Sample Letter To City Officials on Wireless Infrastructure Protection
[Send a copy of the letter to parties such as: town attorney, mayor, select(wo)men, council, Board of Health, historic & conservation commissions, etc.]
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to ask whether the town wireless infrastructure ordinances have been updated to account for the recent FCC ruling that small cellular infrastructure can be installed essentially anywhere in our community without local control or regulation? Current FCC rules allow these wireless transmitters to be placed at distances of 10-20 feet from homes – on any public right of way, and neglect human health, fire, falling, and other safety hazards while setting an absolute 60-90 day shot clock, regardless of application number.
We the people of Durango are concerned about this broad overreach of wireless infrastructure and the implications it will have on human and environmental health, as well as property and real estate values in our community. It is important to note that these FCC rules are being challenged in the ninth circuit by many municipalities – including but not limited to Palm Beach, Taos NM, Baton Rouge, Portland and SanDiego. The Massachusetts Municipal Association is also challenging these rules, and heads of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology have written to the FCC questioning collusion with the wireless industry. Congresswomen Eshoo and Speier have introduced HR 530 to block the FCC preemption of local authority. The National Resource Defense Council is also challenging the FCC’s earlier rules to exempt small cells from historic and environmental considerations. In addition, Senator Feinstein has introduced S. 2012, the Restoring Local Control Over Public Infrastructure Act of 2019. The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
Wireless facilities have traditionally been kept from bird migration areas, as birds become disoriented by the signals. High power, proximity, and ever increasing wireless frequencies from a deluge of small cells add up to a pervasive threat to the environment and human health. 5G infrastructure will emit millimeter waves at higher frequencies (up to 100 GHz and beyond) and the small cell transmitters will be placed lower to the ground, closer to homes and businesses, and at a distance of every few hundred feet. Not only is there a potential negative impact on property values, but hundreds of doctors, scientists, and engineers have expressed evidence-based concern that these high-frequency, close range wireless transmitters will heighten cancer risks and be devastating to insects (including bees), trees, and other wildlife. Studies have shown that children are especially vulnerable to the DNA-damaging effects of wireless radiation because their brains and bodies are still developing.
A recent decade-long multi-million dollar study done by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) found “clear evidence of carcinogenicity” from wireless exposures at levels considerably lower than what 5G would bring to our community. The BioInitiative Report of 2012 is a compilation of over 3,000 independent peer-reviewed studies on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation (with over 1,200 studies on the effects of radio-frequency/cellular/microwave radiation) – it shows biological effects (including double-stranded DNA breaks) occurring at levels FAR below what our community is currently being exposed to with existing 4G LTE infrastructure. It is worth noting that 5G would be cumulative – that is, in addition to the radiation exposure we already have. And yet the FCC and wireless industry testified in a recent hearing to Senator Blumenthal that they have done NO studies whatsoever on the health effects of this coming technology, which will soon saturate our communities and neighborhoods.
Municipalities around the country are fighting back. Burlington, Massachusetts, recently revised the town ordinances in a manner that caused the applications put forth by Verizon to be withdrawn. Petaluma County, California, recently revised town ordinances to require under-grounding of equipment and large setbacks from residential homes. Pittsfield, Massachusetts, recently revised city ordinances to limit the number of “small cells” placed on a structure.
I am writing to request due diligence: that the town ordinances be carefully examined in light of the FCC’s new ruling, health risks, other model ordinances, and with attention to crafting an ordinance that will prevent harm to the community. I request a review of the ordinances to ensure that the health and safety of our citizenry, and ecology are protected.
Please revise ordinances to account for modern wireless infrastructure – that existing transmitters be placed farther away from residential homes and business, and at a safe distance from places frequented by the public. I call upon the City Council to conduct a special study session with regards to 5G, and to alert the public to the dangers of these technologies. In addition, a moratorium should be implemented on the rollout of 5G infrastructure until this technology has been studied and proven safe. We owe it to our community and our children to exercise the precautionary principle when it comes to implementing this untested technology at such close proximity to where people live and work.
Additional recommended reading, including links to scientific studies and doctor’s opinions on wireless can be found at EHTrust.org, and https://bioinitiative.org/. We The People are watching you, and counting on you to do the right thing for our community.
Adapted From: Last Tree Laws, Letters for Ordinances, https://www.lasttreelaws.com/local-letters.html