Supervisor Gary Ovitt

Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 10/19/2011 06:33:01 PM PDT

CHINO HILLS – This city has gained the attention of the Public Utilities Commission.

Members of the commission, including its president and a board member, recently visited the city to inspect the construction of 200-foot high-voltage power lines by Southern California Edison.

The commission has been urged by several officials with ties to Chino Hills – most recently San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt – to reverse its decision to permit building 19 power line towers in the city.

The lines are part of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, which is designed to bring wind-generated electricity from Kern County to the Los Angeles Basin. The project, part of a state mandate to use more sustainable energy, runs through five miles of Chino Hills.

“The state of California and Southern California Edison have not reached a point-of-no-return,” Ovitt said. “This decision can and should be reversed immediately.”

Ovitt also plans to send a letter to each commissioner as well as to Gov. Jerry Brown urging them to reverse their prior decision.

Chino Hills officials have argued Edison’s easement is too narrow for expanding the size of the electrical towers currently being built in the city.

Transmission poles and towers are being erected within the right-of-way from Chino Hills’ western border near Tonner Canyon, northeast to Peyton Drive and continuing east to the 71 Freeway and eventually going into Riverside County.

Commission President Michael Peevey took a tour of the tower construction last week with City Manager Michael S. Fleager.

State Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Montclair, toured the project on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, representatives from the offices of Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, and state Sen. Bob Huff, R-Walnut, also toured the area with Public Utilities’ Commissioner Timothy Simon.

“I think our residents through their emails, phone calls and letters are getting other legislators outside of our area to notice what is happen to us,” Mayor Ed Graham said.

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