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Pylon inquiry to hear health data  

A public inquiry into a proposed 137-mile power line upgrade has agreed to accept a submission detailing the possible health risks of the plan.

A study published last month by leading scientists detailed the potential effects of exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) from power lines.

Officials said last week that the new report was published too late to be considered as part of the inquiry.

However, campaigners can now enter submissions on the study.

The planned power line would see 600 pylons, up to 65m (213ft) high, replacing the existing transmission line from Beauly near Inverness to Denny near Falkirk.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has said the line is vital to allow renewable energy projects to connect to the electricity grid.

Inquiry sessions

A public inquiry into the plans has been running since February.

Last week Stirling MSP and Parliamentary Business Minister Bruce Crawford accused inquiry reporters of making a “mistake” by not admitting the report for consideration.

The study, titled A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields, concluded that current limits which regulate how much EMF is allowable from power lines, mobile phones, and other sources in daily life, were inadequate.

Campaign group Stirling Before Pylons said the decision to allow submissions on the report was welcome.

The group’s spokeswoman Caroline Paterson said: “I hope the Reporters will study the contents of this report and take on-board its key recommendations with regard to high voltage power lines.

“It recommends an interim planning limit of 0.1 microtesla for homes near new lines.

“The proposed Beauly to Denny power line does not comply with these recommendations, with about 100 homes which would experience EMF far in excess of 0.1 microtesla if approved.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said the inquiry agreed to hear submissions on the report outwith the local inquiry sessions, due to arrive in Stirling on 20 November.

He added: “The Reporters have offered Stirling Before Pylons and the applicants the opportunity to make a written submission on the Bioinitiative Report.

“The issue of EMF was debated at length during the 12 week strategy session of the inquiry in Perth in February 2007.

“As previously indicated, the Bioinitiative report will not be the subject of debate at the remaining local sessions of the inquiry in Perth and Stirling.

“The Reporters took this decision as Stirling Before Pylons indicated they would lodge the document at the Stirling session of the inquiry.

“This is therefore a means of dealing with concerns outwith the local inquiry sessions.”

Submissions on the relevance of the report to the inquiry will have to be made by Friday 19 October.

BBC News

4 October 2007

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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