TARGET 8: Mill Creek parents fed-up over transmission line project

1 year 2 months 2 weeks ago November 03, 2015 Nov 3, 2015 Tuesday, November 03 2015 Tuesday, November 03, 2015 3:32:00 PM CST in News
By: Ashley Holt, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - Parents of Mill Creek Elementary School students and neighbors feel left in the dark by the city of Columbia. 

Since 2010 the city has been planning to place new power and transmission lines around the city to meet new federal standards. In 2013 the city council voted on a option that would place a transmission line across the street from Mill Creek Elementary School. 

“I tend to pride myself on being informed and interested in the community. And I think that’s my biggest problem with this whole issue. Is that the vote was taken two years ago and virtually everyone that I talked to had no idea it was happening," said Carolyn Hawks, a concerned resident, and also the grandmother of a Mill Creek student. 

Columbia Water and Light said as soon as it was decided that a project would happen, open houses were held in the neighborhoods where the lines would go. 

“I think it’s just a matter of how involved and when, and how someone gets their news, when they heard about the project," said Connie Kacprowicz, Columbia Water and Light Spokesperson. 

At these open houses, Kacprowicz said many concerns were brought to the table. One of those was health concerns. 

“My biggest concern is that the public and stakeholders were not provided complete information on the adverse health effects of electromagnetic fields from high-voltage power lines," said Detelina Marinova, a Mill Creek parent. 

Both Columbia Water and Light has its evidence, and so do the parents, saying transmission lines may or may not have adverse heath effects. But parents just don't want to take the risk.

In December of 2012 after two years of open houses and work sessions, Columbia Water and Light sent a survey out to all of Columbia requesting they choose one of two options presented for the route the new lines would be placed on. 

Option B would run a 161 kilovolt line around city limits, mainly outlining Boone County. It would place a 69 kilovolt line at the Mill Creek substation, which it cannot currently handle for an extended period of time because it has almost reached its design capacity. Whereas Option A builds a brand new 161 kilovolt transmission line by Mill Creek Elementary School in order to account for the city's and surrounding areas' group electricity needs. 

“Option A was the longer lasting of the two solutions," said Columbia Water and Light Assistant Director Ryan Williams. “The department wanted to recommend the solution that we wouldn’t have to turn around and begin the process of doing something in addition to Option B as soon as we got done with Option B.”

“I think the city has been guilty of omission. For instance, in the survey, the wording was vague and it said ‘transmission lines.’ Well, for me I’m thinking of the telephone pole outside my door. No, it’s a high voltage line," Hawks said. “It’s just not right. I think the city should be concerned about what’s best for the citizens and not the other way around.” 

“We were really thoughtful and thorough in our decision-making, and listen to a lot of public testimony, and I still feel we made that correct decision," said Columbia City Councilman Michael Trapp.

Some Mill Creek parents want the city council to revote and choose Option B. But Trapp said it's essentially a done deal. 

“For me it’s largely a settled issue," Trapp said. 

Columbia Water and Light is also confident the transmission lines won't be harmful. 

"The electromagnetic fields from this line will be much reduced because it’s so far away from people on the sidewalk. It’s up high in the air," said Water and Light Supervising Engineer Dan Clark. 

Clark said the city created the plan based upon the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers standards, and surpassed those standards. 

MU Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Scott Kovaleski said those standards are very well-researched and trustworthy.

“They clearly have surveyed the research associated with dangers, adverse affects that might come from electric and magnetic fields, and then set these maximum permissible limits with facts of safety in order to keep the public as safe as possible," Kovaleski said. 

He also said that no matter where a person is, they are always going to be exposed to electromagnetic fields. So the parents of Mill Creek students should not be concerned. 

“I would be happy with my kids playing on a playground near a power line. I wouldn’t want them climbing a tower or something like that. Grabbing the power line would be a terrible thing. But I’m not worried about the electrical magnetic fields near those power lines," Kovaleski said. 

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, current research suggests there is a weak association between electromagnetic fields and cancer. But continued research on the topic is essential. 

However, parents have met with city council members, and are optimistic that a city council revote will happen. Those parents have also started a petition to move that process forward. 

Work on the new route is set to begin in 2017. 

 

More News

Grid
List
BOONE COUNTY - The Missouri Highway Patrol has identified the person at the center of a death investigation north of... More >>
29 minutes ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 5:15:35 PM CST in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 79-year-old man fatally shot the assistant manager of an apartment for... More >>
51 minutes ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 4:53:42 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department responded to a shots fired incident near Quail Drive Thursday afternoon. According to... More >>
1 hour ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 4:25:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit challenging Missouri regulations limiting how alcohol producers and... More >>
1 hour ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:50:31 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri senator says the state shouldn't be investing in Russia, and she has filed a... More >>
2 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:44:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The man who was the face of Ferguson, Missouri, in the turmoil that followed the 2014... More >>
2 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:47:32 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - New research from the University of Missouri School of Social work called for more attention to advanced directives,... More >>
3 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:40:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A bill prohibiting mandatory union fees in workplaces is moving to the Missouri Senate after winning... More >>
3 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:36:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Airport, trucking and business officials all are urging Missouri lawmakers to change state driver's license laws... More >>
3 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:24:06 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City-area investigators are searching for a missing college student from Wichita who hasn't been seen... More >>
3 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:15:54 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The city of Ferguson, Missouri, is appealing a federal jury's $3 million award to the family... More >>
3 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:08:00 PM CST in News
MOUNT VERNON (AP) — A southwest Missouri fa rmer who was charged in a fork loader assault has pleaded guilty... More >>
3 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:00:50 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A new report released by the Missouri Women's Foundation Thursday shows a need for policy changes to improve... More >>
5 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:28:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Nothing dampens one's spirits—and surroundings—like a water main break. For the Columbia Senior Activity Center, a water line... More >>
6 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 11:09:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 26-year-old St. Louis man is now charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the... More >>
10 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 7:23:07 AM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Boys & Girls Club in Columbia began demolishing the Sonic on Business Loop Thursday morning in order... More >>
14 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:33:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — If Missouri fails to comply with the federal REAL ID Act, some Missourians could face a real... More >>
1 day ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 5:05:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man started a petition against a magic show featuring rare, white tigers at the University of... More >>
1 day ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 3:49:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 48°
6pm 49°
7pm 48°
8pm 48°
9pm 47°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Good Place
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld