmission service delineated.” 

Parties to the case have 20 days to file exceptions raising issues with the Judge Barnes’ recommendations, followed by a 10-day period for replies to any exceptions raised.

After that the entire case goes to the PUC Commissioners for their review and consideration.

The case has been under PUC consideration for more than two years.

Click Here for a copy of the opinion.

[Posted: December 23, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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