Eastside Citizens Present Their Opposition to “Energize Eastside” to Newcastle Council

In two half-hour presentations to the Newcastle City Council, the first from the Olympus Homeowners Association on July 1 and the second from CENSE (www.cense.org) on July 15, residents who packed the council chambers voiced their strong opposition to PSE’s proposed “Energize Eastside” project. The Newcastle News covered both events in an article in its latest edition at http://www.newcastle-news.com/2014/07/31/energize-eastside-concerns-shared.

From the article:

“Keith Hargis, president of the Olympus Homeowners Association, detailed his community’s concerns, while more than 50 neighbors sat in the audience of the council chambers July 1.

“Hargis highlighted health, safety, easement, pipeline and aesthetic concerns with the proposed installation of 230 kilovolt transmission lines along Route M, which goes through Newcastle, and more specifically, the Olympus neighborhood.

“Along the same corridor sits a gas pipeline that supplies jet fuel to SeaTac Airport, and neighbors are worried that construction along it could lead to a disastrous accident, Hargis said.

“He mentioned the 1999 Bellingham pipeline explosion that caused about $45 million in property damages and killed three people.

“’I think for us that are living along that corridor, we’re very concerned with anything that could happen that’s even close to this kind of magnitude of an event,’ he said.”

* * *

“O’Donnell and Marsh [from CENSE] challenged PSE’s projections that electricity demand is growing at an annual rate of 2 percent. Marsh said that demand has actually been flat or declining, both on the Eastside and nationally, for at least the past six years, even with population growth.

“He added that a Bellevue study anticipates a rate of growth that is less than half of PSE’s projections.

“O’Donnell said he acknowledged the need for PSE to provide reliable power, but argued, ‘there are better ways to do it than industrially blight our neighborhoods.’”

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