A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

California PUC To Review EMF Policies

August 20, 2004

The California Public Utility Commission has decided to take a fresh look at its EMF policies, which were first adopted in 1993.At its August 19 meeting, the CPUC announced that it expects the review to be completed within 18 months.

In a related decision, the commission approved a new power line, the Jefferson-Martin line, to meet electricity demands on the San Francisco Peninsula. The CPUC is requiring PG&E, the electric utility, to bury the line at a depth of 11 feet “in all residential neighborhoods and by schools, daycare centers, senior centers, parks and similar public places.” In addition, the CPUC is taking the “unprecedented precautionary measures” of having the conductors configured to reduce EMF levels.

The decision on the Jefferson-Martin line was unanimous. CPUC President Michael Peevey, a former utility executive, abandoned his own proposal and supported the proposed decision of Administrative Law Judge Charlotte TerKeurst. (For more background on these two decisions, see our recent commentary.)