Lake Elsinore City Council Sounds Off Against Proposed Electricity Project

In a 5-0 vote, council moved that staff will draft a letter to the CPUC in opposition to the Talega-Escondido/Valley-Serrano 500 kV Interconnect Project.

As preparation gets underway to draft an Environmental Impact Report on a proposed energy project that would see electrical lines and massive towers stretch across Lake Elsinore, the Cleveland National Forest and surrounding Southland areas, the city is digging in its heels.

In a 5-0 vote Tuesday night, the Lake Elsinore City Council moved that staff will draft a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission in opposition to the Talega-Escondido/Valley-Serrano 500 kV Interconnect Project.

“We don’t want it here,” Mayor Amy Bhutta told staff Tuesday night.

In the letter, which is expected to be drafted by staff Wednesday, the city will provide a comprehensive list of concerns and questions it has on the project, including environmental, seismic, fire, impact on city residents during proposed construction, decreased property values and non-compliance with regulations that call for a gradual shift to renewable energy sources.

In the letter, the city will also express its desire that, if the project were to actually move forward, all lines be placed underground.

Councilman Bob Magee added that he wants the city to become an intervener in the project proceedings moving forward.

If constructed, the project would see nearly 32 miles of overhead power lines and 138 steel lattice towers stretching from the proposed Lake Elsinore Advanced Pump Storage Project (LEAPS) facility, southward to SDG&E's existing 230 kV Talega-Escondido transmission line in San Diego County, and northward to SCE's 500 kV Valley-Serrano transmission line in Riverside County.

The electrical transmission line and towers would wind through the Cleveland National Forest, just west of Lake Elsinore and other Southwest Riverside cities.

None of the council members expressed support for the project, which was in line with local residents who were on hand Tuesday to speak on the issue.

The proposed project would be a “substantial detriment to the residents, city and environment,” said Lake Elsinore resident Pete Dawson, one of five people who spoke in opposition.

Such fervent resistance was also on the project.

The city is expected to send its list of concerns to the CPUC by April 29, the deadline the agency has set to receive public comment on the project.

According to the project schedule, the CPUC will publish an Environmental Impact Report late this year, and public comments on that report will be heard next spring.

A final Environmental Impact Report is expected April 2012.

Badangel April 27, 2011 at 01:18 PM
I"m sure you can trust the environmental impact report just like you can trust the FDA and the rest of the "it's safe for the people" organizations....Example: our food and medications. supposed to be safe for us...it's all about money. not the people. just like believing congress.....
Debra S April 27, 2011 at 02:11 PM
Now that the City of Lake Elsinore is in opposition of this project why is there an environmental impact study being done? I thought I read that there was environmental study done some years ago (for $$$$Millions). Who is paying for this new study & why?
Debra S April 27, 2011 at 02:13 PM
By the way, I emailed the CPUC about my objections to this project. I hope all of you did too.
Martha L. Bridges April 27, 2011 at 02:24 PM
This project would impact Wildomar too. I hope the city council is working with staff to send their own comment letter objecting to the project. It would put us at extreme risk of fire from downed transmission lines, and ruin the natural beauty of our trails and open spaces. Who wants to look up at our beautiful hills and see steel transmission towers? Move to protect one of the greatest environmental assets Wildomar has - send your objections and get the letter in on time.
Scott T April 27, 2011 at 02:50 PM
I thought that without these powerlines the LEAPS project which would be good for the lake would be dead?
Debra S April 27, 2011 at 03:02 PM
LEAPS is not good for the lake or the community.
Martha L. Bridges April 27, 2011 at 04:15 PM
Knowledgeable people in this area have been fighting the LEAPS project for over a decade. It would not only NOT be good for the community or the lake, but actually harmful and damaging. The darn thing keeps coming back because the people who foolishly spend around $20 million dollars of the taxpayers and ratepayers money on the project can't bring themselves to admit it was a poor idea, a waste of money and a very bad decision on their part.
Debra S April 29, 2011 at 03:46 PM
"People" meaning EVMWD.
Scott T April 30, 2011 at 02:20 PM
Is "Bad for the lake" an opion or just something you have been told by the politicans that don't want it? How is it bad is all I want to know.
Debra S April 30, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Scott T May 05, 2011 at 02:27 PM
Thats a good article as far a finacials go but still does not explain how it is "bad for the lake".
Debra S May 05, 2011 at 04:03 PM
The constant changing of the water levels in the lake from pumping the water up to a resovoir (which will also affect the national forest) is not good for the lake. The #1 question: Why would L.E. want something so intrusive & ugly & that does not enhance the community?


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