WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) today applauded the National Park Service’s (NPS) approval of a 4.5 mile section of the proposed Susquehanna-Roseland Transmission Line that crosses federal land in Pennsylvania. The approval, granted following what Department of Interior officials called an ‘exhaustive’ environmental review, is one of the final administrative hurdles in a complex, multi-year permitting process.

“This approval of the small stretch that crosses federal land gets us one step closer to completion of this important infrastructure project,” said Rep. Dent. “Not only will the construction of this transmission line create quality jobs for thousands of Americans, but it will improve regional electric reliability.”

Since its conception in 2008, Rep. Dent has been a strong supporter of the Susquehanna-Roseland project because of its clear economic benefits for the people of Pennsylvania. Throughout the long federal approval process, he sent several letters to the Department of Interior advocating for the projects timely approval. Rep. Dent also added legislative language to the Fiscal Year 2013 Interior Appropriations Act directing pertinent federal agencies to continue to work cooperatively with the Department to avoid any delays in the issuance of a final Record of Decision.

Upon completion, the Susquehanna-Roseland Transmission Line will stretch 146 miles from Berwick, Pennsylvania to Roseland, New Jersey. The $1.2 billion project, which is estimated to support 2,000 jobs, will alleviate overload on the region’s existing transmission lines, helping to prevent future brownouts and blackouts. Approximately 95 percent of the new line will be constructed on existing right of way, including the portion the crosses federal land in the Delaware Water Gap. The final route, which was chosen over multiple alternatives at the conclusion of a long selection process, is not disruptive to Lehigh Valley residents. The project is expected to be operational in 2015.

The transmission line is one of seven pilot projects included in the federal government’s Rapid Response Team for Transmission – a national initiative to improve the efficiency of federal, state and local permitting and siting processes that affect significant transmission projects.