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A proposed change to a planned $372 million power line project could use existing electric facilities within York County and appease those who oppose the project in its current form.

Transource Energy is leading development of 16 miles of new transmission lines through several Pennsylvania and Maryland counties, a project that has sparked controversy in some of the communities that would be affected.

The new alternate route would expand the size of the Furnace Run substation, construct 4 miles of new line in that vicinity, rebuild portions of existing lines and utilize some existing structures.

This amendment would be the only change, and the original proposed power line plan would remain unchanged, according to Transource spokeswoman Abby Foster.

This amendment to the original plan will be filed with state commissioners for consideration as an alternate eastern segment option within the originally proposed Independence Energy Connection project application.

York County is within the east segment of the project. 

The proposed 16 miles of new transmission lines would connect a new substation in Lower Chanceford Township to the existing Conastone Substation, which is near Norrisville in Harford County, Maryland. A west segment runs through Franklin County.

Foster said Transource is unsure when the amended plan will be filed, as conversations discussing the new route are still underway. 

"This is now a new option on the table that is added into the review," she said. "It won't replace the (original) plan."

A series of evidentiary hearings slated for October have been canceled, Foster said.

Nils Hagen-Frederiksen, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, said any further information regarding future hearings will be posted to Transource's public docket.

"We deal with official information in the case, and there hasn't been any new official information,"  he said. "This is a process that is driven by the parties. All we can do is base our actions on the filings."

Several organizations have formed in opposition to Transource's plans, including Citizens to STOP Transource in York and Franklin counties. 

Barron Shaw, a member of the York chapter, said he is "very in support of using existing structures" for the new power lines.

It will all depend on if the new proposed route is approved by the PUC, the Hopewell Township resident said. 

"I think they're moving in the right direction with it," Shaw said. "We're positive about the developments."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.

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