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Redondo Beach power lines spark debate

A push for power is not sitting well with some Redondo Beach residents. Homeowners are speaking out, citing safety concerns.

April 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A push for power is not sitting well with some Redondo Beach residents. Homeowners are speaking out, citing safety concerns.

Local residents met with representatives from Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas at the Redondo Beach Library Monday night. They met about concerns of stray voltage emanating from the Topaz Substation, located at Knob Hill and Prospect avenues.

Residents say strong electromagnetic fields have been detected at their homes. Others say they discovered their gas lines carried a charge due to stray voltage from the substation.

Edison and SoCal Gas say they've been working with residents to fix the issue of the charged gas lines. But residents say nothing has been done about the stray voltage.

"The concern is about childhood leukemia. There are risks of childhood leukemia when it comes to electromagnetic fields, and it conflicts with pacemakers, so definitely there's health risks with this that we are very concerned about," said Redondo Beach resident Doris Donlou-Richmond.

"Over the last couple months we've worked together collectively with the gas company, and we've installed equipment similar to a ground directly onto the gas lines, which has reduced the electrical voltage that was on some of the gas meters down to acceptable safety levels with the gas company," said SoCal Edison Public Affairs Representative Scott Gobble.

Edison says that the levels of stray voltage that occur around all substations are not unusually high at the Topaz substation. Levels there are acceptable, Edison says. The company also says it's been working on the substation, installing new equipment to try to reduce the amount of stray voltage.

Edison says it can't give too many details due to legal action filed by some residents.

Neighbors say they just want to ensure their health is not at risk and want answers to reduce the stray voltage.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the power lines were underground, but they are not underground.


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