#Local Government

The proposed 110kv electricity circuit connecting Clashavoon substation, northeast of Macroom, Co. Cork, with Dunmanway substation, on the outskirts of Dunmanway, Co. Cork poses a major health risk to the communities living in the vicinity of the preferred route corridor. Recent scientific studies have demonstrated a statistical link between cancer and residential exposure to overhead power lines.

For example, the 'Draper Study of Childhood Leukemia' at the University of Oxford (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010) demonstrates an increased risk of childhood leukemia up to 600m from high voltage overhead power lines. High voltage overhead power lines can also affect domestic cattle. Studies published in the ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA’ (Begall et al. 2008, Burda et al. 2009) demonstrate that domestic cattle are affected at a molecular and cellular level in the vicinity of high voltage power lines.

Overhead power lines also decrease the value of nearby land as well as negatively impacting the environment, heritage and aesthetics of the landscape. Placing the cables underground would reduce the risk to human and animal health as well as the environment while enabling the improvement of the electricity infrastructure. On the 23rd of May, 2008, representatives from a major international company, IMERA, and also from ABB,a company which manufactures and installs underground cables, told the Dáil and Seanad Committee that ‘there would be only a marginal difference in cost in putting cables underground’.

In an ‘Irish Times’ article of May 20th, 2010 reports, Prof. Friedhelm Noack of the University of Technology in Illmenau, Germany, an expert on electricity grids, states underground cables are safer than overhead lines as they do not emit a magnetic field. They are also far less detrimental to the environment and the value of land. Moreover, he argues that they are cheaper than overhead lines.Fine Gael TD Ray Butler also supports the undergrounding of EirGrid cables (Meath Chronicle, 23rd Feb, 2011).

Once planning permission is granted for a 110kv electricity circuit, further applications for planning permission are not needed to increase the voltage on the circuit. Undergrounding the proposed power lines would minimise the negative impact on the health, agricultural and ecological environment, heritage, land value, tourism value and aesthetic value of the communities in the region of the proposed route corridor.

We, the undersigned, register our objection to the 110kv electricity circuit connecting Clashavoon and Dunmanway substations proposed by EirGrid.

We petition EirGrid to halt their current power line proposal and investigate alternative means of improving the electricity infrastructure such as undergrounding high voltage power lines.

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The Petition against proposed 110kv electricity circuit from Clashavoon to Dunmanway petition to 2,000 was written by Communities Against Pylons and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.