5G

Towns can use our latest video to rally support for banning 5G https://youtu.be/miuPEYgOpkI

 

We will post new and pertinent information on our goal to educate about the environmental and health hazards of 5G on this page. Articles can be found on our link list so we will not list them here.

First Pittsfield, then Lenox and now Sheffield. Heated debates over the lack of safety of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) of any size or any “G” are igniting in communities across the Berkshires. The so-called “5th-generation” of WTFs (i.e. 4G/5G densification) is stalling in many places because this ill-advised push into communities, attempting to place heavy industrial equipment into residential zones is running into stiff opposition. The citizen’s petition passed and is now a warrant for a vote at the May 1 2023 town meeting. The citizen’s petition reads:

(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.

This was created to add a condition for 5G installation deployment until the FCC does its due diligence and studies show these frequencies are not harmful to humans, insects, trees or the enviornment.

 

FCC mandated to investigate 5G Harm (1/13/23)

Local residents are informed, organized and asserting their political will. They are insisting on responsible placement of WTFS: only in commercial and industrial zones and only if there is a proven gap in telecommunications service, which is judged as the inability to make outdoor wireless phone calls along major roadways.

The big problem for the Wireless industry is that on Friday the 13th in August 2021, the wireless world irrevocably changed due to a landmark ruling in the US Courts of Appeals, DC Circuit in Case 20-1025 Environmental Health Trust v. FCC, 9 F.4th 893 (D.C. Cir. 2021). In that ruling the DC Cir. judges based their ruling on the following substantial written evidence: 11,000+ pages of peer-reviewed, scientific evidence that Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense and others plaintiffs placed in the FCC’s public record: Vol-1Vol-2Vol-3Vol-4Vol-5Vol-6Vol-7 Vol-8Vol-9Vol-10Vol-11Vol-12Vol-13Vol-14Vol-15Vol-16Vol-17Vol-18Vol-19Vol-20Vol-21Vol-22Vol-23Vol-24Vol-25Vol-26 and Vol-27.

The judges in that case ruled:

“. . . we grant the petitions in part and remand to the Commission to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that its [microwave radiation maximum public exposure] guidelines adequately protect against harmful effects of exposure to radio-frequency [microwave] radiation. It must, in particular,

  • (i) provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to retain its testing procedures for determining whether cell phones and other portable electronic devices comply with its guidelines,
  • (ii) address the impacts of RF radiation on children, the health implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation, the ubiquity of wireless devices, and other technological developments that have occurred since the Commission last updated its guidelines, and
  • (iii) address the impacts of RF radiation on the environment.”

This ruling extinguishes the old tale spun by wireless industry propaganda that often fills mainstream media: that there is a debate about the safety of wireless infrastructure. That debate is over. The evidence of biological harms caused by the microwave radiation pollution that spews from WTF infrastructure antennas 24/7 has been

  1. Entered into the FCC’s public record,
  2. Accepted by the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  3. Ruled upon by the D.C. Circuit and all Circuits are bound by this ruling.

The judges mandated that the FCC finally address the substantial written evidence of negative impacts of pulsed, modulated wireless radiation from cellular infrastructure antennas on adults, children and the environment. The judges also mandated that the FCC determine whether its exposure guidelines adequately protect against harmful effects of exposure to radio-frequency microwave radiation. Therefore, no community should allow irresponsible placement of WTFs.

That is the evidence fueling the citizen action we’ve seen recently at the Pittsfield Board of Health and Lenox Planning Board. Now Sheffield officials are learning that the wireless industry propaganda holds no water.

Please note that any person or media outlet that claims that there “is a dearth of comprehensive scientific evidence on the long-term health impacts of exposure to microwave transmissions” is wrong and woefully uninformed. The links to the 11,000+ pages of evidence, inform everyone.

Similarly, any person or media outlet that alleges there is “little procedural wiggle room:” is also uninformed about the legislative intent of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, expressed in the 1996-TCA conference report cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 in City of Rancho Palos Verdes v. Abrams, 101 Cal.App.4th 367, 124 Cal. Rptr. 2d 80 (Cal. Ct. App. 2002)

​Justice Breyer, with whom Justice O’Connor, Justice Souter and Justice Ginsburg join, concurring

“Congress initially considered a single national solution, namely a FCC wireless tower siting policy that would preempt state and local authority. Ibid.; see also H. R. Conf. Rep. No. 104-458, p. 207 (1996). But Congress ultimately rejected the national approach and substituted a system based on cooperative federalism. Id., at 207-208. State and local authorities remain free to make siting decisions.

 

The Legislative intent of the 1996-TCA is stated clearly in the 1996-TCA Conference Report:

“The conferees also intend that the phrase ‘unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services’ will provide localities with the flexibility to treat facilities that create different visual, aesthetic, or safety concerns differently to the extent permitted under generally applicable zoning requirements even if those facilities provide functionally equivalent services. For example, the conferees do not intend that if a State or local government grants a permit in a commercial district, it must also grant a permit for a competitor’s 50-foot tower in a residential district.”

In 1996, via cooperative federalism. localities were granted the power to locally regulate the operations of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) of any size or any “G” in order to ensure public safety. Sheffield’s cell tower controversy, like the ones before it and those that will inevitably follow, underscore that localities are not sufficiently informed about cooperative federalism and are overly-influenced by Wireless industry propaganda.

Any person or media outlet that alleges there is “a need for state and federal officials to give a helping hand to municipal panels”. or that there is a need for “a more robust and thoroughly updated regulatory framework that town planners and health boards can rely on when wireless facility opponents press their public safety case in town meetings and tower permit hearings” is reading straight from the Wireless industry propaganda playbook. There are no such needs. The Federal law, the 1996-TCA is clear: localities have the final say in zoning matters to restrict WTF placement in order to deliver actual safety to its residents.

Although, the Berkshire Eagle has expressed its “skepticism about far-reaching claims of myriad health problems caused by the [RF microwave] emissions from cell towers and that such claims should “require evidence demonstrating not just correlational but causal links.” . . . nothing in the 1996-TCA requires such causal links. That is just more Wireless industry propaganda.

The 1996-TCA says in Title 47 U.S. Code §332(c)(7)(B) (iii)

Any decision by a State or local government or instrumentality thereof to deny a request to place, construct, or modify personal wireless service facilities shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record.

The “substantial evidence contained in a written record” are the links to the 11,000+ pages of evidence, cited in the links, above. Any locality can cite that evidence to substantiate its decision to deny any irresponsible placement of a WTF in its community.

 

Article in the Berkshire Eagle regarding Sheffield petition for a 5G Moratorium (MA)

Sheffield wants to ban 5G wireless until health questions are resolved. Will the town be able to stop it?

Sheffield wants to ban 5G wireless until health questions are resolved. Will the town be able to stop it?

Sheffield residents and activists have filed a petition with the town for a moratorium on 5G wireless installations until the higher radio frequencies they emit are proven safe. But outsmarting federal telecommunications law could prove difficult. It wrests control from local governments where matters of health and the environment are concerned.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

 SHEFFIELD — A group of residents and activists are trying to block 5G wireless systems from installation in town until research deems emissions from the newer technology safe for people as well as flora and fauna.

They say current federal safety standards for exposure are outdated and don’t apply to the higher 5G — or fifth-generation — levels of radio frequency radiation.

But the town might not legally be able to stop what the federal government allows the telecommunications industry to do.

Lawyers who fight cell towers and antennas, however, say that’s not the case — that well-written local codes can halt installations.

The Sheffield-based Scientific Alliance for Education, or S.A.F.E., presented a petition to the Select Board Tuesday asking that the question of a moratorium on millimeter wave 5G small cell technology be placed before voters at annual town meeting in May.

The petition asks for the pause until the Federal Communications Commission updates its limits for radiation exposure based on the results of specific research on 5G radiation “from scientists independent from industry.”

“We’re not saying [5G is] a bad thing,” S.A.F.E. President Nina Anderson said. “The FCC has not proven that this is safe for humans and especially our agricultural communities in Sheffield. It’s like smoking. Everyone was smoking back in the dark ages and the tobacco companies would never do studies.”

S.A.F.E. Vice President Kathryn Levin told the board that potential liability to towns looms “if someone gets sick.”

Just look at what happened in Pittsfield over a cell tower — not 5G — that 17 residents say has harmed them, she said.

“It’s not covered,” Levin added, referring to insurance.

The petition, signed by 29 residents, will have to be rewritten and resigned to ensure its legality as a warrant item, both the board and the petitioners agreed at the board’s Tuesday meeting, since the town’s attorney had some concerns about how it was drafted.

There could be bigger problems. Sheffield might not have a say in the matter, according to the town’s counsel, said Town Administrator Rhonda LaBombard. The federal government won’t allow the town to regulate telecommunications infrastructure “based off of environmental issues or the effects of radiofrequency,” she added.

Not so, say activists and lawyers. They say the 1996 federal law only applies to what are essentially phone calls — not broadband, which is how 5G is classified.

There are currently 23 5G nodes scattered across Berkshire County, according to Ookla’s interactive 5G map. One of those is in Sheffield, behind the fire station.

Debate

Campaigns to pause 5G rollouts are afoot around the state, the U.S. and other countries as activists and scientists worry about the effect on people of higher radio frequencies above 6,000 megahertz.

The technology uses higher levels of radio frequencies to speed the flow of data. Some scientists reviewing studies of possible health effects of the higher frequencies found little evidence of diseases and other health issues; other scientists have banded together to raise their concerns, given existing research like a long-term study by the National Toxicology Program, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, that found “clear evidence” that non-5G levels of cellphone radiation caused tumors in lab animals.

As a result of what is known and unknown, more than 7,300 scientists worldwide have signed a petition to pause 5G rollouts, among other petitions.

The concerns have also resulted in a handful of bills in the Massachusetts Legislature to study 5G’s health effects or to reduce all wireless radiation, particularly for children.

The health question and a larger battle over radio frequency emissions — not 5G — is still playing out in Pittsfield, where at least 17 residents who say they were sickened by a cell tower near their homes took legal action against the

In Lenox, health concerns squashed a plan to place a wireless antenna atop the low-income elderly housing at the Curtis. The town is still trying to close a gap in cell service downtown, yet Lenox voters also killed a wireless bylaw last month that they felt would not adequately protect them.

The Sheffield petitioners point to evidence the FCC isn’t concerned with health risks. They refer to a Harvard Ethics Report that found the FCC to be a “captured agency” that tells local governments, “Just Don’t Bring Up Health” when considering equipment licenses. It’s essentially what LaBombard said at Tuesday’s meeting.

The nonprofit Environmental Health Trust, which submitted a letter to the Sheffield board in support of a temporary moratorium, sued the commission over allegedly ignoring two decades of information in its decision-making over radiation exposure limits.

 Download PDF

A letter in support of the Sheffield petitioners from a nonprofit that sued the FCC over its essentially ignoring two decades of research on the health effects of radio frequency radiation.

In that 2021 lawsuit, a federal appeals court found the FCC’s negligence “arbitrary and capricious.” The court also slammed the FCC’s reliance on the Food and Drug Administration’s position that the technology is safe, saying the FDA also had “unexplained disinterest in some similar information.”

“One agency’s unexplained adoption of an unreasoned analysis just compounds rather than vitiates the analytical void,” the opinion says. “Said another way, two wrongs do not make a right.”

It is also unclear who is responsible for regulating emissions. The FCC admits on its website that it does not “routinely monitor radiofrequency radiation” from transmitters because it “does not have the resources or personnel.”

“In addition, the FCC does not routinely perform RF exposure investigations unless there is a reasonable expectation that the FCC exposure limits may be exceeded,” the website says.

The FCC did not respond to a request for comment.

The Sheffield Planning Board created a bylaw for small wireless like 5G, but the town’s attorney tossed it back to the Select Board, saying it wasn’t a zoning matter — rather a general bylaw, said Select Board Chair Rene Wood at Tuesday’s meeting.

It’s not easy to write a bylaw that will withstand the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, says Andrew Campanelli, an attorney who specializes in writing such code for municipalities across the U.S. He says it takes a deep understanding of the federal law and various cases for towns to fortify themselves against 5G nodes or other equipment located too close to homes — or else be targeted by company contractors as easy pickings.

“I get calls every day,” said Campanelli, whose firm is based in Merrick, N.Y., referring to town officials trying to beef up protection from ill-placed cell towers or antennas.

“If they get a sophisticated site developer [they] will basically just run roughshod over them, and if they have the audacity to turn them down, they’ll sue you in federal court and they win every single time,” he added.

With a 5G moratorium, other legal tangles might ensue over a company’s right to have a municipal decision on an application made within a certain amount of time.

Some Berkshire officials aren’t convinced that 5G is or will be a problem. Take Great Barrington’s Planning Board, which isn’t addressing 5G in its zoning laws — not yet, anyway.

“I am not aware of scientific literature from NIH, WHO or other reputable sources that provides actual evidence of health risks from 5G,” said board Chair Brandee Nelson.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or 413-329-6871.

Heather Bellow

Reporter

Heather Bellow, a member of the investigations team, joined The Eagle in 2017. She is based in the South Berkshire County bureau in Great Barrington. Her work has appeared in newspapers across the U.S.

January 1, 2023 News

Environmental Health Trust backs us in Sheffield MA to petition for a moratorium on 5G.

January 2, 2023

Dear Sheffield Massachusetts Select Board

This letter is in support of the Petition towards a Temporary Moratorium on 5G until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry and proved to be safe by the FCC.

There has not been a review of the adequacy of FCC limits based on a review of the totality of the science. There is no US agency with health or environmental expertise ensuring safety for cell tower radiation emissions, nor for 5G, which will employ higher frequencies and higher data rates. On August 13, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit mandated the FCC explain how its 1996 limits addressed health effects from long term exposure, especially for children and the environment in their judgment in the case Environmental Health Trust et al. v. The FCC. Yet the FCC has not responded.

The Environmental Working Group published a study in Environmental Health analyzing the findings of tumor and heart damage from the National Toxicology Program study and concluded that FCC limits should be strengthened by 200 to 400 times to protect children according to current risk assessment guidelines. Yet FCC limits have remained unchanged since 1996.

European Parliament requested a research report “Health Impact of 5G” released in July 2021 concluding that commonly used RFR frequencies (450 to 6000 MHz) are probably carcinogenic for humans and clearly affect male fertility with possible adverse effects on the development of embryos, fetuses and newborns.

Please see our scientific overview with the documentation on why we are urging you to ensure the government agencies ensure safety first before allowing massive deployment.

We hope that the Board contacts federal officials to take action on this issue.

Theodora Scarato Executive Director Environmental Health Trust

December 2021 NEWS..

5G could impact air travel:

The heads of the two largest commercial jet makers, Boeing and Airbus, are warning against a plan to deploy new 5G wireless networks starting next month, saying interference from the upgrade could pose a danger to vital aircraft systems. In a statement emailed to NPR, Boeing said the aerospace industry was “focused on fully evaluating and addressing the potential for 5G interference with radio altimeters.” The companies have expressed concern that 5G, which operates on a frequency close to that used by aircraft systems such as radio altimeters, could cause interference. They’ve warned of possible flight delays in snowstorms and low visibility if 5G is deployed.

“We are collaborating with aviation authorities, government leaders, airlines, and industry groups to ensure the continued operational safety of aircraft throughout the aviation system worldwide,” it said. According to Reuters, Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun and Airbus Americas CEO Jeffrey Knittel have called for postponing a planned Jan. 5 rollout of the new technology by AT&T and Verizon Communications. “5G interference could adversely affect the ability of aircraft to safely operate,” the executives wrote in a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, adding that this could have “an enormous negative impact on the aviation industry.”

Boeing, Airbus urge delay in 5G wireless service over aircraft safety concerns : NPR

October 2021:

Yesterday, California Governor Newsom vetoed SB 556, a telecom-sponsored bill that would have paved the way for the rapid and unchecked deployment of small cell (5G) antennas across California. The bill was supported by all the wireless carriers, big business groups and people who believed the big lie that wireless broadband is the answer to closing the digital divide.

5GHOMEBOXINFOSHEET1  This is the handout to educate town folk about the OTARD ruling and enticement by telecom to pay you to locate an ugly, dangerous, noisy box on your yard!

Click this link to see sample ordinances that a town can employee to regulate and control the rollout of 5G infrastructure.

5GTownOrdinances Templet

This is taking away rights of residents and the town to control siting, safety, compliance and liability. Say NO to telecom…. it is an end run movement by telecom as many towns are controlling the siting and compliance of 5G and they want to eliminate towns rights by going direct. These units have proven to have harmful frequencies to humans, trees and bees and they will be placed close to your residence and emit frequencies that cover at least 5 neighborhood properties so it is like having a mini-cell town on your property… Lot’s of headaches for you down the road with angry neighbors who don’t want it, neighbors who may be affective health wise and want to sue and a loss of property values. Many towns have banned 5G units … ask why? And if so why would you want to be part of the problem?

This is taking away rights of residents and the town to control siting, safety, compliance and liability. Say NO to telecom…. it is an end run movement by telecom as many towns are controlling the siting and compliance of 5G and they want to eliminate towns rights by going direct. These units have proven to have harmful frequencies to humans, trees and bees and they will be placed close to your residence and emit frequencies that cover at least 5 neighborhood properties so it is like having a mini-cell town on your property… Lot’s of headaches for you down the road with angry neighbors who don’t want it, neighbors who may be affective health wise and want to sue and a loss of property values. Many towns have banned 5G units … ask why? And if so why would you want to be part of the problem?

The OTARD rule amendment allows private property owners to place fixed-base station antennas on their property and, for the first time, to provide wireless data/ voice services, including 5G, to users on neighboring properties. The rule amendment was designed to enable quick deployment of wireless, including 5G, in neighborhoods — especially in rural areas — by removing any requirements for permit or notice and by preemption of state laws and local zoning laws, including homeowners association and deed restrictions.

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