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We Will Not Allow Riverside to Cage Jurupa Valley’s Future In Their Power Lines

Betty Anderson is a passionate community leader of Jurupa Valley. She’s building community power to protect Jurupa Valley’s future from Riverside’s power line project. Betty’s here to tell you why. 

There is more than one point of view about the Riverside Transmission Reliability Project (RTRP).  Mr. Girish Balachandran of Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) and RPU Board Chair David Austin wrote that the Cities of Jurupa Valley and Norco are “self-serving” because we don’t want above ground 230 kV transmission lines through our cities that only benefit Riverside.  What they fail to mention in their May 14, 2017 Opinion Editorial is that the City of Riverside has an 11 year history of not trying to work with Jurupa Valley or Norco residents and property owners to resolve this issue.

In 2006/2007 RPU and Southern California Edison (SCE) created maps that show potential routes for their transmission lines.  One of the routes travels through the Agua Mansa area in northeastern Jurupa Valley near the Santa Ana River, north of the 60 Freeway, then crosses the river near Market Street and enters Riverside.  From there, it runs down the east side of the river along an established transmission corridor where power lines are already in place.  Riverside dismissed this idea after Jurupa Valley and Norco residents began praising this route as a possible solution.  All of a sudden and after all of these years RPU became concerned about “environmental issues”.  Their current plan travels through the Hidden Valley Wildlife preserve and the La Sierra Lands that Riverside residents have fought hard to preserve for environmental reasons.

Riverside has grown for decades yet has no 230 or 500 kV transmission lines in the City.  Is it because the Riverside public officials don’t want these lines to run through there city?

The RPU officials claim that Jurupa Valley gets its electricity from overhead transmission lines that run through neighboring cities.  The RPU representatives apparently don’t realize that the very 230 kV line they want to run through Jurupa Valley will connect to an existing 230 kV line already in Jurupa Valley.  Jurupa Valley also has 230 kV and 500 kV transmission lines northeast of the 60 and I-15 interchange.  The difference is that Jurupa Valley has had these lines for years while Riverside has been too “self-serving” to notice.

RPU officials claim that Jurupa Valley is self-serving, yet Riverside picked the route, the transmission lines are proposed to take, didn’t listen to Jurupa Valley residents, failed to properly notify property owners of the route through their properties, and used obsolete maps that showed raw land in Jurupa Valley that did not reflect current development.  As it worked out, the route went adjacent to an existing elementary school, (Van Der Molen), crossed through the Vernola Market Place parking lot, and was adjacent to existing homes (Township).  How many residents of Riverside would like to see massive transmission lines through the Lowes parking lot on Magnolia Avenue as RPU’s EIR planned for Jurupa Valley.

When RPU officials were told we wanted to use the area north of Limonite for commercial uses, they recommended that we get an auto center under the transmission lines, as other cities in other locations do.  All these cities are of course not Riverside.  They also failed to note there are already auto centers in nearby Norco and Ontario, also off I-15.

Jurupa Unified School District (JUSD) has incorporated solar panels at all the District high schools and the District administrative offices, yet can Riverside Unified say the same?  How many Riverside parking structures have solar panels to help the city with its electrical needs?

The fact is Riverside is imposing its own will on its neighbors rather than doing what is fair.  As Second District Supervisor John Tavaglione said in his May 3, 2009 Opinion Editorial in the Press Enterprise, “This decision should be a matter of fairness – not of easier, faster and cheaper.”

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