South Jordan Residents Fight Plan To Upgrade Powerlines
SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – All it took was one time to see the backyard and Jana Fullmer knew.
“It’s big. It was space for our kids to play,” she said.
Soon after, she moved into her South Jordan home, spending as much time as possible in the backyard.
“Oh, all the time. All the time,” she said with a laugh.
However, she didn’t think much about the powerlines over her backyard, until a knock on her door one day.
“It was from a Rocky Mountain Power person coming in, and they wanted to take down that tree,” said Fullmer.
They settled on her trimming the tree.
Now, though, Rocky Mountain Power is planning on installing new power poles and new lines to carry more power.
She can’t stop thinking about those lines.
“Well, the upgrade line they’re proposing would require a 60-foot easement, and they don’t think that’s an issue,” she said.
She’s not alone.
Lots of people in her neighborhood are banding together to try and fight Rocky Mountain Power’s plan.
During a meeting at South Jordan Elementary School Wednesday night, residents talked about their concerns.
The biggest topic was about the intensity of the Electromagnetic Field, or EMF, that would result from stronger voltage lines, and how that magnetic field correlates to their health.
The lines run past the elementary school.
“It happens on a cellular level, especially with children. So, it’s a big concern,” said Fullmer.
We asked Rocky Mountain Power about EMF and any possible health concerns.
“We follow all the national safety standards that are set for our industry. We’re in compliance and we make sure, you know, power is no joke,” said Rocky Mountain Power spokesperson Spencer Hall. “So when we try to move it around and move it through neighborhoods, we make sure that we are making the system safe.”
Residents, though, say they don’t feel safe.
“This is a dangerous topic, but people thought that the atomic testing in the desert in the 1950s was safe, too,” said South Jordan resident Dave Kowallis. “But I have a sister who is a downwinder who knows better.”
That’s why they’re getting local politicians involved to try and get some type of regulation for these types of projects at a state level.
“They’re not held accountable to the fair market practices because they’re a monopoly,” said Fullmer. “And the state doesn’t have the right kind of regulations or statutes in places to keep them in check.”
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