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Maryland lawmaker opposes Transource power line project

A Maryland state senator is among those who have made filings in opposition to Transource’s Independence Energy Connection project.

Maryland State Sen. Robert Cassilly, in a Feb. 6 letter to the state Public Service Commission, requested “that the application be denied because the applicant has not demonstrated a need for the selected route that justifies the impact on the interests of the citizens of Harford County.”

He said that he opposes the application by which Transource Maryland, LLC, proposes construction of the project through northern Harford County, Maryland.

“Under the current proposal, these electrical lines will extend through approximately three miles of farmland, much of which is in agricultural preservation under state and county funded preservation programs,” he said. “These preservation programs are intended to preserve for future generations the natural beauty and agricultural heritage associated with those properties. Marring the scenic beauty of these properties with major power lines is wholly inconsistent with the purpose for which state and county paid consideration for the placement of these properties in agricultural preservation. Transource Maryland, LLC, has not provided a justification for its proposal that would work a substantial diminution of the public’s investment in these properties.”

Cassilly claimed that the selected route of the proposed power line is “grossly unfair to the directly impacted property owners who, for the public benefit, placed their properties in preservation easements, thereby substantially reducing the potential market value those properties would have had if they were still available for sale for commercial or residential development.”

STOP Transource Power Lines MD, Inc. – which, according to its Feb. 7 filing submitted to the commission, is a non-stock, non-profit corporation – said that it “is vehemently opposed to the” project as currently proposed, as well as the company’s taking of land, whether by agreement or by eminent domain.

The project, as proposed, would “have a significant and substantial impact on economics, esthetics, and historic sites in the vicinity of its proposed location, to the detriment of the members of STOP Transource, the other owners of real property within the project’s proposed path, and the community at large,” STOP Transource claimed.

An American Electric Power (AEP) spokesperson on Feb. 13, in response to the filings, told TransmissionHub that PJM Interconnection identified the need for the $320 million upgrade to alleviate congestion on the high-voltage electric grid and benefit customers in the region, including parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Read full article at EL&P