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Monday, February 10, 2003

Levinson Criticizes State's Refusal to Relocate Power Lines

Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson criticized the decision of the New Jersey State Highway Authority and other top state officials not to permit Conectiv to install new 230 kV transmission lines along the Garden State Parkway away from residential areas as "insensitive to the concerns of the residents of the affected communities."

According to Levinson, after a strong public outcry, Conectiv was willing to amend their application to the BPU and relocate new high voltage power lines away from neighborhoods. "To insist that these high voltage lines run through neighborhoods because of the 'historical and environmental' nature of the parkway is ludicrous," Levinson said. "Were not talking about a Civil War battle site or ancient burial grounds," Levinson explained. "We're talking about a major north south highway in Atlantic County, complete with buses, heavy trucks, fast food restaurants and gas stations."

Levinson urged the Governor to support Conectiv's plan to locate the 230 kV transmission lines along the Parkway. Conectiv has stated that they will shortly submit a new application with the BPU to build the 230 kV in their existing right of way that passes through the communities of Absecon, Egg Harbor Township, Galloway Township, and Port Republic. "This issue is not going away. The citizens of the these communities have already expressed their outrage at this proposal. I am sure that the adverse environmental impact on the 'environmental and historical nature' of our communities means more to our citizens than the impact on the Parkway."

Levinson stated that he felt that the state was out of touch with the public on this important issue. "High voltage transmission lines are more appropriately located along a roadway than in neighborhoods. Furthermore, the lines would be set back along the right of way far enough to protect the so called 'historical' integrity of this 'hallowed' roadway."

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