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345kV Transmission line  RSS feed

 
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We were contacted yesterday about the local energy company wanting to put a 345kV transmission line on our land, we have 45 acres, the farthest it would possibly be is 500 yards or so from our house, it might be closer but they have not discussed specifically where they plan to locate it. My gut feeling is hell no, but I wanted input from other people. There is one down the road 5 or so miles and there is no cell service anywhere near it, I have also read they are loud and I would then loose the ability to use a huge chunk of my land. Thought and ideas? Thanks!
 
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If it is an over ground AC line, then yes they are loud and I would definitely not want live near one.
 
pioneer
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I would think resale value would drop noticeably as well.
 
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Don't jump to a quick rejection, as far as the courts go they feel a transmission tower to be a pretty minimal trespass and eminent domain rulings are frequent.
Usually they are awarded carte blanche with rights to endless access and unlimited duration.
The best deal would be a monthly stipend for as long as the tower trespasses on your land.
If the tower belongs to the same organization as your provider a free service in exchange is a good deal.
A one time settlement is usual, and usually not very damn much considering the grotesque profit they'll realize.
If their alternative is to put a tower bridging your land and pay your neighbors while ignoring you, you've shot yourself in the hiney as you'll receive all the negatives with no compensation.
 
Jade Crowley
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Red Smith wrote:Don't jump to a quick rejection, as far as the courts go they feel a transmission tower to be a pretty minimal trespass and eminent domain rulings are frequent.
Usually they are awarded carte blanche with rights to endless access and unlimited duration.
The best deal would be a monthly stipend for as long as the tower trespasses on your land.
If the tower belongs to the same organization as your provider a free service in exchange is a good deal.
A one time settlement is usual, and usually not very damn much considering the grotesque profit they'll realize.
If their alternative is to put a tower bridging your land and pay your neighbors while ignoring you, you've shot yourself in the hiney as you'll receive all the negatives with no compensation.



I had not thought of this, I will definitely keep it in mind, my husband is going to talk more to them on Monday, so we will get more details then. Thank you for your thoughts on it, I appreciate it.
 
pollinator
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They will come every so often to cut down any trees underneath the powerline, and they will also spray herbicide there too, they will give you no warning even if they tell you that they will and even if you found out when they will come and cut and weed the land to 1inch, they will still spray the land with herbicide, even if the current Boss says they will not the next guy will just do it because his checklist says spray/cut everything.

The clear land will become a deer and predator highway. Which could be a good thing, but for most it isn't. the herbicide does break down, and you could use the cleared land for pasture, And the extra edge for fruit/nut trees. You could put up some type of fencing to try and keep out the deer.

If you could get free power and run your cooking, heating, cooling, greenhouse, hotwater, workshop off of said free electric, it would be nice.
If you use induction cooking, due to very little lost heat you get 3x more heat compared to regular electric heating so in terms of CO2 its the same as using gas
If you use a CO2 heat pump for hot water and radiant heating it gives you 3x heating so as good as using gas.
And the idea of powering a greenhouse (eggs, mushroom, fish, vegetables, etc) all winter long sound better than shipping it in from the other end of the country.
 
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Find a lawyer with experience representing landowners on transmission lines..  Ask for a million dollars. Hold out until the last person has signed.

While you are waiting, here is some information that might be helpful:

Keep a journal of your entire interaction  from  the  first  visit  to  the  completion  of  the  project,  get names if you talk to anyone and note dates.  It is best to have another person present during your talks, if someone is with you make  a  note  of  it.    Keep  that  journal  at  hand  over  the  years  to  document ongoing dealings with the Grantee [all entities seeking an easement].  Take a few rolls of pictures  before  the  initial  survey,  before  and  after  construction  and  before  and  after  any  maintenance.    Develop  the  film  right
away and label the snapshots, give  a brief description of the shot and  date  it.    Keep  the  photos  with  the  journal.    The  Grantee [all entities seeking an easement]  is  responsible for any damages occurring as a result of his activities on your property.

You are going to be presented with a sheaf of papers during the easement process.  The most important document is the Grant of  Easement  and  Right  of  Way.    All  subsequent  documents  will be  based  upon  the  contents  of  the  Grant.    Keep  copies  of  all  paperwork. Even before you see this paperwork you may be asked to give permission for a survey.  Go  ahead and sign the permission form.

Here are a couple of other clauses of interest:

"Grantee  warrants  that  the  purchase  price  paid  per  square  unit  of  land  for  this  Grant  is  not  less  than  that price paid for similar land in ________ County,  ___.    If  Grantee  agrees  to  pay  another  landowner  a  higher  price  per  square  unit  of  land,  then,  Grantee  shall  make  an  additional   payment  to  Grantor  to  equal   the   difference   between   the   price   paid   to   Grantor per square unit of land and the higher price per square unit of land paid to the other landowner. "


In  order  to  avoid  problems  concerning  compensation  for  damages,  specific  clauses  may  be  added,  as  you  feel  necessary,  such as the following.

"Grantee agrees to pay the Grantor fair market value for  any  trees  destroyed  or  severely  damaged  as  a  result of Grantee’s construction, maintenance, repair
or removal activities. If  Grantee  destroys  any  trees  or  similar  vegetation  used  by  Grantor  for  decorative  purposes,  Grantee  shall pay Grantor the fair market value thereof


This is a construction manual for transmission lines.  I thought the part about erosion and vegetative restoration might be of interest.

http://www.dairynet.com/power_delivery/BMP1_Volume1.pdf
 
pioneer
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Like Anne mentioned, have an attorney on your side to decipher legalese and help make sure things go fairly. I like what Red mentioned about negotiating a stipend. A million dollars may sound like a lot of money, and it is, but a stipend paying $40k a year, for example, as long as the property is owned by your family means your children and grandchildren can benefit from this long after you've passed, resulting in many millions payed out.

 
Jade Crowley
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Good thoughts everyone, thanks! I will be looking for an attorney and seeing what else I can find out tomorrow. I appreciate all the feedback as I am so lost on the whole thing. I don't like going into anything without fully knowing what I am getting myself into.
 
pollinator
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Isn't that really bad for your health?
 
Anne Miller
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Angelika, yes there has been reports of some health problems attributed to the Wind Farms plus also to birds and butterflies.

Jade, it is good that you are going to do your own research.  I spent many months researching this and have many links saved that I could share with you if you are interested.

We dealt with RES America, their contract was very one sided in their favor and wanted everything including the kitchen sink so to speak.  It also gave rights to every tom, dick and harry for future use.
 
Mike Jay
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I believe Jade's issue is with a high voltage transmission line, not a wind farm.  I personally don't have any information on how bad they are for you but I've "heard" that they give off bad mojo.  I'm sure if anyone has some research on it they'll post a link for Jade.
 
Anne Miller
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Mike where do you think those transmission lines are going?

Here is a link as suggested:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101203081805.htm

A case study on childhood:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4492855/


Jade, have they told you how far you will be from the Windfarm?  If not, that is something to take into consideration.

In my case it wasn't just one Windfarm but two:  One at either end of my little county road, I am only about a couple of miles from one of the windfarms.

Here is another link in regards to Landowners Rights:

http://www.inaglaw.org/downloadfiles/ULE-LandownersRightsChecklist.pdf
 
Jade Crowley
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Anne, I will look at those links, thank you. The wind/solar farm is said to be in the next county over which is about 30 miles or so away, but none of my neighbors on the "sides" of me got a letter that I know of (I only know a handful of them) so I am thinking they are going to want to put it from west to east, but that doesn't make any sense with the next county over as that county is south of me. So many questions they have not answered, they want to do a sit down meeting vs an over the phone meeting so who knows when we will get the answers we are looking for. If they put it east to west it will be sitting on top of my house, literally because my land is skinny and long. I am so lost on the whole thing, but I feel like moving is going to be in my near future.
 
Anne Miller
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Jade, like you, my introduction was clouded with mystery.  I refused to meet with them until they furnished me with a diagram of where the lines were going to be on my property and where the Windfarm was.

It is my opinion this is an ongoing issue that will be around for many years.  Who knows when and if the Windfarm will be constructed.  I just didn't want to give them the right to put just anything on my property as in their contract.

According to law, they can't put the lines within 200 ft of your house if it is a full time residence.  My neighbor's house is an occasional residence and the lines were going right over his roof. 
 
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A lot of great comments here. 

Just curious, is it this project?

Curious thing, speaking of a deer fence, if you set up an electric-fence in the usual way, with a continuous wire insulated from the fence posts, running parallel to the transmission line for as long a distance as possible, there might be enough wireless-induction emanating off of the transmission line for the electric-fence to run without any additional power!  (source)  This probably isn't enough electricity to be of use for anything besides this purpose, but if it works out, this purpose could be quite convenient if you don't need to purchase or install anything extra. 

It may improve your cell phone reception to use some sort of directional antenna (likely with a signal booster of some sort), especially if your cell phone tower is in a different direction from your house than the transmission line.  If that isn't sufficient, then I'm not sure how else to remedy it.  As a substitute, an internet phone might work better.  If there's a lot of "EMI" (electromagnetic interference), there might be a way to lobby the cell phone company to turn up the signal strength in order to restore the original "signal-to-noise ratio".  Seems like a win-win solution.  Anyway, I imagine these aren't new issues.  An internet search can tell you a lot. 
 
Red Smith
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Yet another option is to offer to sell the land to them. As a point of contention mention that the inclusion of the line across it (let alone the invasive and unreasonable easements ) will (possibly) render it harder to sell in the future.
Obviously if there is no hazard / downside to close proximity why wouldn't they want to own it outright?
Market value plus moving expenses,!
 
Jade Crowley
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Mike, no it is not that project, it's said to be in Huerfano County.

We finally heard back from them today, they sent a letter in the mail and said to call them, we called them and they said to email them, so now we have emailed and are awaiting the reply to that. What a freak show this is.

I love the idea of moving! We have no well here, the land is covered in selenium so I can't put my horses out on my pasture which sucks, the only good thing about it is I live close to a huge ranch that I work at and I love them, but no water and not being able to use my pasture really sucks.
 
Mike Phillipps
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Well at least your horses won't get dandruff
 
Jade Crowley
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So they finally sent us documents like they said they would, they sent us a google map with an arrow pointing to our land (as if we didn't know where we lived?!?!) and a generic contract that they say is a more than fair offer of $3. per linear foot, it pretty much gives them all rights to the land at any and all times in the "easement" they are asking for. But the map doesn't show where the lines will be going and apparently the guy in charge is going on vacation and wont be back until after the 19th, he said if we have any questions it will have to wait until after then.
 
Anne Miller
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The "going on vacation", "going to be out of the country", etc. seems to be the norm.  It is all about keeping you in the dark, so to speak.

Insist that you will not discuss anything until you know where the lines will be on your property.  Once you know where the lines will be, start contacting your neighbors that will be affected so you can join forces.

Best wishes.
 
James Freyr
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Jade Crowley wrote:So they finally sent us documents like they said they would, they sent us a google map with an arrow pointing to our land (as if we didn't know where we lived?!?!) and a generic contract that they say is a more than fair offer of $3. per linear foot, it pretty much gives them all rights to the land at any and all times in the "easement" they are asking for. But the map doesn't show where the lines will be going and apparently the guy in charge is going on vacation and wont be back until after the 19th, he said if we have any questions it will have to wait until after then.



I know this has already been mentioned, but I'd like to say again that an attorney to help guide you is good advice. This offer of $3 a linear foot is bogus. This is the "first" offer going out to land owners to see how many will bite and take it. It's negotiating, and they're going to start low, and will go up for those that play hard ball. And they'll come back with a second offer, assuring you that it is the best they can do and will be the last offer, and that's bogus too. Please don't let them intimidate you with fear tactics that imply you need to get it while the getting is good. This is no different than, for example, a distracted driver t-boning you at an intersection sending you to the hospital, and the other drivers insurance company sends a guy in a suit & tie to the hospital with a check for $10,000 and a document to sign, telling you it's a fair offer. It's not.

An attorney will help guide you with the grammar of the contract. For example, right now it's $3 a linear foot. Let's say they run five thousand feet of wire overhead, that's $15,000. Not much money. If you insert the word strand in between the words linear and foot, then you will get $3 for each foot of each wire, so if there are twelve wires running overhead, all of a sudden the word strand gets you $180,000. Clever english can net you much more cash. And believe me, when it comes down to it, $180,000 is pocket change to this power company, but being capitalists, they will nickel and dime everything, because it's profits above all else at the end of the day.

My heart goes out to you in this unfortunate situation and I wish you the best outcome.
 
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As far as the potential health concerns, I have researched this quite a bit...
For now, let's talk about the actual radiation and not about its effect on the human body because the research on that is scarce and contentious. The word radiation is being used here in it fundamental meaning (an emission of energy from a source. Light is radiation, and so is heat).

Whenever electricity flows in a wire, it creates radiation in the form of an electro-magnetic field. This is important to know because everything, from electric fences to your flashlight emits radiation in this form. This form of radiation has some constant properties, and also many varying ones depending on the situation.

For example, these EM fields (Electro-Magnetic fields) always follow the same dispersion behavior called an inverse square law. That's fancy talk for saying that every time you double the distance between the source, and the observer (in this case you) the amount of radiation the observer will be exposed to drops by a factor of 4. Note that this is NOT a linear thing where doubling the distance between your house and the line halves the amount of radiation. This is good news.

Electromagnetic radiation can be more or less harmful depending on how intense it is, and also the frequency it is oscillating at. Light is electromagnetic energy for example. Although I am yet to hear of anyone dying from being exposed to the color green, a person can certainly die from gamma rays which is simply light with a much higher frequency than the color green. Microwaves, radiant heat, x-rays, radio waves these are all electromagnetic radiation at different frequencies.

There are two main forms of EM radiation that come from transmission lines. The first is heat which under correct operating conditions is harmless and we can ignore it. The second is EM radiation at the same frequency as the AC current flowing in the line (most likely 50 or 60 Hz).

Frequency matters because it determines not just the amount of actual energy in the field but also two other things:
How much the energy field scatters  and subsequently how easily it can be shielded.
How the energy can be transferred through a phenomenon called harmonic frequency transference.

Let's ignore the second one because it gets complicated. However the first one is pretty straight forward. Consider green light. You can block it out with a sheet of cardboard. Now radio waves are also EM radiation but at a lower frequency. They go straight through cardboard, and you need a much denser material, like metal or lots of concrete, to block them. Radio waves very roughly have 100,000 times higher frequency than mains frequency. And to shield from mains frequency radiation, nothing much short of a nuclear bunker is going to do the trick. So shielding from these transmissions lines not a practical option.

The only real safety precaution you can take is to distance yourself from the source.

Now not all sources are equal either. The HV lines do not actually transmit very much radiation. Considering that any energy lost via radiation is energy lost by the power company which they can't sell, means that they are extremely interested in reducing the amount of radiation emissions in their transmission grid. The biggest sources of transmission line radiation lie in where one line connects to another, and where transformers redistribute the electricity. Of these, the transformer is by far the biggest source of EM radiation. The reason for this is that transformers actually rely on the emission of EM radiation, and then reabsorbing it as the fundamental method of operation. They're pretty good at it too, but never 100%. And the weakness of their design is that the lower the frequency they operate at, the less efficient they are.

So what does this all mean? The line itself, especially if it's a new one is unlikely to be a significant source of radiation for at least a few decades. From my research, I would feel comfortable putting my house 500 yards from it. I would be asking if there will be any transformers, or junctions. Personally, the closest I would feel comfortable being to a simple, straight up transmission line would be 200 yards from the edge of the corridor.

To put things into perspective, I would be far more concerned with the toxic gick they'll be using to keep the transmission line corridor free from overgrowth. This opinion is based on historical records. For example up here in Canada during the 60's and 70's the power companies used agent orange to keep the corridors cleared. It got into the water table, and being a tetrogenic chemical it damaged the DNA of every living created exposed. Although they stopped using it, the effects of its use will never go away.

Had they known then what they know now about agent orange they wouldn't have used it. There is no guarantee that the toxic gick they use now isn't simply another "agent orange" scenario in a few decades time.

It might be worth talking to them about adding a condition to the agreement that they will contract out the care and maintenance of the corridor across your land to you. they pay you for the upkeep, and you control exactly how and when the maintenance is done. Just a thought...
 
Mike Phillipps
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I've researched this too.  The electromagnetic field from the sun is much stronger and has ionizing radiation, whereas a transmission line is much weaker and in general doesn't have ionizing radiation.  Ultraviolet light from the sun will give you a skin burn and will degrade plastic.  Transmission lines don't do that.  (Except if plastic is close enough to get zapped by an arcing corona or a tiny amount of ozone coming off it).

Ionizing radiation includes: UV, x-rays, and gamma rays.
Non-ionizing radiation includes: visible light, infrared (radiant heat, or typical "thermal radiation"), microwaves, radio waves, 50/60 Hz induction/induced fields

I think it stands to reason that if electrical wire radiation was as dangerous as "agent orange" it would have been discovered by now.  That's a chemical defoliant.  Transmission lines don't cause defoliation, unless a plant actually touches a high-voltage wire.

Nick Kitchener wrote:
How the energy can be transferred through a phenomenon called harmonic frequency transference.



I personally asked a world expert about this and he said that there is high level of "damping" in the oscillations, so the *resonant* energy levels don't build up.
"Damping" reduces the oscillations in a mass-spring system, like the shock absorbers on a car or bike.   An opera singer can more easily shatter a crystal glass with resonance if the glass doesn't have water in it; the water provides damping.  If you're swinging on a swing-set you can accumulate energy in resonance, but only with low damping.  If there's any sort of "drag" in the motion then the resonant energy levels don't build up.  Resonance is more likely to occur in rigid or crystalline structures without damping.

Now even though the *resonant energy* levels don't accumulate, *heat* energy still can.  This is how a microwave oven works.  Obviously heat energy has safety issues, but that heat is like any other type of heat and you already know all about that. 

-Mike
 
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