Upon reading Brian Beckley’s article “PSE’s plan to ‘Energize Eastside’ looking at two possible routes through Renton” (Renton Reporter, March 10, 2014), I was alarmed by the apparent “voice” in favor of Route M over Route L.
Route M requires constructing the new 230kv transmission line on or adjacent to several schools. Route M would impact, among others, high school and other students at Renton Technical, infants and toddlers at Highlands Preschool, grade school students at Sierra Heights Elementary, and more infants and toddlers at New Life Montessori. In contrast, Route L does not appear to pass on or adjacent to any school.
Although PSE’s EMF brochure states “research has not established that exposure to power frequency EMF causes adverse health effects,” it identifies “EMF exposure limits.”
Identifying exposure limits acknowledges that power frequency EMF generates a risk of harm and reduces the debate to what exposure is harmful. The risk has prompted a growing number of communities, states and nations to restrict locating power transmission lines near schools.
I urge caution against permitting PSE to build additional high voltage transmission lines on and adjacent to so many schools in our community when there exists an option – Route L – that does not impact any school.
I am the parent of a child that may attend Sierra Heights Elementary. I ask that PSE not assume the liability of risking the health of my child, the health of other children attending schools along Route M, and the health of the innumerable number of children that will attend schools along Route M.
I agree this process is distasteful. In offering the option of Route L or Route M, PSE is pitting more than just neighborhood against neighborhood. PSE is pitting lake views against the lives of school children. Where are our values?