Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois proposed a new transmission line called the Mark Twain Transmission Project (MTTP) during May 2015.
The MTTP would run through several counties of Missouri and some local residents, concerned with the effects the line would have on their homes and families, formed the nonprofit group Neighbors United. Neighbors United formally intervened, giving them a seat at hearings and the opportunity to present evidence in opposition to the line.
“Our job is to hold [ATXI] accountable for [minimizing land impact],” Kirksville resident Deborah Games says.
The proposed line would run about 100 miles from the Iowa border to Palmyra, Missouri, near Illinois. La Plata resident Teri Page says the line would affect almost 275 Missouri farms. She says one of Neighbors United’s main concerns is property rights. Page says the legal aspect is costly and Neighbors United has asked residents to donate to the cause to save their own land. She says some of these farms and homesteads have been owned by a single family for generations, but the line might cause problems for residents.
“None of us want to be spending our time, money and energy this way, but it’s important,” La Plata resident Julia Jack-Scott says.
Jack-Scott says a main concern with the line is the effects of Electromagnetic Fields. The proposed line is 345 thousand volts and Jack-Scott says with so much power, EMFs could affect those who live near the line. She says studies have shown the electromagnetic field that surrounds these lines is a potential carcinogen.
Jack-Scott says she has also known people who use hearing aids or pacemakers and have had the batteries effected by the EMFs. Not only are people affected, but Jack-Scott said many of the homes the line would cross are farms and the animals would also be negatively impacted. She says some studies show that EMFs might cause miscarriages for animals, decrease cows’ ability to produce milk and destroy bee colonies.
Seniors Chloe Jackson and Kaitlyn Meyer organized a discussion Oct. 20 to inform students of the issue. Meyer says she feels it is important for students to be involved in community issues because while at Truman, Kirksville serves as home. Meyer and Jackson regularly attend Neighbors United meetings which take place 7 p.m. every Monday at the Adair County Annex in Kirksville. The two also attended the first public hearing which took place Oct. 19 in Shelbyville.
“It was very sad, but very impactful,” Meyer says.
The next public hearing will take place 6 p.m. Oct. 26 in Queen City at the R-1 Elementary School multipurpose room. Another public hearing will take place on Truman’s campus, 6 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Student Union building room 3200. All are welcome at the hearings as well as at Neighbors United’s weekly meetings. Neighbors United asks that those opposed to the Mark Twain Transmission Project wear red to show support.
To read our staff editorial about the transmission project, click here.