David Schleicher, vice president of transmission at PPL Electric Utilities, said: “Today’s recommendation is another important step in the PUC review process for a new transmission line that will improve the reliability of electric service for millions of people in Pennsylvania and throughout the region.”

The power line is expected to strengthen the regional electric grid and prevent overloads on other power lines.

Mr Schleicher added: “We will continue to keep an open dialogue with residents, public officials and other interested parties as this project moves forward.”

The next step in Pennsylvania is review of the recommended decision by the PUC, which is expected to render a decision in January 2010.

The line, which runs from Berwick, Pennsylvania, to Roseland, New Jersey, also needs approval by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Additional review is required by the National Park Service because the line follows the route of an existing power line through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and because it crosses the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in New Jersey.