In the last few years, the community mounted an impressive campaign to defeat, move or modify the PPL Electric Utilities Corp. (PPL) high voltage transmission line. Many residents provided valuable testimony at the Public Utility Commission public hearing in 2013 and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) public hearing in 2015 and wrote well-reasoned letters. We received the support of a dozen environmental organizations, pleading for modi cations to protect this fragile landscape. In spite of our best efforts, PPL received permission to construct the line, with few concessions or modi cations.
One concession was moving the line away from a popular local attraction, Choke Creek Falls and the path to the Falls. Another was a promise to treat our streams and wetlands with greater care – hand cutting in the wetlands and within 150’ of the streams. This has been followed along some streams but not on others. In addition, there were a few adjustments made on individual properties. Given the small return on our efforts to date, it would be easy to give up, but it is important that we remain vigilant.
Several residents have reported problems to the Lackawanna Conservation District (LCD). This has resulted in eight site inspections by the Conservation District, with six of the last seven inspections showing signi cant violations of PPL’s permits and the Clean Streams Law. This should not be business as usual. In each case, LCD ordered correction of the violations it found. Reporting is critical!
Contact information for the LCD, DEP and PPL can be found on our website at www. ThornhurstTwp.com, or call Jerry Stiles, District Manager, LCD at 570.382.3086 or Michael Bedrin, Regional Director, DEP at 570.826.2511.