By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Sunrise Powerlink (left) transmits 500 kilovolts of electricity above ground across most its its route, but was installed underground in Alpine, where it flows beneath the main street in the rural mountain town.
February 20, 2016 (Alpine) – East County Magazine reached out to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) after reviewing results of two studies measuring electromagnetic field (EMF) levels in Alpine. (The first study, done by an engineer and contractor, found high levels along Alpine Blvd. above the underground Sunrise Powerlink. The second, commissioned by the County Office of Education, measured levels at Alpine Elementary School. It found relatively low levels at most places on the campus, though two outside areas nearest the boulevard were higher, one substantially so. View details here.) Those reports raised concerns among some community members about potential health risks for chlidren, though medical studies have shown conflicting results on this issue.
We asked SDG&E if it has plans to measure EMF levels at other locations, what EMF levels it would consider safe, what fixes or mitigation might be possible, and what EMF research the company supports. Below are our questions and the answers provided by Allison Torres, SDG&E media representative: