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Family Wants Lawmakers To Pass A Bill Protecting People From Stray Voltage

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)— The family of a Baltimore County teenager electrocuted in a city park is pushing lawmakers to prevent it from happening again. Weijia Jiang has more on the huge rally to help them fight.

Deanna Green would have turned 20 this week, but her life was cut short at 14 when she was electrocuted by stray voltage.

“We don’t want this to happen again. We don’t want anyone to feel how we feel, to go through what we have and what we’ll go through until we’re six feet under,” said Nancy Green, Deanna’s mother.

On Tuesday, Green’s parents, Nancy and Bubba—a former Baltimore Colt—led a rally at the state capital to push lawmakers to pass a bill named after their daughter.

In 2008, Deanna died after touching a metal fence at Druid Hill park. It was on top of an exposed wire underground; 227 volts jolted through her. The law would require utility companies to check wires underground anywhere the current flows, like near sidewalks, street lights and manhole covers.

“In order to find the problem that killed our daughter, surveying needs to be done and we feel this is the way to find it and repair it,” said Bubba Green.

The Greens are not only fighting here in Annapolis, they’re traveling across the country because they say what happened to Deanna could happen anywhere.

“It’s still unreal and unbelievable that could just happen,” said Noah Pielow.

Noah Pielow , along with dozens of others, traveled from New York City and Washington DC to support the bill.

“Our concern is this is a silent killer,” said CORE Executive Director George Holmes.

One the Greens hope never claims another life.

“I could not…I could not sleep if I were doing nothing,” Nancy Green said.

Right now, subcommittees in both the House and Senate are considering the bill. They could vote sometime this week.

The Greens have also filed a lawsuit against the city of Baltimore. A judge has not made a ruling yet.


Family of girl electricuted after leaning on fence is pushing for tougher inspection law

A committee vote on a bill that would require utilities to inspect all underground power cables for stray voltage could come as early as today.

The family of Deanna Green is pushing for the bill.  Green was just 14 years old when she touched a fence at a softball field in Druid Hill Park back in May of 2006.  The fence had been electrified by a damaged underground cable.

Green died at the softball field; her mother saw it happen.

“She was just there, not aware, not listening. I was calling for her, Deanna? Deanna? No response. And then I saw her just falling,” Nancy Green said.

Last year — after lobbying from the Greens — the state’s Public Service Commission ordered electrical testing of parks and recreational areas around the state.

“It doesn’t get any easier we’ve just gotten stronger. We’ve gotten stronger to fight for what’s right,” said Deanna’s father, Anthony Green.

Now the Greens say the PSC’s regulation doesn’t go far enough.  They’re calling on the General Assembly to pass what they are calling the “Deanna Camille Green Act of 2012.”

It would force public utilities to inspect all underground electrical wires, statewide.  “The wires are decaying, and they’re fraying and electricity is seeping into the ground. In the right condition, it will kill someone,” Anthony Green said.

Testing would be done with a special truck that it detects stray voltage as it drives around, allowing technicians to find and repair underground wires.

The Greens say they’ve gotten resistance from utility companies; they hope their story will convince legislators in Annapolis to think about what happened, and what could happen again.  “I just want the delegates to go home and look at their own children,” Anthony Green said.  “And ask themselves how would they feel if this was their children. How far would they have carried this if this was their children. Would they have given up the fight? We haven’t given up the fight and we won’t give up the fight.”

A vote on the Deanna Green Act could come up as early as Thursday in the House Economic Matters Committee.

Read more:


Contact Voltage: The Invisible Danger That Killed Our Daughter

Huffington PostBy Mr. Anthony “Bubba’ Green & Mrs. Nancy A. Green

On May 5, 2006, our daughter, Deanna Camille Green, was electrocuted and killed after she touched a normal everyday fence that was electrified by current leaking from a faulty underground electric cable. We now know, this dangerous condition known as “contact voltage” has taken the lives of countlesspeople and pets across the country.

May 5 started as a typical day for the Green family, but would end in tragedy at approximately 8:30 pm. Our lives would never again be the same. Dad took Deanna to school and as he dropped her off, he told her he loved her and would see her on Sunday because he was going to the Men’s Retreat for Church. I took our son, Tony to school that morning, knowing he would somehow make it to end his day on the sales floor at work. As I headed to work I was anxiously anticipating picking Deanna up at the end of the work day for the start of a weekend with a double-header softball game.

At about 5:15 p.m. Deanna and I started our drive into the City for the game. Along the way we stopped for a bite to eat, shared some girl talk about starting high school, plans for the summer, driving and singing. During a pause in our conversation, I reached over and stoked her cheek and told her I loved her, not knowing this would be the last time she would hear me say those words.

Once we arrived at the park and Deanna changed into the black slacks I had brought with me as “a just in case she forgot,” both teams gathered at the pitcher’s mound for prayer. Around the bottom of the first inning it was starting to get dark. The umpire went to the box, flipped the switch and turned on the field lights. Little did we know, he had just turned on the death switch.

Death is difficult. Seeing death come is difficult. Electricity is a silent killer. Unless you’ve seen your child electrocuted right before your eyes, you can never know how I feel. You can never understand what I experienced that horrific day, everyday, and for all the days to come. New mobile slot sites can help to overcome mourn. No one can know of my helplessness. No one can understand how worthless I felt as a mother that night when I failed to protect my daughter.

On May 5, 2006 in Baltimore, Maryland, Deanna Camille Green, at the tender age of fourteen was electrocuted on a metal safety fence that had become electrified by electricity leaking from damaged underground cable.

Since Deanna’s death, we have educated ourselves about the danger that killed our daughter. When underground electric utility cable has reached its useful life or become damaged, it can leak electricity. Electricity is not selective. It energizes all conductive surfaces in its proximity including sidewalks, manholes, roadways, and fences that people and pets come in contact with.

Those conductive surfaces must be tested to find and fix hazards buried beneath the ground. While all surface level structures are not owned by utilities, the buried cable beneath them certainly is, and it is the source of these hazards.

In 2011, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) passed a set of regulations requiring utilities to perform comprehensive contact voltage tests in city parks. This will ensure public safety in our parks by testing all structures and surfaces capable of conducting electricity. Unfortunately, the Maryland regulations ignore the greater risk in our streets, around our schools, or in our neighborhoods.

The Maryland PSC has defined certain cities and public areas as “Contact Voltage Risk Zones.” Within these zones, current Maryland regulations call for utilities to test only manhole covers and streetlights for leaking voltage. Since contact voltage is the result of failing underground cable, tests of manhole covers and streetlights ignore the greatest area of risk stemming from the aging and leaking buried cable beneath our feet. It was a leaking underground cable that killed our daughter, not a manhole or streetlight.

To address this issue, Maryland State legislators have filed a bill requiring utilities to performtesting of all energized conductive surfaces in our streets, just as they are required to perform in our parks. These tests have been performed across New York City for years and have proven successful in reducing public shock incidents.

There is no excuse or justification for the PSC and utilities to provide greater safety in parks than the areas they call “Risk Zones” where we live, work, and play.

If utilities are allowed to ignore various structures their equipment has electrified, who will test and fix them? Should the postal service test their mailboxes for voltage leaks caused by the utility? Should business owners test their fences for underground utility cable faults? Should residents test the sidewalks in front of their homes for utility cable leaks in the ground beneath them? Utilities cannot be allowed ignore any structure or surface which their aging infrastructure has caused to become an electrified public hazard.

Our mission is to prevent others from going through what we have suffered. We never heard of this danger until it was too late. As members of the public, we rely on our utilities and the PSC to keep our family safe from such problems. We urge readers to reach out to the Maryland’s House Economic Matter committee and Public Utilities Subcommittee and urge them to pass House Bill 520 to make our streets safe for pedestrians and pets.

By voting in favor of this House Bill 520, legislators have a chance to speak on behalf of the families and lives this bill will protect. We would give anything to have been afforded those same protections.

Anthony “Bubba” Green is a former NFL defensive lineman. He and his wife Nancy lost their daughter Deanna Green in 2006 when she was electrocuted by contact voltage in Baltimore, Maryland. Following Deanna’s death, Mr. and Mrs. Green embarked on a mission to educate others about the dangers posed by aging electrical infrastructure, and advocate for improvements in public electrical safety. The Green’s story has been featured by major national news outlets including CBS, FOX, and NBC. The Green’s were recently recognized by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators when the organization adopted a resolution adding the contact voltage to their 2012 policy agenda.


State of Rhode Island Senate Hearings

March 14, 2012 – Legislation mandating the use of the most effective technology available to locate and fix instances of Contact Voltage has been introduced in both Houses of the Rhode Island Legislature.

S-2387 was introduced by Senator Rhoda Perry.  H-7532 was introduced by Representative Michael Tarro.

Hearings have now been held in both the Senate and House Corporations Committees to consider testimony from the parents of Deanna Camille Green who lost her life to electrocution when the young teen touched an energized fence in a Baltimore park.  Also speaking in support of the legislation were representatives from the RI Veterinary Medical Association, the RI SPCA, electrical engineering expert Dave Kolakitis and Roz Rustigian of CVIC.  Lobbyist Frank McMahon spoke on behalf of National Grid.