If you haven't seen the article in the Martinsburg Journal on Wednesday ("PATH Meetings Scheduled"), there is a VERY important opportunity for us to make our voices heard on Monday evening.The National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service are holding a public meeting at the Quality Inn Hotel & Conference Center (the former Cliffside) on Route 340 by Harpers Ferry.This is a "scoping meeting" - these government agencies are requesting public input on what they should address in their Environmental Impact Study of the PATH transmission line.  PATH will cross the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, the Appalachian Trail, the C&O Canal, and part of the Monongahela National Forest in Tucker County. Because of this, the power companies have to file an application and get approval from the agencies to build the transmission line.  This is your opportunity to tell the government what environmental impacts should be considered and studied, for instance, impact on water, air, karst (limestone), caves, and soil, and impact on economic development and tourism. If you enjoy living in our beautiful county, and take pride in its historic significance, PATH will tear up these three national parks and change their character, inconvenience or limit visitors, and permanently mar their sights and sounds (the hum and crackle of these lines will be audible and unavoidable).  Right now, the government says it's only going to look at effects on the federal lands. They say they are not going to consider whether PATH is needed. We will be there to ask them to consider the effects along the entire 275 miles of PATH, and that they consider alternatives, including not building it at all. We need you there!  We need lots and lots of turnout, so they can see that our county, and the entire three-state region, are united in opposition. You don't have to speak, though there will be court reporters there to take any comments and suggestions you want to make.  StopPATH WV will be there the entire time. We will be handing out literature, answering questions, and testifying ourselves. We plan to submit our testimony some time between 7 and 8 p.m., to maximize the time available for all citizens to speak (and perhaps when the greatest number of folks will be on hand).  Please wear your StopPATH T-shirts, we will have stickers to hand out, but our supplies are limited.  The meeting is from 4-8 p.m. You can come any time in that period. There will be four "stations" set up, with NPS employees making a short presentation on different topics. Court reporters will be at each station, and you can make your comments at any or all of them.  If you can't make it on Monday, there are two more scoping meetings in our area -- the next night (Tuesday, July 20) at Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, Va., and Wednesday, July 21, at Tuscarora High School in Frederick County, Md. They also run from 4-8 p.m. If you can attend more than one of these meetings, GREAT! We want to make sure the government understands the entire region is opposed to PATH.  Please come out and support your county, your friends, families and neighbors, to help stop PATH.

--Patience Wait, Outreach Chair
 


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