MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Middletown Township is on a fact-finding mission regarding JCP&L’s proposed Monmouth County Reliability project.

Township officials have sent two rounds of questions and concerns about the proposed project to the utility. The first inquiry was sent May 23rd after JCP&L announced the proposed project. A second set of questions and concerns were forwarded this week after the utility held several public information sessions about the proposed transmission line.

“We are requesting that the utility’s response to all our questions and concerns be addressed with a formal presentation at a public meeting. We expect that this meeting will also include a period where residents can get their immediate concerns addressed,” said Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, Ph.D.

“Our approach at this time is to gather as much factual and technical information and data as possible about the proposed project,” said Mayor Scharfenberger. “We know that the state Department of Environmental Protection, the State Historic Preservation Office and the Board of Public Utilities, all of which are agencies with the authority to approve or deny this project, will be basing their decisions on facts and data, not emotional issues. Therefore, it’s critical to gather as much information as possible, as quickly as possible.”

Mayor Scharfenberger has sent correspondence to the National Institute of Health asking for the latest data, information and reports regarding power lines and any associated health risks.

“We’re consulting with our professionals as to what our options are,” said Mayor Scharfenberger.

“The entire Middletown Township Committee is aware that residents have many questions about the proposed Monmouth County Reliability Project,” said Mayor Scharfenberger. “We share many of their mounting concerns and are awaiting answers that will adequately address them.”

The questions the township sent to JCP&L will be posted to Middletown’s website, middletownnj.org. The township will also publish information received from the utility and the National Institute of Health as it becomes available on the website.

According to information provided by JCP&L, the Monmouth County Reliability project would add 10 miles of monopoles and overhead power lines along a New Jersey Transit right-of-way located between energy substations in Aberdeen and Red Bank. The majority of the proposed 230 kV transmission line would be installed within Middletown’s borders and would include monopoles in the township’s oldest historic district. In addition to Middletown, the towns of Aberdeen, Hazlet, Holmdel and Red Bank would be affected by the proposed high voltage power line. JCP&L offers more information about the project at monmouthreliability.com and 855-277-9332.