PHOTO: Mayor Stephanie Murray speaking at the public hearing on the Monmouth County Reliability Project held at Middletown High School North last January.

MIDDLETOWN, NJ - On Thursday, March 8th Administrative Law Judge Gail Cookson denied the Monmouth County Reliability Project (MCRP) proposed by Jersey Central Power & Light. In her 180-page decision, Judge Cookson referred to the high-voltage power lines as “untried, untested, and likely infeasible due to its narrow width, age, and proximity to residential communities.”

The Township considers Judge Cookson’s decision a huge win for the residents of Middletown and for all of those who live along the proposed 10-mile route from Aberdeen to Red Bank.

“The Township Committee and I are elated,” said Mayor Stephanie Murray. “We’re confident that Judge Cookson’s strongly-worded opposition to this project will ensure that the BPU makes the right decision.”

The MCRP would put a 230-kilovolt line in close proximity to residents' homes in Middletown, Holmdel, Hazlet, Red Bank and Aberdeen and devastate neighborhoods. “The County Freeholders, the Middletown Board of Education, and the five affected towns all came together to put a stop to this costly project,” said Township Administrator Tony Mercantante.

“We are proud to have lead the Municipal Consortium in the fight against this unnecessary proposal by speaking out on behalf of our residents and providing legal assistance,” said Mayor Murray.

The case now goes to the state Board of Public Utilities which can accept, modify or reject the judge's decision.