rb njt 041014A view north along the North Jersey Coast Line from the Red Bank train station. The proposed JCP&L power line would be strong alongside the railroad right-of-way on poles as tall as 140 feet. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)


HOT-TOPIC_03A controversial 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in Red Bank is no more welcome today than it was when it was shelved more than two decades ago, two local legislators said Thursday.

State Senators Jen Beck, of Red Bank, and Joe Kyrillos, of Middletown, jointly introduced a trio of resolutions in Trenton aimed at blocking electricity provider JCP&L from building the line.

jen beck 050115State Senators Jen Beck, above, and Joe Kyrillos, below, call the proposed line “unacceptable.” (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

kyrillos 010216The resolutions urge opposition by a host of state and federal agencies and elected officials, including the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Governor Chris Christie and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“Our steadfast opposition to this project is echoed by thousands of Monmouth County residents who have been clear, consistent and reasoned in expressing why this project might work in Akron, Ohio, but is unacceptable here,” Beck said in a prepared statement. “We support increasing the reliability of our electric grid, but believe there are viable alternatives that could achieve that.”

Last month, with a 671-page filing with the BPU, JCP&L formally revived a 25-year-old plan for a 230-kilovolt transmission line strung along the existing New Jersey Transit rail line between power substations in Aberdeen and Red Bank.

Already, two 230KV lines run along the route, but a third is needed to ensure “a stronger, modernized electrical system benefiting nearly 214,000 customers in Monmouth County,” the company claims.

But the $111 million project, dubbed the Monmouth County Reliability Project, has run into opposition by residents who claim that living along the line’s proposed route, which features 140-foot-tall monopoles, would bring health threats, reduced property values and other problems.

Governing bodies in Red Bank, Middletown and elsewhere have passed resolutions opposing the line’s construction.

“This project is no more welcome today than it was 25 or more years ago when JCP&L shelved it due to the blistering public opposition and other available options,” Kyrillos said in the statement.