Franklin County Commissioners Applaud PUC’s Transource Project Denial
The following is a press release from the Franklin County Government for immediate release on May 25, 2021. All questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 261-3812.
The Franklin County Commissioners announced today that they have received an 80-page Opinion and Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission that denies all the requests made by Transource Pennsylvania LLC to site and construct the “Independence Energy Connection Project” in portions of Franklin and York Counties. The decision came after a lengthy litigation battle involving evidentiary hearings and many legal filings. The PUC denied the applications because the Transource failed to show a requisite “need” for the project that fell within the Pennsylvania Public Utility Code. The PUC also rescinded the Certificate of Public Convenience that had been conditionally granted to Transource, thus saving 43 properties in Franklin County from condemnation through the eminent domain process.
Chairman David Keller stated, “We are pleased that Franklin County’s voice was heard by the Public Utility Commission. The defeated Transource project offered no benefits for Franklin County residents or Pennsylvanians, generally. It was to be a path to export Pennsylvania’s less expensive power to out-of-state consumers. It is heartening to see that a full exploration of the facts resulted in a decision that will save Franklin Countians from an unsightly and unneeded transmission line project.”
Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski added, “We chose to take on this battle to protect our local citizens from a major electric transmission project that offered only local burdens. We know that the battle may continue, but for today we express our gratitude for what appears to be a sound and well-reasoned decision of the Public Utility Commission. We always believed that scrutiny through the administrative litigation process would show this project was unnecessary, ill conceived, and unfair to Franklin County. Today’s Opinion and Order show that our concerns were spot on and well worth our close involvement.”
The County Commissioners hired the law firm of Salzmann Hughes, P.C. to actively participate and represent Franklin County in the proceedings. “We are happy to have assisted the County in making its position known through the extensive administrative proceedings,” said G. Bryan Salzmann, Esq. “The Franklin County Commissioners supported our taking on this case, which was from the beginning an uphill battle. My partner Scott Wyland and his team coordinated with leaders of STOP Transource Franklin County, whose combined efforts proved invaluable to meaningful opposition to this project throughout the intense administrative litigation. Wyland added, “STOP Transource Franklin County’s effective leaders made a big difference in how thoroughly and effectively the case was presented. The battle was hard, and we are very pleased with the outcome – a very rare decision in this type of case.”
Commissioner John Flannery reaffirmed the comments of the other Board members. “We committed to opposing this project because we recognized it offered no benefits for the community but asked our residents to suffer the burdens of it just the same. When we know we are in the right, it makes taking on this type of effort worthwhile. The PUC listened and made a decision that we know is the right one for Franklin County and for the Commonwealth. We did the right thing in this case and were pleased that our voices were heard.”