Nuisance: Per Balancing Test, Electromagnetic Fields Are Not A Nuisance

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 12:00 am
Land Use Law Report, Volume 41, Number 4

The social utility of an electrical substation outweighed nearby homeowners’ fears that the electromagnetic fields emanating from the substation were harming their health.

Facts: Homeowners in the City of Kirkland, Washington sued Puget Sound Energy, Inc. (PSE) over the electromagnetic fields emanating from an electrical substation. PSE built the original substation in 1960, and its single transformer supplied power to the homeowners’ neighborhood. Then, to meet growing demand, PSE sought to replace the original substation with a new one that had two transformers. With approval from the City, PSE built the new substation, and it went online in 2010. The homeowners sued soon after.

The homeowners alleged that the electromagnetic fields coming from the substation trespassed on their property, creating a public and private nuisance. They alleged that they reasonably feared exposure to the electromagnetic fields a[..]


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