REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive
and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 372

Revolt news 9/12/2013 Print (pdf) Version

1. After a number of articles on Eirgrid’s proposed new overhead lines in Ireland, the Irish Examiner published a special report which recognises that, whatever route is chosen, the pylons “will dominate the landscape”. See also news371.

2. Northern Ireland group SEAT writes: “Some good news in the last days. Eirgrid have agreed to "look at" the possibility of putting the cables underground, which is certainly a big step forward from the "it's just not going to happen" attitude that they've put forward to date. “Also, the deadline for submissions has been extended from 26th November 2013 to 7th January 2014, which is also good news as it allows everyone that hasn't had a chance to make a submission to do so. “I strongly encourage you all to make a submission, which can be done in many ways but as simply as sending an email to I would also encourage you to continue sharing this petition with everyone you know, on Facebook, other social media sites and anywhere it will get exposure. We have nearly 2,500 signatures now and it would be great to get it to 10,000!”

3. A final Certificate of Decision on the Dong Energy cables was issued by Denbighshire CC on 20 November 2013. Condition 20 requires the cables to be placed in a trefoil formation in a trench at the edge of the submitted corridor furthest from the home of a resident concerned about EMF and health and with a vulnerable child. Hopefully this will be accepted as a reasonable solution for all sides (news371.5). Reasons are given for all the conditions but no mention is made of EMF, health or magnetic fields. Perhaps that’s wise to avoid further argument or appeal, though given the rational and formal basis for proportionate precaution it is a little sad. The rational fear that dare not speak its name!

4. Microwave News discusses Eirgrid’s position on EMF and the Prime Time TV event at . Quotes from some of Eirgrid’s people are reported and exposed, with many background links to the history of conflict on this topic.

5. The WHO European office published “Health and Environment: communicating the risks” in summer 2013, following a workshop in Trento, Italy, in April. We do encounter approaches from industry which disparage public concerns as a matter of perception as if they were merely false and unfounded perception; for example Dong Energy in the St Asaph cable case (item 3 above). Risk perception is one aspect of risk to be considered in planning decisions along with recognised evidence-based risk (whether possible or definite). This WHO report discusses perception in terms of “outrage” and analyses factors (such as imposed risk and cover-up or silence) which contribute to it. Ten “key messages” promote inclusiveness, openness and transparency in communication and public engagement.

6. Extract from the first “key message” from the WHO report: “The former approach, in which experts determine the “right” evidence, is no longer tenable and should be replaced by a more transparent and broader form of science and governance. Involving the public as stakeholders helps make communication an exchange of information in an effort to find innovative solutions, thus moving away from the previously utilized one-way communication.” There are times when this might usefully be quoted in official inquiries and hearings. An extract from another key message: “Over-assurance”, one of the most common pitfalls of risk communication, should be avoided, as should be alarming people about unreal risks.

7. Headline from the North East Evening Gazette: “Teesside Power Station to be demolished, owner GDF SUEZ confirms 4 Oct 2013 11:40 Preparation for decommissioning is already under way after the 'difficult' decision to raze the massive plant was raised”. When first built as Europe’s largest CCGT power station, in the ‘dash-for-gas’ era, this 1875 MW ‘Enron’ power station was supposed to be the future. The associated 400 kV power line requirement was concealed until after the power station was consented. Energy Minister John Wakeham consented the power station and soon after joined the Enron board. If that wasn’t scandalous enough, he continued as a director and audit committee member through the Enron financial scandal which seriously damaged world stock markets.

8. The Evening Gazette report suggests the Teesside plant is still mired in murky financial dealings. GDF Suez say it is not competitive with newer more efficient technology and they are actively evaluating future opportunities at the site. One possibility may be the proposed Dogger Bank Teesside substation (news371) to receive offshore wind power. If that is all, and if no new power station is planned, that will relieve fears of building up a need for yet another large power line. But there will be little chance of removing the existing line built for the ‘Enron’ station, because of the impact of wind power coming down from Scotland and from offshore.

9. The 2013 revolt Chairman’s Report received at the AGM on 17-10-2013 is attached as a separate pdf file.

Statements made by the editor or by other parties and quoted for information do not necessarily represent the views of Revolt. Criticism of government and industry, and grievances from members of the public, are in the nature of Revolt's work, though we try to give credit where it is due. Revolt is strictly non-party-political and regrets any offence which may be inadvertently caused.




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