YORK COUNTY, PA — Concerned property owners in York County are protesting a power line proposed to run through their backyards.
That group includes some farmers near the Pennsylvania – Maryland line who believe they stand to lose profits if a high voltage power line is built on their land.
A video taken by one of those farmers captures the impromptu protests and pleas of neighbors near the Pennsylvania-Maryland line in York County.
It also captured the attention of 14,000 viewers online.
In the background of the video, Transource power crews survey the land and drill into the soil.
That’s just a portion of the land needed for that proposed 45-mile high voltage power line that would run through parts of both Pennsylvania and Maryland.
“The problem with this line is it’s a brand new line. It’s not using the existing infrastructure which just makes common sense… so we were fighting it from the minute it started,” said Hugh McPherson, the owner of Maple Lawn Farms.
McPherson’s family has owned Maple Lawn Farms in York County for more than a century.
He says the line would run right through his property.
“Instead of developing our land and putting in houses, we chose to continue to farm. Some years are great. Some years are tough, but it’s our choice to do that, and they’re using the eminent domain proceedings to take the land without our choice, and right now, the part of the video that has gone crazy, is they’re on the land, drilling, surveying, without the approval of the project,” said McPherson.
That’s right; the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission has not yet given the okay for the project.
However, Abby Foster, a spokeswoman for Transource told FOX43 over the phone crews have the right to be on that land and asked neighbors to keep a safe distance from the equipment.
“When faced with the refusals from landowners, they went the extra step to the local county judge in York County, and they affirmed their rights and gave them an immediate right of entry,” explained Foster,
Barren Shaw, another local farmer, wants the crews to immediately *exit* the area.
He believes the power line would take away the natural beauty of his land and hurt his business.
“I spent twenty years of my career, doing something else, and this place meant enough for me to leave that career, and come back and take over the farm. It’s a real gut punch when somebody wants to take away something that means so much to us,” explained Shaw.
Foster says the line would open access to electricity and save customers in the Mid-Atlantic region more than $860 million in congestion savings.
Starting next week, there will be two weeks of hearings with experts and witnesses on the proposed power line in Harrisburg.
A spokeswoman for the PUC says there’s a similar process going on in Maryland, before the Maryland Public Service Commission, concerning portions of the project in that state.