Maine Legislature to Hold Public Hearing on Setback for Main Power Lines

By Ed Friedman, 22 March 2013

Here’s another important reason for you to attend the public hearing on 26 March! LD 950, An Act to Establish the Electromagnetic Field Safety Act–another no-brainer–is being heard at the same time as our zero opt-out fee bill on 26 March in Augusta, Maine. The setback footage named in this bill is a bare minimum [300 ft.] and should be higher–5 times higher. An amendment should probably be offered on the bill to increase setback to 1,500 feet. Consider this from Microwave News:

“One last, but far-reaching, implication of [Xiaoming] Shen’s study [click here for study] is that, if proved correct in further studies, it would implicate extremely weak magnetic fields, certainly less that 0.1 µT (1 mG). Shen found that the leukemia risk among carriers of the Ex9+16G>A snp extended out to at least 100 meters. Even at 500 meters more of these children had leukemia, but here the increase was no longer significant. Though this finding is surprising, it is consistent with a large 2005 study by Gerald Draper in the U.K., who found higher risks among children living 200 meters from high-voltage power lines. Draper also saw a risk out to 600 meters, which only just attained significance. (The British and Chinese used different epidemiological techniques and their risk estimates are not comparable.)”—Microwave News

Click on this link to look up and read the bill language (plug in “950” in the upper right of the Maine State Legislature page): http://www.maine.gov/legis/ .

LD 950
An Act To Establish the Electromagnetic Field Safety Act

To be heard by the Energy, Utilities, Technology Committee, Tuesday, 26 March 2013, 1:15 p.m., Cross Office Building (Augusta, Maine), Rm. 211

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:Capture-LD 950_2
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA c. 7-B
is enacted to read:
CHAPTER 7-B
ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD SAFETY ACT
§771. Short title
This chapter may be known and cited as “the Electromagnetic Field Safety Act.”
§772. Required setback
Beginning October 1, 2013, all new transmission line and electrical installations capable of carrying 5,000 volts or more of electricity must be set back at least 300 feet from residential homes, residential care facilities, hospitals, schools, licensed daycare facilities, playgrounds, youth centers, religious facilities and youth camps.
§773. Rules
The commission shall adopt rules to implement this chapter. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
SUMMARY
This bill requires that, beginning October 1, 2013, all new transmission line and electrical installations capable of carrying 5,000 volts or more of electricity must be set back at least 300 feet from residential homes, residential care facilities, hospitals, schools, licensed daycare facilities, playgrounds, youth centers, religious facilities and youth camps.

Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology
Committee Clerk: Kristen Gottlieb
Hearing Room:
Room 211, Cross State Office Building (scroll down for map), Augusta, Maine
Senator John J. Cleveland (D-Androscoggin), Chair
Senator Troy Dale Jackson (D-Aroostook)
Senator Edward M. Youngblood (R-Penobscot)
Representative Barry J. Hobbins (D-Saco), Chair
Representative Roberta B. Beavers (D-South Berwick)
Representative Diane Russell (D-Portland)
Representative Sara Gideon (D-Freeport)
Representative Deane Rykerson (D-Kittery)
Representative Ryan D. Tipping-Spitz (D-Orono)
Representative Larry C. Dunphy (R-Embden)
Representative Aaron F. Libby (R-Waterboro)
Representative Lance Evans Harvell (R-Farmington)
Representative Melvin Newendyke (R-Litchfield)