National Park Service Suspends EIS Process

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.

3 thoughts on “National Park Service Suspends EIS Process

  1. I think the reason the “no later than Dec.31st” is there is b/c the bill has been paid to NPS for work through the end of 2011. The bill for work in 2012 would be invoiced at the end of Sept. 2011 – and w/the “suspension”…. I would hope PATH will not be looking to contract services which would so obviously be developmental in nature. But you never can tell!

    • Thanks for the information, Ali. For those readers who don’t know my Calhoun County neighbor Ali, she is our resident expert on PATH rate recovery (I have called it pocket picking) at FERC. Ali makes AEP and FE cough up the invoices for all the costs they are trying to get us to pay, so she knows when the NPS bills the power companies for the consultant work on the PATH EIS. This is an important fact about the EIS process that is not often discussed in the press. The NPS hires a consulting firm to manage the EIS process, and the power companies, as applicants for the EIS, are obligated to pay NPS’s costs.

  2. …. and then the power companies recover the expense of the EIS from the PJM ratepayers over a number of years while it depreciates, plus 14.3% ROE on the remaining expense every year it remains in the rate base.

    Tsk, tsk, tsk… looks like PATH is incurring capital expenses for the remainder of 2011 after all.

    Ut-oh! Did we just VIOLATE H-19B? I’m frightened Auntie Em, I’m frightened!

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