Utility Transmission Lines

Prohibits PUC approval of new 46 kilovolt or greater high voltage
electric transmission systems in residential areas, or near
schools or licensed child care facilities, unless placed
underground and insulated against electro-magnetic field
emissions; requires PUC to re-review prior applications. (SD1)

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  Section 269-27.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 2 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
 3      "(a)  Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, whenever a
 4 public utility applies to the public utilities commission for
 5 approval to place, construct, erect, or otherwise build a new
 6 forty-six kilovolt or greater high-voltage electric transmission
 7 system, either above or below the surface of the ground, the
 8 public utilities commission shall determine whether the electric
 9 transmission system shall be placed, constructed, erected, or
10 built above or below the surface of the ground; provided that in
11 its determination[, the]: 
12      (1)  The public utilities commission shall consider:
13     [(1)] (A)  Whether a benefit exists that outweighs the costs
14                of placing the electric transmission system
15                underground;
16     [(2)] (B)  Whether there is a governmental public policy
17                requiring the electric transmission system to be
18                placed, constructed, erected, or built
19                underground, and the governmental agency

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                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 1

 1                establishing the policy commits funds for the
 2                additional costs of undergrounding;
 3     [(3)] (C)  Whether any governmental agency or other parties
 4                are willing to pay for the additional costs of
 5                undergrounding;
 6     [(4)] (D)  The recommendation of the division of consumer
 7                advocacy of the department of commerce and
 8                consumer affairs, which shall be based on an
 9                evaluation of the factors set forth under this
10                subsection; and
11     [(5)] (E)  Any other relevant factors[.]; and
12      (2)  The public utilities shall not authorize the placement,
13           construction, erection, or building of any forty-six
14           kilovolt or greater high-voltage electric transmission
15           system in a residentially-zoned area or within three
16           hundred feet of any public or private school grounds or
17           any licensed child care facility, unless the electric
18           transmission system is placed underground and insulated
19           against electro-magnetic field emissions."
20      SECTION 2.  This Act shall apply to all applications for
21 approval to place, construct, erect, or otherwise build a new
22 forty-six kilovolt or greater high-voltage electric transmission
23 system, including all applications that were approved by the

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                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 1

 1 public utilities commission prior to the effective date of this
 2 Act, but shall not apply to any high-voltage electric
 3 transmission system that has been completed with the approval of
 4 the public utilities commission, in accordance with law.
 5      SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 6 New statutory material is underscored.
 7      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.