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Southern California Edison, Presidential Substation Project (Moorpark to Thousand Oaks)

STATUS: In progress, with opposition

TYPE: Transmission Line

OPPOSITION: Local Residents and Property Owners; Substation and Transmission Towers Opposition Project; Enclave Homeowners Association; Cities of Moorpark, Simi Valley, and Thousand Oaks; and Center for Biological Diversity.

PROSPECTS: Indeterminate

BACKGROUND: Southern California Edison (SCE) submitted an application to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on December 22, 2008, for the proposed Presidential Substation project.  Designed to serve the forecasted electricity demands of consumers in the City of Thousand Oaks, the City of Simi Valley and unincorporated portions of Ventura County, the anticipated cost of this 3.5-mile transmission line project is now approximately $50 million.  The proposed-in-service date is 2012, according to SCE.

The Scoping Report was published in April 2009.  However, the CPUC decided to open a supplemental scoping period between August 26, 2010 and September 25, 2010, because of the “extent of changes to the Proposed Project design and the length of time that has passed since the initial scoping period.”  According to a timetable released by the CPUC, the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is expected to be released in January 2011 for public comment with final publication occurring in April 2011.  The CPUC has reportedly hired Environment Science Associates, a consulting service, to conduct the EIR.  In June 2011, the CPUC is tentatively scheduled to decide whether to approve the project, according to the timeline.  A representative from the consulting firm, however, has reportedly said that a final decision on the project could take another two years depending on the environmental review process.

Citing potential health and safety concerns, opponents of the project say that the transmission lines are located too close to residences.  Substation and Transmission Towers Opposition Project (STTOP), a citizens group, believes the project is not necessary and opposes, for aesthetic reasons, SCE’s plan to replace smaller, wood poles currently carrying existing power lines with much taller and wider, steel poles.  Similarly, the Cities of Moorpark, Simi Valley, and Thousand Oaks recommend burying the lines to avoid interfering with the scenic views on highways along the proposed path of the transmission line.  Additionally, STTOP has expressed concerns about the impact on wildlife caused by the removal of trees and other vegetation.  The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) also has expressed environmental concerns with the project.  For example, CBD asserts that the project will threaten the existence of flora and fauna in the Tierra Rejada greenbelt. 

SOURCES: Southern California Edison: http://www.sce.com/PowerandEnvironment/Transmission/CurrentProjects/Presidential/;
CPUC: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/Environment/info/esa/presidentialsubstation/index.html;
Ventura County Star: www.venturacountystar.com/news/2009/jan/17/to-wants-hearing-on-edison-project/;
http://www.vcstar.com/news/2010/apr/08/edison-pole-replacement-project-still-meeting/; http://www.vcstar.com/news/2010/sep/15/edison-ends-plan-to-run-power-lines-over-highway/;
Cities of Moorpark, Simi Valley, and Thousand Oaks:http://ci.thousand-oaks.ca.us/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=18018;
Center for Biological Diversity: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/presidential_substation_project/index.html;

Last Updated:  December 8, 2010