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Report: Retweet Gets PSEG In Hot Water In Ridgewood, N.J.

Company Reportedly Retweeted Message Suggesting Power Should Be Denied
New, taller utility poles installed in Ridgewood, N.J. (Credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

New, taller utility poles installed in Ridgewood, N.J. (Credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Public Service Electric and Gas has been taking heat, after it retweeted a comment saying Ridgewood, N.J. residents should go without power for complaining about a project now under way.

On July 16, Twitter user @TaraSchwenekerNJ wrote, “@PSEGdelivers Great job during Sandy and u r now being proactive. If Ridgewood NJ hates the new poles, let them go w/out power next storm.”

But when PSEG retweeted the message over three different accounts — @PSEGdelivers, @PSEGCares and @PSEGNews – Ridgewood Mayor Paul Aronsohn was not amused, according to a Ridgewood Patch report.

The retweets appeared to have been deleted as of Tuesday, but the publication said they went out to a total of more than 42,000 followers.

Aronsohn told the publication that the retweets were “wholly appropriate” and “could be construed as a threat.”

PSEG spokeswoman Karen Johnson told Patch the message retweeted by the social media team at the company and that the company does not endorse @TaraSchwenekerNJ’s sentiment.

The project that has drawn the complaints involves 78 new 65-foot wooden utility poles, which are 15 feet higher than standard poles and are capable of withstanding powerful winds. The project was halted for a month as complaints mounted, but resumed last week, according to a published report.

Some residents have called the poles an eyesore and are concerned they could pose a health risk and decrease property values.

“The town needs to do more to rectify this situation, these poles need to be taken out,” one resident said last month. “An eyesore to most, but they are more than just that, they are monstrosities.”

“They’re twice the size of our houses right now,” another resident told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman last month. “They could fall down, number one; number two, they’re not zoned to be that high, they should only be 35 feet.”

Some residents have expressed concern that the higher voltage that will accompany the poles will increase the electromagnetic field in the area and cause potential health risks, although PSEG has said the new installation will not affect the electromagnetic field, according to a NorthJersey.com report.

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