SDG&E Power Line Update
Friday, September, 25, 2020
We are saddened to report that the CPUC voted 5-0 in approval of SDG&E's project during yesterday's meeting.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the effort to get an EIR approved. Unfortunately, we did not get the result we had hoped for. However, we could not be more proud of our community coming together and working diligently to fight for something we so strongly believe in.
We do not currently know when construction will begin. You may check these links for more information as they are updated...
Utilities commission OKs controversial power line project from Escondido to San Marcos - The San Diego Union-Tribune Thursday, Sept 24,2020
POSSIBLE TALKING POINTS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR COMMENTS
In addition to requesting an EIR be conducted here are some topics you may want to include in your
comments to the five Commissioners:
Any personal story about impacts over the years that are connected to the power lines. This includes:
- Wildfire experiences: evacuations, school closing, work related issues, etc.
- Aesthetic enjoyment of public spaces such as Simmons Family Park (Rancho Dorado) or Quarry
Trail (San Elijo Hills) or even on your drive to and from home.
- Property valuations: Impact financially due to power lines presence. We know there is an
impact but what is it? It is hard to quantify but if you have a story please share with the
- Issues over homeowner’s insurance: Cancellations, changes in rates or other issues related to
living in high fire areas which are impacted by the existing power lines and will only worsen with
new additional above ground transmission lines.
The following are general issues you are welcome to mention in your comments as well. Two analysis
of the impact on the environment that have been issued by the CPUC to date: the Initial Study/
Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) and the Final Study/ Mitigated Negative Declaration (Final
MND). The IS/MND was issued in April of 2019 and public comments were submitted on that initial
report by the end of May 2019. The Final MND was issued in January of 2020 and was supposed to have
taken our comments into account. If you chose to use some of these talking points please use your
words and don’t copy and paste these in your comments.
- Despite hundreds of comments concerned over the increased danger due to wildfires and the
fact the CPUC admits the wildfire danger will increase due to these new power lines, they are
implementing no new strategies to mitigate this increased wildfire danger once the power lines
are installed. Mitigation will be done during construction including appropriate fire suppression
training and equipment but no mitigation is required by SDG&E once the project is completed.
- The IS/MND when analyzing the aesthetic impact omitted the most obvious public space
affected, Simmons Family Park which is less than 50 feet to the west of the new transmission
- As a result of comments the Final MND did consider Simmons Family Park but instead of
analyzing the impact on the panoramic view to the Pacific Ocean from the viewing bench and
hill they selected a view to the southwest from the picnic area that features a hill (just west of
Alga and Melrose). From this picture they determined the new power lines would not create a
significant impact on the views from the park. In other words, they never considered the impact
of the power lines on the view to the west of the Pacific Ocean.
- When they included Simmons Family Park they listed its views as, “Elevated views of Rancho La
Costa Preserve and the City of Carlsbad.” No mention of the Pacific Ocean and its coastline,
Batiquitos Lagoon, San Clemente and Catalina islands, and the spectacular sunsets.
- While they left out Simmons Family Park in the IS/MND they did list Diamond Trail Preserve as a
scenic vista with a view of “Pacific Ocean”. However this location is inaccessible to the public
and does not have a scenic view of the Pacific Ocean which was pointed out in the public
comment period and yet in the Final MND it was still listed as a scenic vista with views of the
- In the Final MND they mention the fact that over 1,000 public comments were received
regarding the findings and recommendation of the IS/MND; however, they never said whether
those comments were in support or opposition to building the new transmission lines. Reality is
those comments were, if not unanimous extremely close (99%+) to being unanimous. Why did
they leave out this important piece of information? Based on this statement (which is on the
public record for anyone to read) no one would know the public sentiment toward the building
of the proposed project.
- In the IS/MND there was no mention of Quarry trail (just west of San Elijo Hills) other than
stating it would be impacted during construction. When pointed out there would be a negative
impact on the Quarry trail long-term the reply was it ran directly under the power lines so the
view to the west would not be impacted. This downplay of the impact is one thing, but it is also
true that the majority of the trail is east of the power lines and therefore the west facing view
would be impacted by the new power lines.