San Juan Capistrano

                                                                           Letter to the  Editor                                                                              
                           SDG&E Expansion Raises Concerns

Thank you for publishing the notice of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) March 25 hearing on the proposed SDG&E Substation expansion. The project as proposed will approximately double the size of the existing substation on Camino Capistrano and will double the voltage on the power lines running throughout San Juan. 

At the hearing, supporters of the expansion repeated the phrase that the proposed expansion will ensure “reliability” and redundancy for our electrical supply to South County. I soundly support that.  

What I do not support however, is expanding a substation in a residential neighborhood when at least one alternative in the Draft EIR proposes moving the hub/Substation to remote spots such as out by the Landfill and/or on Rancho Mission Viejo acreage, away from homes and schools. Incredibly, the proposal to move it away from residents and the center of our historic town is not SDG&E’s first choice.
The worst part of the hearing for me was listening to the supporters of the expansion. They pointed to our community surrounding the substation saying we were unnecessarily afraid of EMFs and/or change and that the new plant will be “lovely”. This is hard to believe when the proposed expansion includes two 5-story buildings to house the electrical equipment; a ten-feet high, 350-foot long stucco wall at the entrance to our historic downtown on Camino Capistrano plus a chain link fence topped with barbed wire on the sides facing the neighborhoods, and transmission towers raised to 150 feet in at least one neighborhood above Ortega Highway near Rancho Viejo Road. The supporters essentially said “too bad – you moved to that area, you need to live with whatever SDG&E wants to put there.” WE DID NOT MOVE BY A SUBSTATION AS PROPOSED.

 I am guessing that none of the supporters live near such a substation. In fact, some of the business people who spoke in support of SDG&E’s proposal admitted that they wouldn’t want it in their back yard, BUT criticized our objecting to it.

We do not accept this tilted scale. These homes are our investment just as much as any other homeowner. We will be the ones forced to live with this behemoth next door, we will be forced to endure toxic construction emissions for five years and increased Electro-magnetic fields (EMF) with their associated health risks such as cancer, brain tumors, Alzheimers, Parkinsons and other EMF sensitivity-related symptoms. Our meter research here already indicates double to triple the level of “safe” EMFs.

Reliability and redundancy is important to all of us – we along with the business community want a healthy economy, avoiding outages and any resulting damage. However, we want it reasonably built in remote areas – away from homes and schools.

We know this power is serving the new Rancho Mission Viejo development, so we urge the CPUC and SDG&E to select those remote areas where there is plenty of wide open space on which to build, and get it out of small, historic San Juan Capistrano. WE SHOULD NOT BE SACRIFICED FOR RANCHO MISSION VIEJO OR FOR SOUTH COUNTY.

Rhen Kohan
San Juan Capistrano

No comments:

Copyright © 2014, All Rights Reserved - LLC