Our electric and magnetic fields position statement

Our electric and magnetic fields position statement

Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) are found wherever there is a flow of electricity, such as in the use of electric lights, appliances, computers, power lines, home wiring and any other devices that carry or use electricity.  The Earth itself also creates natural EMF in varying amounts. Therefore, we are all continuously exposed to EMF as a result of living in a society that so heavily relies on the use of electricity as a source of energy.

Some members of the public have raised concerns about EMF and health issues.  We at Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association are aware of these concerns and we wish to express our position on EMF and our commitment to this matter.

Over the past four decades, thousands of scientific studies on EMF have been conducted around the world.   This very large body of research has been evaluated by leading public health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).  The WHO currently concludes that “despite extensive research, to date there is no evidence to conclude that exposures to low level electromagnetic fields is harmful to human health.”  The U.S. NIEHS reached a similar conclusion in an earlier report, finding only “weak” and “marginal” evidence that EMF from electric power could affect health.

The U.S. government has not recommended the standards for public exposures to electric power EMF.  The WHO has endorsed the exposure limits adopted by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP) and the International Committee for Electromagnetic Safety (ICES).  These limits are 2,000 mG (ICNIRP) and 9,040 mG (ICES).  The EMF levels that members of the public could experience from Tri-State power lines are well below these recommended exposure limits.

Tri‑State recognizes its responsibility to provide wholesale electric service at the lowest possible cost in a manner that is safe, reliable and environmentally sound.  This responsibility includes designing and locating our facilities in accordance with the National Electric Safety Code and applicable federal, state and local regulations.  In addition, even though electric power EMF have not been shown to cause adverse health effects, we will continue where reasonable and practicable to design and operate new facilities in a way that will lower EMF from those facilities.

Tri-State continues to support credible scientific research on EMF as a sponsor of the EMF research program of the Electric Power Research Institute.  We will continue to monitor the results of these and other scientific studies, will provide information about EMF issues to our member systems, our employees and our electric consumers and will respond promptly to inquiries.