PUC schedules Transource powerline public input hearings

Jana Benscoter
York Dispatch
York County and Franklin County residents sign in before the prehearing conference for Transource transmission line applications resided over by Administrative Law Judges Elizabeth Barnes and Andrew Calvelli at the Commonwealth Keystone Building in the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex in Harrisburg, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has scheduled eight public hearings in York and Franklin counties, where landowners and other concerned entities can testify about a proposed high-voltage power line. 

Public input hearings are part of the formal investigative process before the state's decision to approve or deny the project. 

"This is an opportunity for anyone who has a concern to raise it to the commission," said Nils Hagen-Frederiksen, press secretary for the PUC. 

York County public input hearings are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, and Monday, May 14, at Airville Volunteer Fire Co., 3576 Delta Road. 

In Franklin County, hearings are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, and Wednesday, May 23, at the New Franklin Fire Co. Social Hall, 3444 Wayne Road, Chambersburg.

More:Public hearings set on proposed power line in southern York County

More:Transource Energy goes to court for access to 36 York County properties

An application submitted to the PUC for construction of an overhead powerline in York and Franklin counties has drawn a lot of backlash from landowners and other concerned entities. (Jana Benscoter)

Transource Energy filed an application with the PUC in December to construct a $320 million "market efficiency" project, known as the Independence Energy Connection, which has drawn a lot of ire from residents in both counties. 

Transource Energy was hired by PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission grid operator, in June to construct the power line. Transource is a Pennsylvania public utility and now needs approval from the PUC to begin.

PUC Administrative Law Judges Elizabeth H. Barnes and Andrew M. Calvelli will preside over the public input hearings, the PUC reported.

Hagen-Frederiksen said the PUC encourages people to testify under oath so their statements become part of the formal record. 

Continuing litigation, including evidentiary hearings later this year, will run into February, the PUC stated.

Transource officials have said they want to begin construction of the transmission line in 2019 and begin operating it by mid-2020.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct an error. Anyone can testify at the scheduled PUC May public input hearings, not just those who have already filed a complaint.

The story has also been changed to reflect a new date for one set of hearings in York County.