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Forum to Address Power Line Concerns

North Caldwell residents can ask PSE&G questions about plans to upgrade overhead transmission systems at Wednesday night forum.

Story updated at 2:05 p.m.

PSE&G's plans to upgrade the overhead transmission systems running through North Caldwell are the subject of a forum tonight at borough hall.

Representatives from the utility company will be available from 5 to 7 p.m. to answer questions about the Northeast Grid Reliability Project, which increases 25 miles of transmission lines, including those in North Caldwell, from 138,000 to 230,000 volts.

PSE&G Regional Public Affairs Manager Richard Dwyer in a letter to residents dated August 27, 2012 stated that PSE&G’s Northeast Grid Reliability Project is “needed to ensure reliable electric power for nearly one million New Jersey residents in the northern part of the state.”

Shannon Desiderioscioli, who lives on White Oak Drive, has been vocal about her concerns over the project. 

“PSE&G thought they could quietly increase the transmission wire voltage through North Caldwell without our residents taking notice,” Desiderioscioli said. “They know the project is not warranted and comes with significant environmental and construction risks and challenges to our local landscape.”

Residents will have another chance to ask questions next Wednesday, Sept. 19, when PSE&G is expected to appear before the North Caldwell Zoning Board at 8 p.m.

PSE&G requires a variance to replace existing transmission towers that measure about 115 feet in height with 160-foot tall monopoles, Borough Engineer/Department of Public Works Director Frank Zichelli said at Tuesday Night’s council meeting. North Caldwell’s current height ordinance is 38 feet.

“The North Caldwell Zoning Board must deny their application an insist on preserving our quality of life,” said Desiderioscioli, who created the Facebook page Stop the Lines in North Caldwell.

In PSE&G's letter to residents, Dwyer stated, "We are committed to upgrading the Northeast Grid Reliability Project in accordance with all safety and environmental standards, while being sensitive to the needs and concerns of those along the route."

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