Recently, PSE&G was notified by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority that bald eagles had taken up residence in an osprey nest located in the Meadowlands not far from MetLife Stadium. Unfortunately, the nest had been the home of a nesting pair of ospreys, who on their return to the Meadowlands found that they had been evicted.
It soon became clear that the ospreys had built themselves a new nest between the cross arms of an active distribution line on a nearby PSE&G utility pole. Knowing that the new nest could cause a fire that could destroy the nest or damage the PSE&G equipment, a representative of the NJSEA turned to members of PSEG’s Functional Environmental Achievement Team – an Employee Business Resource Group at the company – who notified PSEG Senior Environmental Specialist Steve Antisz.
“The new nest presented a hazard to our equipment and potentially the nest, so it had to be moved,” Antisz said. “At the same time, we wanted to find a solution that would preserve a home for the ospreys.”
Antisz reached out to Licensing and Permitting Project Manager Claudia Rocca, who specializes in cases dealing with ospreys and other protected birds, and PSE&G’s Palisades Electric Division to see what could be done. Soon the team arrived a novel solution.
“Overhead Supervisor Dave Soto and a three person crew, which included Chief Lineman George Roselli and Linemen Andrew Kolb and Kelvin Carter, carefully confirmed there were no eggs in the nest at the time and brought it to ground level,” Antisz explained. “They then added an extension to the top of the pole, installed two new cross arms above the existing PSE&G facilities, and placed the nest in between the cross arm of the extension, well clear of our circuits.” Also on the scene was Environmental Specialist Rebecca Roselli (George’s daughter), who was on hand to assist the crew with any concerns that might arise while moving the nest.
The team waited nervously to see if the ospreys would return to the newly-elevated home, and happily they did. “They probably like the higher location even better, because ospreys tend to like heights,” Antisz said. “It’s a real ‘win-win’ situation.”