High public interest has prompted the superintendents of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River and National Recreation Water Trail to extend by a week the public comment period on a proposal to run a transmission line across the areas.
The comment period was scheduled to end today, but has been extended through March 12.
"Scoping comments," those that suggest areas the Park Service should examine in preparing an environmental impact statement, are being taken to help agency managers prepare an EIS on a proposal to replace existing 80-foot transmission towers with larger towers (up to 200 feet high) and add an additional 500 kV transmission line.
Park Service officials say the request would necessitate widening the cleared area and the existing right-of-way and constructing access roads. The proposed expanded line and new towers would impact the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area; the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River and National Recreation Water Trail; and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
The EIS will analyze a reasonable range of alternatives to meet project objectives; evaluate potential issues and impacts to the resources and values of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail park units, and identify mitigation measures to lessen the degree or extent of these impacts.
There are numerous ways for the public to provide comments on the public scoping phase of the planning process, including leaving a message on the Park Planning Information Telephone Line (570-426-2491), submitting comments online through a link on the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment site, http://parkplanning.nps.gov (select Appalachian NST or Delaware Water Gap NRA), or by mailing comments to:
National Park Service
Attention: DEWA PPL EIS Planning Team
Denver Service Center-Planning Division
P.O. Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225-0287
Detailed information about the need for the EIS and the project timeline
can be found on the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public
Comment site: http://parkplanning.nps.gov.