It didn’t come as a suprise. Yesterday the U.S. Dept. of Energy officially designated a "Mid Atlantic National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor" that includes the proposed 190 mile route for the NYRI (New York Regional Interconnect) power line project slated to run through western and southwestern Sullivan County. The designation essentially paves the way for NYRI to circumvent state regulation, and would allow the government to take land by eminent domain for the project.
Essentially, the designation gives New York state 12 months to approve the project. If NY doesn’t approve it within that time frame, NYRI can apply directly to the Federal Government for approval. And given the Bush Administration’s pro big-energy bias, its likely they’ll get that approval — along with the coveted right to take land by eminent domain for it.
Opponents, like the Upper Delaware Valley Preservation Coalition, haven’t given up hope, and there are still some avenues left to stop the project. But the DOE designation was a major hurdle for NYRI and moves the project a giant step closer to reality. Click here to read the article in the Times Herald Record. For maps of the route, you can go to NYRI’s website at www.nyri.us.