I missed this July 7 press release from the NPS, but my good friends at CAKES sent me a copy. As most of us expected, the Park Service suspended its Environmental Impact Statement process for the PATH line. There is also a mysterious line in the press release as follows:
In response to a March 17, 2011 request from PATH Allegheny Transmission Company. the NPS agreed to suspend the permitting process until no later than December 31, 2011.
What does “until no later than December 31, 2011” mean? Will the EIS process resume on Jan. 1, 2012? Will NPS dismiss the EIS application from PATH on Jan. 1, 2011, if PATH is not reinstated at PJM? Is this a deadline for something? The NPS does not provide any description of what will happen after December 31, 2011.
There is also nothing in the press release about the fact that CH2M Hill, the original consultant on the PATH EIS, is no longer the consultant on this project. The NPS has not indicated publicly if CH2M Hill has been replaced. Go to the NPS PATH EIS Web site, where we were told we would find the latest news in the EIS process, and you will find nothing about any of this. You can’t even find the most recent press release on the suspension at the PATH EIS Web site.