The Somerset Community Association has stepped up to the plate and voted to oppose the PSE Project. In its March 2014 newsletter the SCA published a long and thoughtful article which is reproduced here with their permission: March_2014_SUN
The article includes an observation that all 18 affected segments must surely share:
“There are reasons to question whether we should accept any of PSE’s pre-selected options. There are other choices that PSE eliminated from consideration before the public could comment, like working with Seattle City Light to upgrade existing high-power lines along I-405. We would like to see greater efforts expended on these options.”
A Somerset resident versed in Photoshop produced these mockups of what the proposed unsightly poles and wires would look like in their neighborhood:
The link below summarizes the the effects of overhead power lines on EMF, Air Quality and Electrical Fields from Overhead Power Lines:
“The level of emf that a person may be exposed to depends on the distance they are located from the line, the amount of time they spend in close proximity to the line and the unique properties of that particular power line.
“It is therefore very important to create as much distance between yourself and the power line as possible.
“Double story homes with bedrooms upstairs as well as multilevel commercial buildings have a potentially higher risk of emf exposure as they are located closer to the power line itself.
“Probably the most over-looked problem in relation to power lines is the concentration of pollution in the area of the lines. Due to the build of static around the lines particulates in the air are attracted to the area. The problem is made worse when the power line is located close to a source of pollution (industry, busy road, coal fired power station etc.).
“When an oxygen molecule (O2) becomes electrically charged or “radicalized” it tries to steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage to the DNA and other molecules. Over time, such damage may become irreversible and lead to disease including cancer.
“Ecolibria have found that in many cases the property may be located a safe distance away from the power line but the backyard or area in which walking and playing is often enjoyed, is not a safe distance away.
“Breathing in charged particles has been linked to an increase in free radicles in the body which in turn has been linked to many adverse health effects including cancer. If the particles themselves are hazardous pollutants from car emissions or industry then the risk is potentially greater.”
Here is some idea of how the new poles expand the view pollution by being higher than the H poles now in use, as shown in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax9Ha6hz16Y. This is along a stretch in M at Olympus in Newcastle. The new poles could be as high as 125′ according to PSE, more than twice the height of current “H” poles: And here is what these monster ugly 120′ poles would look like through Olympus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jOWTI9Ktvc. According to a retired engineer living in Olympus, the 120′ height is the minimum necessary to counteract the increased health hazards from Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMFs) due to doubling the current voltage from 115kV to 230kV.
Do you think PSE has the same or better capabilities to create graphics like these so we can better judge the full impact of its proposed project? We doubt we will be seeing anything of the sort any time soon.
Here is a story from August 2010 that may be news to you — certainly something you will never hear on the Andy Wappler Dog & Pony Show: “From a public safety standpoint, trees that grow near high voltage transmission lines can become electrified even without touching the line, creating a hazard to anyone in the area. Earlier this year, a tree that contacted the eastside transmission line carried electricity down its trunk to a fence and then to an underground natural gas line, which caused an explosion in the line and the home it served. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident.” Whole story is at http://powerlines.seattle.gov/2010/08/24/new-rules-for-transmission-lines-drive-enhanced-vegetation-management/#sthash.h6JooJT0.dpuf.
From the same article: is this what we have to look forward to?
From the article at http://www.muni.org/Departments/OCPD/Planning/Publications/Utility%20Corridor%20Plan/UCPChap3.pdf, full text here: WebPage:
“Powerlines can induce currents in metallic objects adjacent to the line. This effect is particularly prominent in corridors with long parallels. In addition to causing communication interference, audible crackling noise, and shock hazards, electric transmission lines can contribute to the corrosion of buried pipelines and cable sheaths under certain conditions. Finally, ’fault currents’ can float to the ground from the power lines (e.g., through lightning strikes) and move along the pipeline or buried cable, resulting in equipment damage and possible pipeline rupture which can lead to ignition and shock hazard…”