Lawmakers call on DNREC to block transmission line

DOVER — A resolution introduced in the General Assembly Wednesday urges state officials to block a planned power plant line that is expected to the cost burden on Delaware despite the project primarily benefiting New Jersey.

The project would create a transmission line stretching from the Delmarva Peninsula to the Artificial Island nuclear complex in New Jersey, just across the Delaware River. It is estimated to cost about $411 million.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied an appeal from the state, despite opposition to the project from Gov. Jack Markell and the state’s congressional delegation.

The Delaware Public Service Commission judges the increased cost at $4.10 per month for the average Delaware electricity consumer and more for businesses.

Charles "Trey" Paradee

Charles “Trey” Paradee

The legislation filed Wednesday, sponsored by Rep. W. Charles “Trey” Paradee, D-Cheswold, states the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control should “deny any and all easement requests by any party related to the Artificial Island transmission project so long as the current cost allocation formula remains in place, or if a new allocation formula that would still place a large portion of the project costs on Delaware customers is enacted.”

“It’s outrageous that Delmarva ratepayers are being ordered to shoulder such a huge burden of the project when they will receive such a small part of the benefits,” Rep. Paradee said in a statement. “This could cost businesses thousands of dollars a month and burden local residents for something that will not benefit them. That’s the definition of a bad deal.”

Concurrent resolutions do not hold the force of law, meaning the proposal introduced Wednesday does not mandate DNREC act.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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