EMFguru #12-96,OK Corral and Connecticut Avenue Revisited

Oct 1996

Hi everybody:

Remember the situation on Connecticut Avenue in Joplin, Missouri?

The power company in that town is determined to construct a 161,000 volt transmission line in the FRONT yards of that fully developed residential neighborhood on a 35 foot right-of-way. This means that most of the homes will be within 40-50 feet of the center of the right-of-way. Some of the children's bedrooms will be within 50-60 feet of the actual towers carrying the lines. Virtually ALL of their front yards are consumed by the right-of-way. As we previously noted, when the sun is in the West (avenue runs north-south) the shadow of those lines will fall in the back-yards -- behind the homes.

This "inner city" neighborhood is typical middle class, some might call it "Joe Six-pack" or "Archie Bunker" neighborhood ... but these are real good people. They are the "workers" of the community, blue collar and white collar. They are the truck drivers and barbers, cosmetologists and a few operate small businesses like a Laundromat or dry cleaners. Many are retirees. They know nothing about EMF ... except the brochure guru previously quoted to you ... that the power company had given them.

As usual in these cases, the power company controls all the information.

Then---something happened--- The local *medical* community (They DO know something about EMF!) became involved.

You see --- as the line proceeds further out into the suburbs it enters a different kind of neighborhood. A neighborhood of large expensive homes. Some of these homes are owned by a number of doctors.

What follows below is a series of direct quotations from the JOPLIN GLOBE, the town's daily newspaper.


(October 4th, JOPLIN GLOBE, p. 1.)

"Opponents of the Connecticut Avenue power line will take their battle with the Empire District Electric Company to the streets on Monday.

"Members of Citizens Concerned for Our Children's Future plan to picket the company's headquarters at 602 Joplin Ave." ..........

"A member of the group, Dr. Jeffrey Greenberg, a Joplin neuro-surgeon, said: "Our concerns first and foremost, are potential health risks to our community and its children. The fact that considerable doubts have been raised by scientists and physicians over the world, concerning electro- magnetic field exposure, warrants further discussion and investigation prior to placement of high-voltage lines through residential areas.".....

"The group has hired a media consultant and is enlisting the aid of Joplin's medical community....." [Note: Lest you jump to conclusions -- guru is NOT the hired media consultant.]

"In September 1993, 20 landowners along Connecticut filed suit against the company, alleging that Empire obtained easements from them through fraud and misrepresentation. The company had paid *$100* for each easement."

"A company spokesman said representatives of the company did not misrepresent what would happen, but that it is possible some property owners did not fully understand what was proposed when they signed over the easements."

[Guru's note: The company eventually settled out of court by paying additional amounts. But, as there is still some question about the company's truthfulness and lack of 'full disclosure' of EMF hazards, many of those cases may be reopened again.]

(October 8th, JOPLIN GLOBE, p. 1.)

"A protest and advertising campaign by opponents of the Connecticut Avenue power line won't persuade the Empire District Electric Co. to abandon its plan to construct the power line, a company spokes-woman said Monday. "We regret that some of our customers believe they may be inconvenienced by the line," said Amy Bass, company spokes-woman. "Unfortunately, we are all asked to put up with an occasional inconvenience for the good of the community.".......

"Mrs. Bass said EMF research has been under way for years and that a few studies have shown a weak link between exposure and cancer. But the links, she said, are statistically insignificant and may be the result of random occurrences."......

"She said the company monitors the scientific research on a daily basis, pointing to recent reports from the American Physical Society, the nation's largest society of physicists, and the American Cancer Society. Those reports, she said, found no link between EMF exposure and cancer. In response to a question, she said the company does not monitor the health of its employees who work closely with high voltage power." [Guru's note: Medical sources in the community hint that there may be "two" cases of leukemia within the company.]

(October 10th, JOPLIN GLOBE editorial, "Empire must prove safety")

"Before the Empire District Electric Company proceeds with plans to run a high-voltage transmission line through a residential area, we would like to see the company strengthen its argument that such a line is safe." [Guru's comment: Here comes Dr. Adair!!!]

"...until the scientific community reaches some consensus on the issue, the wisest course is to tip the scales on the side of caution. In this case, that would mean in favor of the families. To do otherwise would subject those living along the route to unknown risks at best or, at worst, dangerous exposure."


Some additional guru comments.

We have been advised that at latest count "about a dozen" additional new cases of litigation are about to be filed ... and others are "in the wings."

An adjacent small community (also served by Empire) has passed a city ordinance prohibiting the construction of *any* transmission line without the approval of the city council.

Guru says:

We still live in hope ... that the NCRP report (promised for 1996) will be published ... or that the EPA will do its duty....... ......probably too much to expect after all those "political" contributions by "top executives" of the electrical/telecommunications industries recently...... ......And the public thinks that "top executives" are all Republicans!!!)

This expensive, time consuming and community-dividing litigation is not the best way to deal with the EMF hazards. (Only the lawyers prosper.) But it is all the property owners (and their children) have at this time.

See you at the OK Corral...

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