State agrees to review Powerlink EMFs -- Supervisor Jacob worries about SDG&E involvement in the investigation
Union Tribune (2016-03-04) Jeff Mc Donald
This Page: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M1651
Media Link: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/mar/04/cpuc-response-emf-powerlink
The state’s top utility regulator has agreed to look into a request from San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob concerning low-level radiation emitted by the Sunrise Powerlink.
In a three-paragraph response to Jacob, dated Feb. 29, California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker said he appreciated hearing about the issue and “will further investigate this matter per your request.”
The commission president also said he would “notify San Diego Gas & Electric of your concerns and encourage them to work with you to assess the current levels of EMF in the community.”
Picker copied Gov. Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris and others on his response.
Jacob had written to Picker last month with complaints about higher-than-usual electromagnetic field readings along Alpine Boulevard, where portions of the high-voltage transmission line owned by SDG&E are buried.
She called for an independent investigation, a request Picker appears to have granted.
But Jacob was unsatisfied that Picker included no timeline in his response, and wrote him back to say so. She asked whether the commission is committed to monitoring emissions on a longterm basis. She was also skeptical of the idea of involving the utility in diagnosing the problem or coming up with a resolution.
“What assurances does the community have that SDG&E won’t be able to manipulate the results of any EMF readings?” Jacob asked. “While I’m grateful for your response, there are still serious questions that need to be answered to ensure an immediate and independent investigation occurs.”
Completed in 2012 after a yearslong community debate, the Sunrise Powerlink is a 117-mile line stretching from Imperial County to San Diego County. It’s designed to bring renewable energy such as solar and wind power from the desert into more populated areas.
In recent months, Jacob said she has heard from several constituents complaining about high readings of low-level radiation emitted from the power line — a condition some researchers have linked to leukemia and other health problems.