21
Aug
2004

California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) TO EXAMINE EMF POLICIES AND RULES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, news@cpuc.ca.gov

PUC TO EXAMINE EMF POLICIES AND RULES

SAN FRANCISCO, August 19, 2004 - The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today said it will determine if there are improvements that should be made to the Commission's existing rules and regulations concerning electromagnetic fields (EMF) associated with electric transmission lines or other utility electric facilities.

To address the public concern regarding exposure to EMF, the Commission has required that the electric utilities develop an EMF Management Plan for each project that implements the Commission's adopted 1993 EMF policy. Generally, the Commission sanctions a "Prudent Avoidance" or "low-cost/no-cost" policy towards mitigating EMF impacts resulting from approved electric facilities. Given the public interest that has been sparked by the research findings submitted to the Commission by the California Department of Health Services (DHS) and that the Commission's interim EMF policy has not been updated in more than 10 years, the Commission said it is now appropriate to determine if it should improve its existing policy and/or improve implementation of the policy.

As part of its review, the Commission will explore:

· The results of its current "low-cost/no-cost" mitigation policy and the need for modifications;

· Improvement in the implementation of the existing "low-cost/no-cost" mitigation policy;

· New or revised Commission EMF mitigation policies as new EMF-related scientific data becomes available.

The Commission expects to conclude this review within 18-months and a Prehearing Conference will be scheduled at a later date.

For more information on the PUC, please visit //www.cpuc.ca.gov.

California Home CPUC Home Friday, August 20, 2004
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Docket #: A.02-09-043

Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, news@cpuc.ca.gov

PUC Approves PG&E Jefferson-Martin Transmission Project, Increases Electricity Reliability

SAN FRANCISCO, August 19, 2004 - The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today approved a Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) electric transmission project known as Jefferson-Martin to ensure reliable supply of electricity for California and pave the way for the eventual closure of the Hunters Point Power Plant.

The Commission voted unanimously for the Proposed Decision of Administrative Law Judge Charlotte TerKeurst, which authorized PG&E to construct a new 230-kilovolt (kV) electric transmission line between its Jefferson substation and its Martin substation, along with related facilities. The facilities will be constructed in the County of San Mateo and will run through Hillsborough and Colma and the Cities of Brisbane, Daly City, San Bruno, and South San Francisco. A portion of the project will be within the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) watershed near Interstate 280. A construction cost cap of $206,988,000 was authorized for the project with additions to be authorized for specific electromagnetic fields (EMF) mitigation, if necessary. The Commission expects Jefferson-Martin to be in service by mid-2006.

The Commission determined that the project is needed in order to allow PG&E to continue to reliably meet electric demand in the San Francisco Peninsula. The project has diversification, economic, and environmental benefits that warrant its construction as quickly as possible. The Jefferson-Martin project will help protect the San Francisco Peninsula from events disrupting supply at the San Mateo substation and along the San Mateo-Martin corridor.

This transmission line approval is crucial to enable the closure of the Hunters Point Power Plant. A combination of the Jefferson-Martin project and additional transmission reinforcements north of the Martin substation and south of the Jefferson station should help ensure the closure of the Hunters Point Power Plant, bringing additional economic and environmental benefits.

In response to public interest and concern regarding potential health effects from exposure to EMF that would be created by the Jefferson-Martin project, the Commission required several changes to PG&E's preliminary EMF management plan, including adopting a single 4 percent EMF mitigation benchmark for the entire project, lowering the depth of the underground lines to 11 feet deep in all residential areas and by schools, daycare centers, senior centers, parks, and similar public places. Additional unprecedented precautionary measures imposed by the Commission include arranging conductors in a triangular configuration to reduce EMF levels, as well as strategic line placement along the entire route to reduce EMF exposure.

The Commission's action today takes an important step forward to ensuring sufficient electricity for San Francisco while moving closer to closing the Hunters Point Power Plant, without compromising the health and safety of San Mateo County residents, through which the Jefferson-Martin transmission line travels.

For more information on the PUC, please visit //www.cpuc.ca.gov


Informant: Don Maisch
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