2023: Sheffield MA petition on 5G goes to a vote

47 voters signed the petition in Sheffield MA to set application requirements for 5G installations. It was accepted and now is a warrant for a vote at the annual town meeting in May.


(Citizen’s Petition) For the reasons set forth above and notwithstanding any other provision of the Town of Sheffield General By-Laws to the contrary, To see if the Town will vote under the General Bylaws Chapter 216: Wireless Regulations, to adopt a Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) application requirement for completeness: WTF applications, will be considered incomplete until the FCC completes the DC Circuit court-mandated Environmental Review of the entire 800,000 to 1 million WTF roll out to the conditions as stated in the NEPA Policy Act 19691 including studies from scientists independent from industry, who have fully investigated millimeter wave 5G small cell technology safety; and that the FCC regulations have been updated to include measures that comply with the results of this review; and, that the Town of Sheffield shall consider reasonable alternatives such as fiber optic.

1 The FCC is required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, among other things, to evaluate the effect of emissions from FCC-regulated transmitters on the quality of the human environment. On August 9, 2019, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, in its Ruling in Case 18-1129, vacated FCC Order 18-30‘s deregulation of small-cell Wireless Transmission Facilitie(s) [sWTFs] and remanded this to the FCC. In Case 18-1129, the judges stated that “the FCC failed to justify its determination that it is not in the public interest to require review of [sWTF] deployments” and ruled that “the Order’s deregulation of [sWTFs] is arbitrary and capricious.” The FCC was mandated to do this review in two court rulings which are submitted into the record: one in 2019 in Case 18-1129, Keetoowah et al. v FCC; and another in 2021 in Case 20-1025, EHT/CHD v FCC. To date the FCC has not complied.


Definition: Wireless Telecommunications Facilities means the plant, equipment and property including, but not limited to, cables, wires, conduits, ducts, pedestals, electronics, and other appurtenances used or to be used to transmit, receive, distribute, provide or offer wireless telecommunications service. October 1, 2019, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Case No, 18-1051, Mozilla et al. v. FCC, confirmed internet “Services” to be reclassified by the FCC as Title I, unregulated “Information Services”. At present, only wireline and wireless telephone and text transmissions are classified as Title II, regulated “Telecommunications Services”.  Title I and Title II applications, therefore, need to be regulated differentially by local planning boards and commissions. Every new [wireless telecommunications facility (“WTF”)] must undergo NEPA review, and that WTF applications cannot be batched for such purpose. 


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