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Comments on SDG&E Fire Safety by Donna Tisdale

Citizens Oversight (2009-03-17) Donna Tisdale

This Page: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M757
More Info: Energy Policy, Sunrise Powerlink

COMMENTS MADE MARCH 17, 2009

AT PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION HEARING: 08-011-05: OIR:

FIRE SAFETY FOR ELECTRIC UTILITIES AND COMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE

Donna Tisdale, Chair of the Boulevard Planning Group, representing the group and myself as an individual and an impacted property owner and rate payer.

Boulevard has about 1,500 people living in SDG&E’s East County territory which Cal Fire has rated as Extreme and Very High Fire Threat

Planning Group members are elected by our rural community to represent them, in an advisory capacity, on land use issues.

Stricter rules and enforceable reporting standards and schedules are a welcome necessity, especially with a bully-boy utility company that keeps changing its story on major issues until it is forced in one way or another to face the facts and actually admit wrongdoing.

In December 08 the Commission voted to approve that so-called Environmentally Superior Southern Route for Sunrise Powerlink and to allow SDG&E to bulldoze its way through our environmentally sensitive and highly fire prone community. Over 20,000 acres was illegally down zoned for the project.

SDG&E just “settled” for a million dollars, without admitting to lying to the Commission about the southern route.

The Commission’s approval of Sunrise was justified , as noted on page 8 of the proposed rules to be implemented, by stating the 230 and 500 kV lines would be on tall structures and SDG&E will be required to take significant mitigation measures to prevent fires during construction and operation.

We disagree for many reasons. Several groups are preparing to file lawsuits soon.

Sunrise Powerlink will induce the proliferation of privately funded industrial wind turbine projects like Iberdrola Renewables proposed 200 MW Tule Wind in Boulevard’s McCain Valley. Other controversial wind and cross-border transmission projects are in the pipeline.

With those private wind farms come hundreds of industrial turbines. Each turbine representing its own threat of wild fire ignition through malfunction and the scattering of flaming hydraulic fluid and debris onto surrounding vegetation. Turbine fires are not uncommon–just google wind turbine fires or go to www.windaction.org or www.windwatch.org for videos, photos, articles and reports.

Wind farms also bring a proliferation of 69 kV lines, with their oil filled transformers and many more substations–all located in areas of extreme and high fire danger–upwind from many communities. One of Australia’s recent fire storms, also noted by staff, reportedly started at an overheated substation.

Wind turbines proposed to stand around 500 feet tall , next to the Sunrise Powerlink in the McCain Valley area, could impact the safety and reliability of the line itself through blade shedding and tower collapse.

These are real life public health and safety issues, life and death issues, that your decisions force onto communities like mine. Please make changes to hold all related energy production, transformation, and transmission infrastructure , and those responsible for it, to the same high standards for approval, monitoring, reporting, and correction–don’t limit it to powerlines, poles and communication equipment.

For the record, we strongly oppose SDG&E’s proposed power shut-off plans and will be participating in the those hearings next month.

Thank you

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Title Comments on SDG&E Fire Safety by Donna Tisdale
Publisher Citizens Oversight
Author Donna Tisdale
Pub Date 2009-03-17
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Keywords Energy Policy, Sunrise Powerlink
Media Type Article
Media Group Op Ed
Curator Rating Plain
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Author Name Sortable
Topic revision: r1 - 2009-03-18, RaymondLutz
 

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