Stop PATH, that's the message residents from Virginia and West Virginia are sending to a group of electrical companies that want to run a power line through the two states and Maryland.
Approval to build the power line is a two-part process. Each state must go through a process with the State Corporation Commission. Right now, environmental officials must do a study to see how the line will impact the forest and three parks it will run through. "Definitely a lot of passion from the public. We're looking for ideas and to identify concerns about having the line cross our lands," says Morgan Elmer, the project manager who works for the National Park Service.
The National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the Army Corps of Engineers are asking for public comment to help develop an environmental impact study, but some say parks are just a small part of the areas that will be affected. "That probably is about 5 to 10 percent of the land that power line is crossing There's an environmental impact on 90 percent of the land that they are not doing a study on, we feel that's important," says Michael Johnson a Frederick County resident.
Electric companies say the PATH project is needed to prevent the possibility of blackouts from an overloaded grid, but not everyone is convinced that the line is needed.
Those who could be impacted by the line say it's important for the State Corporation Commission to know that the public wants more answers and alternatives to this power line. "Those that plan have ignored offshore wind farm proposals that are proposed for the Atlantic Ocean from Virginia up to the Northeast, which will supply a tremendous amount of renewable non fossil fuel power on a permanent basis," Roger Eitelman, who lives in Charlestown, WV
So far an application for approval to build the line was dismissed in Virginia and delayed in West Virginia. Maryland rejected the application. I
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