I would urge anyone seeking further clarification of the neighbors' views to look at the website the coalition has put together: http://www.safepowerlines.org , which will provide further details on the points below.
I want to respond to a few things here:
1. TEP doesn't like to talk to reporters who don't make them look good?
2. The process they call civic participation is fundamentally flawed and is designed to prevent any coherent response on the part of citizens. Moreover, we have yet to see any of the feedback collected through official channels so we just have to take their word for its content.
3. TEP has posted results of meetings -- often months after the fact and on a single page on their website. Furthermore, they've had a remarkable string of bad luck scheduling meetings during major religious holidays that has suppressed attendance despite being urged to consider their timing more carefully.
4. When Joe Salkowski says the conductors will be no closer than 25 feet, he's talking about the live, electrified wires -- not about poles. There is no physically possible way poles could be run down 11th without their footprints being much, much closer than 25 feet -- 8 feet in some cases.
5. Mr. Salkowski is right -- research in to the effects of EMF is ongoing and results now are mixed -- some studies say there are leukemia links, some say there aren't. But most European countries and several US states practice "prudent avoidance" -- if it's possible that these things cause health effects, but you're not absolutely sure, you take some common sense steps to minimize exposure.
6. This is not just a Dunbar/Spring issue -- Blue Moon, Barrio Anita, and Old Pasqua neighborhood residents have been actively involved throughout the process of working with TEP to encourage them to consider a route that doesn't take this powerline within 100 feet of over 200 homes.
7. Warning us that our bills will increase makes sense -- until you remember that their are an awful lot of rate payers in Tucson, and spreading this cost out among everyone results in a trivial rate increase -- $1/year for 3 years? As opposed to the immediate and drastic financial impact of property value decreases for the residents along the residential route.
I appreciate Mr. Salkowski taking the time to respond to the article. I wish that TEP was as responsive throughout the process to the people actually being impacted and the volunteers who have dedicated hundreds of hours to working on this issue with very little meaningful response from TEP. We're looking forward to taking our case to the ACC if it comes down to that, and we encourage anyone interested in this issue to attend those public hearings.
People wanting to learn more about the neighborhoods' (plural) position can check out the website at http://www.safepowerlines.org
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