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Montville Board of Education Deemed Power Lines 'No Cause For Concern'

Ryan Oxild

Monday, July 28, 2014 • 10:30am

MONTVILLE, NJ - A string of ever-changing, ever-expanding power lines runs through the spine of Montville, connecting houses across the grid to PSE&G electricity, and it’s got citizens concerned about runaway electricity that may or may not be dangerous to those with access to the monopoles.

At the Montville Township Board of Education meeting on July 22, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Casey Shorter reported that the poles running through the easement behind Lazar Middle School are "no cause for concern," and that the district is taking precautions to help assure this fact.

Charles Simmons, an independent contractor, has been hired by the school district to take EMF measurements at several locations, in an effort to understand the safety concerns of both the buildings in question and the people within.

EMF, an acronym for “electromagnetic field,” is an indefinitely extending physical field produced by electrically charged objects. There has been increased concern lately about the areas immediately surrounding the 500 kv Susquehanna-Roseland transmission power lines, which went live in May.

At the BOE meeting, EMF statistics were brought forward and deemed "nothing to worry about." The Board wrote on its website, “We are pleased that the data did not reveal any cause for concern pertaining to the inside of Lazar Middle School.”

Within Lazar Middle School, behind which runs the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission lines, Simmons took hundreds of readings. According to the results of Simmons' measurements, the District reported that in rooms ordinarily occupied by children, the limit was not exceeded, with all transmissions coming in well under an acceptable 2.0 (recorded in milli gause). Generally the largest increases were noted directly under the power lines, with the distributing area receiving very little increases. Though the data has shown fluctuations with tests taken over time, the District represented there has yet to be any cause for concern.

For the mean time, the fields behind Lazar Middle School have been closed by the District and will remain closed until further notice. Data will continue to be taken at later dates to ensure safety. Due to a few disturbances that may have caused increased EMF readings, the District is investigating the locations with higher variations of EMF.

The District further reported that for comparison purposes only, EMF measurements were taken at both Woodmont and Montville Township High School as well.

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