Environmental Group Opposes Current Bayfront Substation Plan

NBC 7 San Diego

A new group is weighing-in on the controversy over the planned Chula Vista bayfront substation.

The Environmental Health Coalition has issued a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission urging underground power lines for the Chula Vista bay front substation.

A 2004 agreement between Chula Vista and San Diego Gas & Electric states the transmission lines will go underground. However, a plan tentatively approved by the CPUC last month includes an 83-foot telecommunications tower and 68-feet tall transmission lines above ground. The new structure will be located just a quarter mile south of the now-demolished South Bay Power Plant, along the coastline.

"We have gone to great pains to reduce heights of structures on the Sweetwater and Otay Districts of the Bayfront so no tall structures should be allowed as part of the replacement substation," states the letter from the EHC's senior policy advocate Laura Hunter.
"Specifically the proposed project includes the addition of new overhead power lines and supporting structures that are too high for the area. We have long understood that the substation would be relocated and the new facility would be smaller, state of the art, and lower profile and we have based our Bayfront plan on that expectation," the Sept. 3 letter states.
SDG&E says the CPUC has already decided the project is properly designed.
"All of this has been hashed out through the public utility commission's process and, in fact, the commission said in its proposed decision, 'We do not see the need for any further enhancements. There's nothing you can do that you haven't already done, SDG&E, that would make this project even better," SDG&E Spokeswoman Stephanie Donovan said.

NBC7 Investigates first reported on the issue in August. The Environmental Health Coalition advocates against low-income communities being exposed to greater environmental hazards.


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