Press Release 18 February 2015

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18 February 2015                            GRID LINK ACTION GROUP                                        PRESS RELEASE 

Grid Link Action group secure commitment from Minister Kelly for nationwide pylon policy 

Environment Minister Alan Kelly has committed to introducing national planning guidelines for the construction of pylons.  The Minister made the announcement at a meeting with the Grid Link Action group.

Minister Kelly said that he would do this following the publication of the Government-commissioned review of the health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) which is due at the end of March.

Grid Link Action spokesperson, Kieran Connors said today, “We welcome the Minister’s commitment to introduce national planning guidelines for transmission infrastructure.  What we need now is a clear timeline for the new pylon guidelines, an open and detailed public consultation process and a moratorium on any EirGrid submissions to An Bord Pleanala until their introduction.”

Mr Connors explained that “when EirGrid announced plans for their GridLink route through Kildare we realized that there were no planning guidelines for pylons so the residents of Kildare and their public representatives voted to include them in a revised County Development Plan”.

“Earlier this month Minister Kelly used his power of veto under the planning acts to remove a Kildare County Development Plan proposal which set down minimum pylon distances from homes.  This proposal, supported by the Grid Link Action campaign group, residents, and councillors, and which is standard practice in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, ensured that Kildare residents were protected from any cancer risks associated with the electro-magnetic fields from high voltage pylons.”

“Minister Kelly claimed that he was removing the pylon health protection as the proposal did not comply with national policy.  Our question to the Minister at our meeting was – so what is national policy? “

“Furthermore, Ireland has not legislated for EMF exposure limits. The Minister’s department recommends the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines. Yet ICNIRP standards have not been updated in line with recent research and have never been transposed into Irish law.   Currently the coalition government is opting for some of the weakest protection levels in Europe.”

Information

Kieran Connors Grid Link Action Group                           087 241 1203
Steve Rawson Press                                                           087 235 7551

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