This coming Monday night, Feb. 9, is a public hearing concerning the United Illuminating(UI) and CT Light and Power (CL&P)' s application for an electrical transmission upgrade. The hearing will be held at the Woodbridge Gym at 7 p.m. at 4 Meetinghouse Lane in Woodbridge.

The Connecticut Siting Council has scheduled this public hearing for the citizens of Woodbridge, Orange, Bethany and Hamden.

CL&P and UI plan to install a new high voltage power line directly on the grounds or very close to Trinity Evangelical Free Church, the Jewish Community Center, Beecher Road School, Ezra Academy, High Plains Community Center and Congregation B'nai Jacob. Today there is a 115 kV line present. The new line will contain 460 kV, which is a four fold increase of additional high dosage of elctromagnetic radiation.

More than 3,800 children from nursery school and day-care age though 12 grade will be affected. There are numerous reports about the potential health effects of high voltage lines, especially on children. Government studies (see website below) have reported that magnetic and electric fields produced through transmission of electric power is a possible human carcinogen. This is why other states have passed laws preventing power companies from placing power lines near school population areas. For example, California has regulations that do not allow power lines greater than 230 kV from being placed within 150 feet of a school facility.

Think about it, a child attending school next to a power line will spend 35 hours per week being exposed. As a matter of fact, the hours that all children are in school, day care, or camp, which is during the day, is when the electrical power consumption is the highest.

What is important is that when a community speaks out about their concerns, power companies choose safer options. The lines can be buried underground or be rerouted. However, they will not consider these options unless they have to. We all need to put pressure on these power companies.

You can do one or all of the following. You can attend the public hearing as I mentioned above. You can write a letter or e mail our state representatives. You can sign a petition. Please go to www.keepthechildrensafe.com. This website has additional information about this important issue including links to scientific studies, sample letters to politicians, and electronic petitions. We need to protect our community.

Hope to see you at the public hearing.

The next Environmental Action Club meeting is March 1, in room 3 at High Plains Community Center. Please email me if you are interested in joining at melanieki@aol.com. At this meeting we will be planning Earth Day activities and monitoring the local river and ponds.