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Board Wants More Comment Time for Power Line Project  

the-signal.com

By Reina V. Slutske, Signal Staff Writer

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a request Tuesday to the California Public Utilities Commission for a 60-day extension of a comment period regarding a Southern California Edison power line project in the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.

Edison’s project would construct additional high-power transmission lines and towers from the Antelope Valley to the Pardee power station in Santa Clarita. The power provider has proposed a 500 kilovolt transmission line from Tehachapi to its Antelope substation. The second-stage, 25.6-mile segment would stretch to Santa Clarita from the Antelope Valley.

The line would replace a 66 kilovolt line already in place. The route will also go through sections of the Angeles National Forest and residential developments north and east of the Pardee substation.

The project’s environmental impact report was released in August. According to the motion made by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich on Tuesday, one of the alternatives from the report was not made available to the public until “very recently.”

The alternative addressed in Antonovich’s motion, known as alternative five, would have mapped the project away from the Angeles National Forest and through existing residences in Acton, Agua Dulce and Leona Valley.

Norm Hickling, field deputy for Antonovich in the Antelope Valley, said local town councils found out about the fifth alternative three weeks ago, a week before a meeting between representatives from the U.S. Forest Service and the Utilities Commission.

Hickling said if the alternative was approved by the Utilities Commission, Edison would be forced to purchase land or seize it by eminent domain.

“It is a dramatic taking of people’s property rights if this alternate five should go into effect,” he said.

The comment period is scheduled to end Monday, under the jurisdiction of the Utilities Commission, which Hickling said will make the final decision regarding the project.

In an assigned commissioner’s ruling on the schedule of the project and alternate five, the Utilities Commission said, “it … became clear that (Edison) had not worked sufficiently with the Forest Service … to ensure that the Forest Service was fully informed of the extent of the project.”

The motion by the Board of Supervisors also requests that the directors of regional planning and public works prepare a report regarding any potential adverse impacts from a county perspective.

Alis Clausen, Edison’s northern region manager, said the project was part of a Utilities Commission request to Edison to find a way of sending wind energy from Kern County into the electric grid.

Clausen said that since 2004, the counties and town councils have been asked for their input. Once the project is approved, it would take about 18 months to be completed.

Other alternatives proposed by Edison would carry the line farther west as opposed to going east – as alternate five suggests – or not going forward with the project.

In other business, the Supervisors approved a $750,000 settlement in the case of Anthony Fernandez, a former inmate at Pitchess Detention Center who was attacked by four other inmates.

The board also agreed to operate and maintain a trail along a flood control channel in Stevenson Ranch, and approved a $100,000 proposal to fund a pilot drug overdose prevention program.

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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