Report for Citizen’s Group on the Regulation of Power Lines

May 2005

The ELC recently provided legal assistance to the Tsawwassen Residents Against Higher Voltage Overhead Lines (“TRAHVOL”) in their fight against high voltage transmission lines being built in their neighbourhood. The group won its fight, and the lines are not going to be constructed there.

However, the work of ELC student Nadine Wu is likely to be useful to groups facing the same issue. She produced a brief for TRAHVOL outlining the various laws and governmental policies of countries which have legislated with regard to electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure. Among the countries and international agencies which have already addressed the potential dangers to health,

  • Spain, Norway, Sweden, the UK, and Australia now prohibit the construction of power lines within 300 feet of homes;
  • In the US, state legislators and local officials in at least seven states have proposed bans on power lines in residential areas; and
  • The World Health Organization’s International EMF Project has advocated the need for industry and governments to take precautionary and prudent avoidance measures in the face of such potential for harm.

Canada has yet to propose legislation limiting exposure to power lines generating EMF in residential areas.

  • Complete Report Regulating Power Line EMF Exposure: International Precedents (.pdf, 135kb)