Judge Denies $111 Million JCP&L Power Line Project

March 8, 2018
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The Monmouth County Reliability Project was denied by Administrative Law Judge Gail M. Cookson on March 8. Her decision will be sent to the Board of Public Utilities for an ultimate decision at a later date. The project was met with loud opposition by residents.

By Jay Cook |

An administrative law judge announced today that she has denied a much-maligned transmission line project designed to run through five Monmouth County towns.

Administrative Law Judge Gail M. Cookson determined that Jersey Central Power & Light Co. (JCP&L) “has not met its burden of proof” in exhibiting the need for the Monmouth County Reliability Project (MCRP) – a $111 million, 230-kV transmission line planned to run 10 miles from Aberdeen to Red Bank, through Hazlet, Holmdel and Middletown, along the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line.

In her decision, Cookson wrote “the aesthetic, real estate, and environmental impacts on the five communities is overwhelming and is not offset by the interests of all JCP&L ratepayers, that is, the general public.”

Cookson’s decision is the first major hurdle for the project’s dissenters. Residents Against Giant Electric (RAGE), a residents group opposed to the MCRP, spent over $450,000 in fighting the project through the courts. The governing bodies from Middletown, Hazlet, Holmdel and Aberdeen also formed a joint municipal group to fight the MCRP.

Cookson’s recommendation is now sent to the state Board of Public Utilities, where the board will ultimately decide the MCRP’s fate.

Read Cookson’s full decision in this PDF: Judge Cookson Initial Decision 2018_03_08

Look for a full story in the March 15 edition of The Two River Times.


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