Council Resumes Hearing On Substation Expansion

Public Voices Concerns About Adverse Health Affects

May 20, 1991|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

The Annapolis City Council will continue a public hearing tonight ona proposed expansion of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s Tyler Avenue power substation.

The council listened to 2 1/2 hours of testimony last month from BG&E officials, who say the expansion is needed orthe area may experience blackouts next winter.

Residents have voiced concern about the electromagnetic field from the substation. Aldermen echoed those concerns last month, asking BG&E officials if they could expand a substation in a less densely populated area. But BG&E officials said they couldn't expand another substation and meet the area's needs.

BG&E officials also said there is no conclusive evidence to link electromagnetic fields (EMF) to cancer in children or other health problems. The officials also said theexpansion would not increase the electromagnetic field at the site.

Art Slusark, a BG&E spokesman, said the residents are the first tooppose a substation expansion. "EMF is always brought up for overhead transmission wires," Slusark said. "This is the first time we've run into opposition with a substation."

BG&E Engineer Chuck Lacey said the expansion would double the substation's capacity to meet the increased demand for electricity in the area. The substation con

verts electricity from 33,000-volt lines to the 13,000-volt lines that typically run through neighborhoods.

BG&E will finish its case tonight before residents present their testimony.

Two aldermen may not vote on the company's request because of conflicts. Alderman John R. Hammond, R-Ward 1, owns BG&E stock. Alderman Carl O. Snowden, D-Ward 5, was once part of a class action suit against the utility company.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambersin City Hall on Duke of Gloucester Street.

Before the meeting, at6 p.m., the Rules Committee will begin its review of five election bills submitted after the 1989 municipal elections.

Hammond, Snowden and Alderman Wayne C. Turner, R-Ward 6, have introduced bills that would set limits on campaign contributions. Turner's bill is a rewrite of city election law, and the city Board of Supervisors of Elections also has recommended changes.

Snowden also has introduced bills allowing the use of stickers to cast write-in ballots, and prohibiting aldermen from voting on projects proposed by developers from whom the aldermen have received contributions.

Snowden, the committee's chairman, said the group eventually will combine all the bills into one comprehensive bill.

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