Sinn Féin - On Your Side

EU Commission should bring forward regulations on the undergrounding of electric wires

25 February, 2008


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has received a response from the European Commission to an oral question on the contentious issue of the under grounding of electronic wires and in particular the need for guidelines on best practise regarding the installation of high voltage wires in residential areas.

This follows an intensified campaign by Sinn Féin to oppose new electrical power structures by Eirgrid and NIE.

Speaking from Strazbourg today, Ms de Brún said,

"Sinn Féin continue to voice their intensified, co-ordinated cross-border opposition to proposals to erect an above-ground North-South 400kv interconnector running from County Tyrone to County Cavan and the Eirgrid stand-alone proposal to erect a new 400kv pylon-supported power line from Woodland, County Meath, to Kingscourt, County Cavan.

"I shall contine to raise this issue at the European Commission asking them to bring forward regulations for the undergrounding of electronic wires and in particular the guidelines on best practise regarding the installation of high voltage wires in residential areas."

She continued,

"It is Sinn Féin's intention to complement 'in every way possible' the campaign of determined opposition that has grown the entire length of these proposed new power lines.

"We are at one with campaigning communities across all of the affected counties and will be using our political strength in the EU to enhance that community-led effort and to press Eirgrid and the NIE to re-think their approach to these planned power lines." ENDS

Note to editor

ORAL QUESTION H-0054/08

for Question Time at the part-session in February 2008

pursuant to Rule 109 of the Rules of Procedure

by Bairbre de Brún to the Commission

Subject: Undergrounding of wires

Does the Commission have any plans to bring forward regulations on the undergrounding of electric wires?

In particular, does the Commission have any guidelines on best practice regarding the installation of high-voltage wires in residential areas?

Tabled: 04.02.2008

Reply to oral question

H-0054/08

by Ms Bairbre de Brún

February 2008

The Commission does not plan to bring forward regulations on the undergrounding of electric lines.

It does not belong to the Commission to select the route of an electricity link nor the technology to be used. This is left to the project promoter who has to respect the conditions imposed by the authorities of the country(ies) concerned.

As indicated in the Commission's reply to oral question H-0895/071 concerning an Irish power line project, the authorities designated by the Member States are responsible for the planning and authorisation procedures under the respect of environmental law.

The Commission does not make guidelines on best practice regarding the installation of high-voltage lines in residential areas. The Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC of 12 July 1999 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz) establishes a framework of minimum restrictions and reference levels but the Member States remain responsible for the implementation of measures.

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