Friday, November 29, 2013

Why Won't RICL Follow Interstate 80 Corridor? Stray Current Pollution.

Have you ever wondered why Clean Line Energy doesn’t have RICL follow an Interstate 80 corridor RICL?

Yes, it’s a stupid question.  The obvious answer is “because the federal government doesn’t want RICL along its interstate and the towns along the way don’t want RICL passing through their towns either”. 

It seems such a simple question but I think there’s a deeper reason.  It’s found in paper "Stray Currents and Pollution of the Environment"   This is an interesting paper worth reading.  Like the title obviously states, it refers stray current from HVDC transmission as an environmental pollution.  Stray current rusts and corrodes anything it comes within contact, including but not limited to pipelines, natural gas distribution lines, fiber optics, city water lines, and any other type of buried urban infrastructure. 

Now I understand why RICL has no desire to follow an Interstate 80 corridor.  If there is a short, the stray current could also corrode the rebar in the road.  Plus every city along the way would potentially have issues of stray current in the town’s infrastructure.  No town would want to risk the powerline depreciating its water, sewer, fiber optic and natural gas lines that cross or run parallel to the HVDC powerline. 

Perhaps a right of way lawyer or an adviser at HDR Engineering told Clean  Line Energy from the start they were nuts to have any notion of following the old Rock Island Rail Line, but rather use traditional transmission siting process by intersecting farm fields.   

Clean Line Energy commits an Environmental Injustice as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency by choosing farmland to place Stray Current Pollution.  Less people will notice the Stray Current Pollution in rural Iowa and Illinois.  A far lesser percentage will complain about the Stray Current from HVDC powerline.    

Sure, the Stray Current Pollution lessening the value of farmland as it will corrode any underground infrastructure.  Who wants to build anything near a powerline that corrodes anything near it?    Which I have to ask again, how far out into the field away from the Northern Borders pipeline will RICL want their easement?  1,000 feet?  What value is the land between a 3,500megawatt powerline and a natural gas pipeline?  That gap between the right-of-ways is nothing more than free easement to RICL.

This brings us to an interesting quote in a KWWL story done 10 days ago; Proposed Powerline  Leaves Farmers Concerned.  Charlie Ayr a spokesman for Clean Line Energy makes a very interesting quote.

"There is no health impact for a (direct current) line, no health impact associated with the electric or magnetic fields," said Charlie Ary, an Associate with Clean Line.

Nice one Charlie.  Keep telling the papers and whoever else willing to listen there is no hazard associated with HVDC magnetic fields.  Charlie, keep avoiding the real HVDC concern with stray current.  Pretend stray current issues do not exist and are not worse with HVDC.  How do you think Stray Current Pollution with it's documented corrosive affects will play out in an eminent domain hearing?  Shouldn't there be an additional payment to landowners who are forced to absorb this pollution from RICL?  What kind of costs and damages do you think a local jury will place on HVDC Stray Current Pollution?

This is a classic social injustice scenario.  Siting a HVDC powerline in rural areas where the residents affected are economically poorer and have a weaker voice is not unusual, but for Clean Line Energy to completely avoid the issue of Stray Current and focus on Electro Magnetic Fields is …well it’s deceitful.   This powerline will have a magnetic affect as more environmentally undesirable projects are built near RICL.  It will clearly lessen the value of the entire property for the fields affected. 

Now that I think of it, if RICL is the powerline for the wind turbines, the affected landowners will be forced to deal with the excrement of the wind turbines.  Stray current pollution is the excrement of “clean” wind energy and HVDC transmission.  What else would you call stray current pollution from the powerline for “clean” wind energy but excrement?  Perhaps manure is more fitting. 

There’s nothing clean about Clean Line Energy.  It’s the manure of “clean” wind energy.  There is a better solution than 500 miles of Stray Current Pollution, like building generation in eastern states closer to the energy consumption.  

BTW, when the Department of Energy writes it’s Environmental Impact Statement for Plains & Eastern Clean Line and addresses Environmental Justice, I do hope and expect Stray Current Pollution from HVDC to be discussed in depth.    

Social & Environmental Justice as defined by the EPA
 Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across this Nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.

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