Vol. 27 Iss. 15 - March 28, 2011



Agency Decision

Title of Regulation: None specified.

Statutory Authority: ยง 32.1-12 of the Code of Virginia.

Name of Petitioner: Kenneth Strong.

Nature of Petitioner's Request: The petitioner requests that the Board of Health adopt, promulgate, and enforce a policy aimed at educating the public and decision makers in the environmental and health effects of extremely low frequency magnetic fields located inside high voltage electric power line right-of-ways.

Agency Decision: Request denied.

Statement of Reason for Decision: The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) issued a comprehensive report on the health effects of high voltage transmission lines to the Virginia General Assembly on October 31, 2000, which stated, "the Virginia Department of Health is of the opinion that there is no conclusive and convincing evidence that exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields emanated from nearby high voltage transmission lines is causally associated with an increased incidence of cancer or other detrimental health effects in humans." Based on information presented by the petitioner and other public comments received from November 30 to December 12, 2010, there is still no collective body of evidence available which might supercede the agency's prior conclusion. More research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other public health agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, is needed. VDH environmental epidemiology staff will continue to periodically review information obtained pertaining to this and any other environmental health issue.

The Board of Health recognizes and appreciates the petitioner's desire to promote a policy to protect public health. While the Board of Health does have a responsibility to educate the citizenry on health and environmental matters and to formulate a program of patient and community health education services, there is insufficient evidence to warrant adoption, promulgation, and enforcement of a policy aimed at extremely low frequency magnetic fields located inside high voltage (115 kilovolt and above) electric power transmission line right-of-ways at this time.

Agency Contact: Dwight Flammia, Ph.D., Public Health Toxicologist, Virginia Department of Health, 109 Governor Street, Richmond, VA 23219, telephone (804) 864-8127, FAX (804) 864-8131, or email

VA.R. Doc. No. R11-18; Filed March 7, 2011, 12:54 p.m.