NO to Power Substation Next to Marquez Charter Elementary
I strongly OPPOSE the DWP’s proposed power distributing station at 16931 Marquez Ave, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 (the “Marquez site”). The Marquez site is located in the heart of Marquez Knolls, a quiet residential enclave populated by many families with young children. The Marquez site is bordered by single family homes to the south and the east, a canyon of undisturbed vegetation to the west, and Marquez Charter Elementary School to the north. A power substation at this particular location raises a number of serious environmental and health issues. The risk of explosion and fire at power substations throughout the nation is well documented. They can be caused by being overloaded, equipment failure, or other reasons. A potential explosion and fire at the Marquez site can easily ignite the adjacent canyon and spread to the surrounding residences extending to both lower and upper Marquez Knolls. Also at risk is the adjacent elementary school with 600+ students as well as three other preschool-kindergarten-daycare facilities in the immediate vicinity. Given what is at stake, that risk is unacceptable. This lot is known to be geologically unstable and prone to landslides. Potential slope failure can lead to structural and/or equipment damage at the substation. Such damage could lead to power outages as well as explosions and fires. The Marquez site is plainly inappropriate for a power substation. Traffic conditions on this stretch of Marquez Avenue are already severely stressed. The street is jammed with parked vehicles, carpool traffic, and double-parked vehicles during the elementary school’s drop-off and pick-up times. Should a substation emergency occur during this time, evacuating the elementary school students and nearby residents would be chaos. Also, this stretch of Marquez cannot support the risk of street closures due to regular maintenance or emergency activities at the substation. This stretch of Marquez cannot support the daily entourage of heavy equipment traffic that would be required for the substation construction. Potential health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) from substations and high voltage power lines have been studied since the 1970s. The mainstream view recognizes a consistent statistical correlation and epidemiologic evidence showing association between EMF and childhood leukemia, but stops short of saying there is a direct causal link. As the World Health Organization recognized in 2002, however, the International Agency on Research on Cancer classified extremely low frequency magnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Because this proposed substation would be immediately next to hundreds of elementary school kids who would be subjected to such exposure 7-10 hours a day, any such potential health risk, no matter how slight or debatable, is unacceptable. Biological Impacts - The canyon to the west of the Marquez site is home to Santa Monica Mountains wildlife. The dislocation of these animals could potentially disrupt the balance of nature. For all the above reasons, I oppose the DWP’s proposed power distributing station at the Marquez site.