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Risks & Impacts

high voltage post

The impacts and the risks are real!

Contrary to what SDG&E claims, the proposed substation expansion has nothing to do with reliability…especially not for San Juan Capistrano. The project is designed to serve the many planned communities and their 14,000 homes directly to the east of San Juan Capistrano. SDG&E could and should move the project closer to the communities that it will serve, but that would cost them more than they wish to spend. Instead our city will carry the burden of the project.

In its Draft Environmental Impact Report, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recommends moving the enhanced power station to another location and states the following:

The proposed project would have a significant impact on the following resources:

 Air Qualitypollution2

  • Reactive organic gases (ROG), particulate matter less than or equal to10 microns in diameter (PM10) and particular matter less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) would exceed South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) thresholds during construction.
  • Emissions of PM10 and PM2.5 during various substation and transmission line construction phases are above the SCAQMD’s local significance thresholds.

Transportation and traffic

Camino Capistrano Traffic in San Juan Capistrano

Traffic on Camino Capistrano across from the existing SGD&E substation on a typical weekend.

  • Project traffic along Camino Capistrano (City of San Juan Capistrano) during partial road closures.
  • Full road closures along Camino Capistrano, Via Pamplona and Calle San Diego (City of San Juan Capistrano).

We have suffered over the last several years due to the Ortega interchange project. Another five years of massive construction? We all know what it’s like to crawl along Camino Capistrano evenings and on the weekends. This “enhancement” will be something that we will endure for more than five years without benefit to the city or its residents.

Click here to read a summary and full text of the Draft Environmental Impact Report prepared by the CPUC for the SOCRE Project

Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)

There are EMFs all around us, whether it’s your TV, your toaster, your cell phone. But these are minuscule levels compared to what’s generated by a power station – especially one generating 230KV. There are dozens of published scientific papers that have found links between living near power substations and power lines creating a range of health concerns, including:

Brain cancer
Childhood and adult leukemia
Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
Alzheimer’s disease
Breast cancer in women and men,
Miscarriage, birth defects and reproductive problems,
Decreased libido
Depression and suicide
Blood diseases
Hormonal imbalances
Heart disease
Neuro-degenerative diseases
Sleeping disorders
And many others


Dozens of studies have found links between living near power lines and poor health:


– as far back as 1979 the Wertheimer and Leeper study found that children living near ordinary power lines had 3 times the likelihood of developing cancer….large gauge transmission lines are worse.

– the Savitz study (1980s) concluded 10-15 percent of all child cancers resulted from magnetic field exposure from powerlines.

– the Wall Street Journal reported in 1993 that the real estate resale value of homes decreased by as much as 30%, if exposed to electromagnetic fields

– according to a 2005 study published in the British Medical Journal, babies who live near high-voltage power lines are almost twice as likely as others to develop leukemia during childhood

See more at: http://www.electricsense.com/4637/emfs-from-power-lines-the-facts/#sthash.d8D6lYov.dpuf


What EMF reading is acceptable?

What is safe? No government agency cares to set a “safe” level, because the utility companies would be forced to do billions of dollars worth of remediation, not to mention the high likelihood of endless litigation. We understand that generally anything approaching 3 milliGauss (mG) is considered unsafe.



This photo shows a startling EMF reading taken in Serra Park located directly across the street from the existing SDG&E substation in San Juan Capistrano. The meter shows the electromagnetic field around the children playing in the park measuring between 70 and 100 milliGauss(mG). Nearly off the charts!


Please join us to fight back against the threat that this project poses to our town and our neighbors.

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