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.