Legislation to Stop Electrical Pollution

The only known cure for Radio Wave Sickness is to stop being exposed to high frequencies.

    The Solution

    Stop "dirty" power at the source

    At this time, all electronics are required to comply with standards designed to prevent them from interfering with radio signals. These standards should be re-designed so they protect human health. In order to meet these standards, filtering technology is employed. As noted below, other countries already have much stricter standards.

    Legislation or regulations requiring harmonic filters on non-linear, time-varying loads need to be passed at the national level. Such filters are required on electronic devices sold in Europe. Manufacturers elect to save money and leave them off most products sold in the USA. The fact that they are required elsewhere means that such a law could be implemented relatively quickly because the technology is already available. Filters on new non-linear, time-varying loads would help keep the problem from worsening.

    Certain sources of electrical pollution can also be addressed at the source through local action. One example is electrical pollution caused by cell towers. A county in Wisconsin has passed an ordinance requiring compliance with the IEEE-519. Follow the link for more information.

    Upgrade the system for our modern electronics

    Unfortunately, the utilities did not have the foresight to lobby for national legislation requiring filters on non-linear, time-varying loads back when it first became apparent the sizing of the wires was going to be inadequate for the increased use of non-linear, time-varying loads. Electrical utilities will still have to upgrade the system to accommodate the high percentage of non-linear, time-varying loads without filters that are already in use.

    Both the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have identified remedies for electrical ground currents. Legislation needs to be formulated and enacted in each state requiring utilities to use identified remedies to eliminate electrical ground currents and clean up "dirty" power. Unfortunately, this is a nation-wide problem that needs to dealt with on a state-by-state basis since the regulatory authority resides primarily at the state level.

    Require electrical system upgrades

    In Wisconsin, Rep. Barbara Gronemus has introduced legislation in two consecutive legislative sessions that defines the desired endpoint - no current on the grounding rods except during fault situations - and allows the utilities to pick the best solution for each situation. Wisconsinites call your representative and senator and ask them to co-sponsor Rep. Gronemus's Electrical Pollution Bill next time it is introduced. Make them aware that this is a very important issue for you. Residents of other states should contact their representatives about introducing similar legislation in their state.

    Hopefully, those of you in other states can take the bills below to your legislators and ask that they use them as templates for similar legislation in your state.


    The non-linear, time-varying load (e.g. electronics) that are already in use without harmonic filters will necessitate a two-pronged approach to the problem of "dirty" power and electrical ground currents. First, legislation will have to be passed requiring the electrical utilities to upgrade their distribution and transmission systems to accommodate the return current from non-linear, time-varying loads. Second, citizens and electrical utility companies need to formulate and pass legislation requiring harmonic filters on non-linear, time-varying loads to prevent the problem from worsening.

    Support WI Rep. Gronemus's Electrical Consumer Bill of Rights
    (2003 Assembly Bill AB529)

    The Electrical Consumer Bill of Rights:

    • Defines objectionable current flow on grounding rods ("a steady state of current for five seconds or more"). Temporary flows of current resulting from the performance of the grounding conductors protective (safety) function are specifically exempted.
    • Establishes a time frame (1 month after a complaint is made) during which objectionable current flow must be remedied. If, after proper notification of the complaint, a suit is filed as a result of failure of the utility to remedy the objection current flow, treble damages must be awarded.
    • Utilies must remedy all problems associated with its plants or equipment that cause objectionable flows of current on the property of others by January 1, 2012. The penalty for failing to comply is a forfeiture of between $500,000 and $1,000,000.
    • The penalty for failing to remedy problems discovered in 2011 within the one-year deadline is a forfeiture of $1,000 for each day of failure to comply.

    Supporting documentation for WI AB529:
    AB 529 Hearing Memo
    Wisconsin Assembly Bill 529
    Cosponsorship Memorandum and LRB-2364/2
    Stop Electrical Pollution and 2 newsclippings (Lawmakers to tackle stray voltage, Wisconsin State Journal August 17, 2003 and Utility liable for stray voltage, high court says, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel June 26, 2003) were also circulated with the legislation when it was sent around for cosponsorship.

    Committee on Energy and Utilities: Hearing for Assembly Bill 529 copy of official record of those who testified.
    Letter sent to Chairperson Jensen by a fourth grade class in Wisconsin.

    (2001 Assembly Bill AB754)

    The Electrical Pollution Bill:

    • Defines objectionable current flow on grounding rods ("a steady state of current for five seconds or more").
    • Establishes a time frame (1 year after a complaint is made) during which objectionable current flow must be remedied.
    • Establishes monetary penalties comparable to those paid by other service industries if the problem is not fixed within the time-frame ($1,000/day per complaint).
    • Establishes a time frame for objectionable current to be remedied statewide and a one-time penalty of up to $500,000 if that is not accomplished.
    • Establishes a balanced board to oversee payment to utilities or private citizens for successful remediation. This is funded by a 1/20th of a cent($0.0005) per kilowatt-hour surcharge. (Ratepayers fund utility line maintenance anyway. This way utilities only get money if the remediation was successful.)
      In a letter written to Wisconsin State Senator Scott Fitzgerald on January 29, 2002, Dave Jenkins, Wisconsin Electrical Cooperative Association (WECA) Division Manager, calls the rate increase, which is normal procedure for funding maintainance on the electrical grid, a "tax." He calculated for Sen. Fitzgerald the impact for each consumer. Mr. Jenkins states that "the average monthly tax per consumer would be about $1.20 per month per consumer." To put this in perspective, I will point out that the PSC is still allowing the utilities to charge the fuel cost adjustment ($0.002460 per kWh) dating back nearly two years when natural gas costs were very high. This is nearly five times the cost of the rate increase that Rep. Gronemous proposes. It seems to me that $1.20 a month is a very cheap price to pay for a healthier future.