The hidden price of power

Hunt, Martine (1995) The hidden price of power. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The aim of this dissertation is to explore the legal background surrounding the emerging studies and concerns relating to health scares linked to Electro-Magnetic Fields (hereinafter referred to as EMFs) . Here will not be the place to try to establish categorical connections between ill health and EMFs, instead the writer will mention the major studies and writings in this area and then proceed to draw together the current laws which are available to protect us from any perceived risks.
Briefly, the writer will attempt to assess the UK law and its implications in this sphere. Also the appropriate European law (herein after referred to as EU (European Union) law) and International law will both be examined to evaluate their importance, application and implementation into the UK legal system. At the present time there is a paucity of caselaw in this particular area, however the writer will endeavour to introduce parallels from other areas also in order to determine how seriously this issue is being tackled by the courts bearing in mind the conflicting and inconclusive results of the studies relating to the dangers of EMFs coupled with the potential wide-scale risks.
Having examined the legal aspects the writer will then suggest solutions for the Electricity Industry, which is legally obliged to provide an economic and reliable service, having regard to the cost constraints of present available alternatives. Such discussion will, hopeihily, lead to the inevitable conclusion that there is indeed need for immediate and rigorous research into the likely health effects of EMFs on humans, and the rest of the environment, along with tighter legal protection in the meantime - such as is promised by the principles of EU Environmental law, and most especially illustrated by Article 130R The Single European Act , amended:
1 Community policy on the environment shall contribute to the pursuit of the following objectives:
- to preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment:
- protecting human health
- prudent and rational utilization of resources;
- promoting measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems.
2 Community policy on the environment shall aim at a high level of protection taking into account the diversity of
situations in the various regions of the Community. It shall be based on the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventative action should be taken, that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay.
The writer will argue that EMEs are a form of pollution and as such they should come under the auspices of Environmental Law, what remains to be discussed here therefore is whether or not this approach is being taken by the relevant authorities. Discussion will therefore take into account the relevant UK law such as planning law and pollution control along with any civil and criminal points raised. Also the appropriate EU and International law will also face scrutiny. The source of EMFs for the purpose of this dissertation will be those emanating from transmission cables.

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