Reminder: PSE to answer questions about Energize Eastside April 21

April 19, 2014

By Staff

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NEW — 1 p.m. April 19, 2014

It was a request heard loud and clear at the most recent Energize Eastside workshop. Residents wanted a forum dedicated to solely asking questions of the Puget Sound Energy representatives.

They are now getting that opportunity, as PSE has scheduled a question-and-answer session for April 21 in the Renton Technical College cafeteria, 3000 N.E. Fourth St.

The Energize Eastside project, in response to the region’s growing power needs, will bring new higher capacity electric transmission lines to the Eastside.

The new lines will extend from a substation in Redmond to Renton, but the exact route the lines will take is currently undecided. One of the proposed routes directly affects the Olympus neighborhood, and many residents attended the April 1 Newcastle City Council meeting to voice their concerns about the project.

The segment of concern for Newcastle is Route M, which is located from Southeast 95th Way to Newcastle Way. The corridor is on the westside of the Eden’s Grove subdivision and on the eastside of the Olympus and Hazelwood communities.

Residents will get the chance to directly ask or write down questions to share with a panel that includes a representative from PSE and national experts. The April 21 event is scheduled to go from 6-9 p.m.

Questions can be submitted online in advance of the forum at www.energizeeastside.com/question-and-answer-session. Questions were accepted online through April 18.

Those submitted online will be presented to the panel during the meeting and similar questions may be combined by the moderator. The panel will prioritize providing answers to questions asked during the meeting, but will address online questions as time permits.

PSE will also host its second sub-area committee workshop April 24.

The company has formed sub-area committees to delve further into three geographic sub-areas on the Eastside. At the workshop, the committees will work side-by-side with community members to learn more about the project, understand local area issues and assess potential route segments against community values.

The workshop is from 6:30-9 p.m. April 24 at Renton Technical College, 3000 N.E. Fourth St., Renton. Learn more about the project at www.energizeeastside.com. Questions should be directed to the project team at energizeeastside@pse.com or leave a voicemail at 1-800-548-2614 toll free.

Learn more about Energize Eastside at www.energizeeastside.com, and learn more about the local coalition against the project at sane-eastside-energy.org.

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Comments

2 Responses to “Reminder: PSE to answer questions about Energize Eastside April 21”

  1. A. Roosme on April 21st, 2014 7:52 pm

    PSE’s proposal to replace the current 115 kV overhead power line with 230 kV lines on taller poles does not consider the negative impact on our community. Overhead power lines do not belong in residential areas for the following reasons:
    • Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) has been linked to increased rates
    of certain cancers, such as leukemia in children and cancers of the lymph
    and diseases of central nervous systems in adults
    • Inhaling charged particles/pollutants around power lines has been linked to
    an increase in free radicals and many adverse health effects, such as cancer
    • Interference with implanted pacemakers and defibrillators
    • Power line noise
    • Aesthetics
    • Impact on views
    • All of the above contribute to significantly reduced residential property values

    Overhead power line supporters say that studies of EMF on health have been inconclusive. Studies of tobacco smoke were also inconclusive for decades before undeniable links to cancers and other serious health conditions were identified. The EPA and the EU have developed recommendations and regulations for limiting exposure to EMF, as have 29 forward-looking nations and several states in the US. They would not do that unless EMF was of serious concern.

    Power line “M” runs in the same easement as 50 year old fuel pipelines to SeaTac. This easement goes thru dense residential developments. An accident when replacing the current H-poles with the proposed taller steel monopoles would be catastrophic.

    The average $/sqft home value in Newcastle is higher because people paid more for homes with views of the Cascades and Mt. Rainier. The proposed taller monopoles and wires will destroy these views for more homes, which will drive down the values of those homes and also affect the average $/sqft. Declining home values are the beginning of community decline.

    Assuming that PSE’s demand forecast for this area is realistic and not driven by other motives, I request that the increased capacity be met with community-friendly solutions rather than the 230kV (and even higher voltage later) overhead line which will destroy the quality of life and property values of Newcastle residents.

    A. Roosme

  2. Jeanne DeMund on April 25th, 2014 11:54 am

    Last night (April 24) the second community meeting was held for the south area…Routes K1, K2, L and M. The “community values” that PSE distilled from the first meeting were presented, and a number of “objective” measures, based upon community requests for data were offered. The majority (about 70%) of the information the community requested in order to be able to make some kind of judgement about relative impacts to the different routes was not provided for a variety of reasons that ranged from, “we don’t have it” “its a security issue” (locations of substations) “it’s too early in the project for us to have that kind of information” (costs!! types of poles!! whether delivery lines would be undergrounded!!). A few simulated photos were offered…none of which really showed how close the power lines would be to homes. I asked how we were supposed to make an evaluation based on such incomplete information…and we were told, “just do your best.” Hello! These are our homes. The biggest investment we make in our lives. Our sanctuaries. And we’re supposed to make these assessments on the fly, casually, as if it were a video game. When further information is available, it will be, conveniently, too late for community input. Our table was unwilling to play PSE’s game of pitting residents of L and M routes against each other via the ranking exercise. We sent PSE back to the drawing board to further explore undergrounding, underwatering (in Lake Washington…they do it to get power to Mercer Island and Bainbridge Island) and above all cooperation with the existing Seattle City Light and BPA rights of way, both of which currently have significant excess capacity that the 2 power companies want to hoard for their own future use. These rights of way are a public resource, and should be managed as such, not just for the benefit of one company or agency. This is a long, time-consuming, process, and many of us are weary. But we have to continue to push PSE to do what’s right, not just what’s convenient, and cheap for them. EVERYONE, please continue to speak out, comment on online forums like the PSE Facebook Page, write to the newspapers, radio stations, your elected officials in Renton, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland and King County. SIgn our petition at Change.org: http://www.change.org/petitions/newsroom-pse-do-what-is-right-please-stop-trying-to-take-property-rights-from-owners

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