By Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/11/2013 11:24:15 AM PDT
Updated: 07/11/2013 08:33:24 PM PDT

CHINO HILLS >> Residents of this community jumped out of their chairs Thursday as they watched the state Public Utilities Commission, by a split vote, approved undergrounding a portion of high-voltage power lines through their city.

During a public viewing of the PUC’s monthly meeting at City Hall, about 40 supporters of undergrounding the lines waited as commissioners, individually, gave their final verdict on the outcome of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project through Chino Hills.

Residents clapped and cheered and raised their hands as commissioners voted 3-2 to underground 3.5 miles of the project.

“I’m just elated,” said resident Ruth Dickie. “I’m looking forward to those towers being dismantled and those lines begin to be buried.”

Commissioners Michael R. Peevey, Mark J. Ferron and Catherine J.K. Sandoval voted in favor of putting the lines underground. Commissioners Michel Florio and Carla Peterman opposed the plan.

This vote reverses the PUC’s original decision in 2009 to have Southern California Edison build the 198-foot 500-kilovolt transmission lines above ground through Chino Hills.

Before the final vote, Peevey “” previously president of Edison International and Southern California Edison Company “” spoke to the audience saying while he did approve the original decision to build this transmission line above ground, he had reservations.

“I filed a concurring opinion at the time that was done about weighting the values of the community versus the broader needs sometimes of transmission. At that time the alternatives was going through the Aerojet property, and it didn’t seem viable to me,” said Peevey during Thursday’s meeting in San Francisco.

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