Terna, a private utility company, has proposed 7 years ago, a new high tension 380 kv powerline from Fano to Teramo that would pass directly over many beautiful towns and villages in the Le Marche countryside in Italy.

Terna has asked for approval from the comune's based on its statistics which show Le Marche generates only about 57% of its electricity needs and, therefore, requires power transported from elsewhere. The truth is that all this power is just being transported from Montenegro and Albenia and shipped to Northern Italy, so they can be provided with cheaper electricity.There is actually a decline in energy use in Le Marche over most of the last 5-7 years, calling into question the basic premise that a powerline is even ever needed.

Basically Le Marche is just being 'used' to transport the electricity.

Last year a Macerata politician saw this project proceeding through various channels, without any public information or debate. He went public with it. It has caused an uproar and there is popular attention, discontent and opposition to the project over it's entire proposed 150km length. This public backlash is quickly translating into political action, especially with elections on the horizon.

However, many locals are not even aware of the project and we must make them realise what may be going on right under their noses. Terna have even said this is one reason why they chose Le Marche. As the locals wouldn't see what was happening until it was too late.

The local comunes had previously been in agreement with Terna and have come to an arrangement, however many Mayors are now doing a u-turn and backing the people as they get to hear of the huge problem. This has previously been kept hidden from us for over 7 years. It has now blown-up in the administration's face and they're racing to annul all prior positive decrees, etc., and to lead opposition to the project in San Ginesio, Gualdo, Amandola, Comunanza and other communities.

Overall opposition is based on three grounds -- Health Concerns, Environmental Impact, Economic Impact (a by-product of the first two points)

From a health POV, Terna is within the law, although a national cancer institute concerned with public health has issued new, far more stringent guidelines for distances/setbacks from these high tension lines. For example, they recommended a setback of 150m, whereas the law is 60m. If the line were buried underground, as an alternative, the setback plummets to 5m. The health implications are scary. Health is a key issue, but not likely the decisive one.

The environmental impact is important, as there are may National and EU directives that protect the environment from such projects. These laws CAN be useful and local organizers are seeking assistance from national environmental groups.

The economic impact can be the deal killer. The goal is to give a valuation of damages and losses (current and future) that will be so high for Terna as to force the company to consider alternatives or to abandon the project. This, in tandem with political pressure, can be the winning card.

There's now a huge and growing groundswell of opposition -- popular and political. This will be tied-up for YEARS, and by most accounts, the proposed plan as currently proposed will not see the light of day. But, that's no reason for complacency and the groups organizing to defeat the project understand that. 

We need to act now and sign to show our disagreement. 

Please forward to all your friends, family and neighbours and help us stop this potential disaster. Thank you.