Letter to Montgomery County Council: 5G and its small cell towers threaten public health

October 2, 2019

To:  The County Council of Montgomery County, Maryland

From:  Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.
5G and its small cell towers threaten public health.

Implementing 5G is PURE INSANITY.  It requires yielding to two of the worst trends evident in our society today:  denial of science, which provides massive evidence of harm from radiofrequency radiation; and yielding to pressure from corporations that are willing to hurt the public, without compunction, for short-term profit.

Want to know why?  This message describes, as briefly as I can, the answers to the questions below.  Please read what interests you.  I present these comments as a retired U.S. Government career scientist (Ph.D. in Applied Physics, Harvard University).

  • Why is control of 5G secondary to stopping its deployment?
  • What makes Maryland a leader in MANDATING exposure to harmful radiofrequency radiation?
  • What is Maryland’s implicit policy on exposure to radiofrequency radiation?
  • Why is human health so vulnerable to harm from radiofrequency radiation?
  • What is the evidence of harm caused by radiofrequency radiation?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of 5G compared to fiber-optic technology?
  • What is driving the implementation of 5G?
  • What should our telecommunications goals be?
  • Who am I?

Why is control of 5G secondary to stopping its deployment?

Control by local government of the deployment of 5G’s small cell towers is, indeed, an important goal, because local governments are closer to the people and can better reflect their wishes.

But there is an even more important goal:  STOPPING the deployment of 5G altogether.  The reason, as shown throughout this message, is that there is NO SAFE WAY to implement 5G in our communities; rather, there are only BAD WAYS and WORSE WAYS.  So local control means ONLY that local governments can choose among bad and worse ways.

It may seem difficult to stop 5G, but it will be easier to stop it NOW than to get it removed later after huge numbers of Maryland residents fall ill.

What makes Maryland a leader in MANDATING exposure to harmful radiofrequency radiation?

Maryland has rushed to implement multiple sources of radiofrequency radiation with little to no consideration of the adverse health effects.  Here are multiple examples:

Wireless Smart Meters for the measurement of electricity have already been forced on homes and businesses throughout much of Maryland.  These meters bring the source of radiofrequency radiation up close and personal to the residents, even to the walls against which children sleep.  Wireless Smart Meters transmit pulses of radiofrequency radiation throughout the day and the night, every day of the year.  To escape the radiation from your own meter, you must pay your electric power company a monthly Opt-Out fee, forever, for a non-radiating meter.  At last report, about 44,000 Maryland homeowners have made this choice.  But there is NO way to escape the radiation from your neighbors’ wireless meters.

Wireless Smart Meters for the measurement of natural gas and water are either already implemented in parts of the State, or are being planned, and will worsen the problem already created by the Wireless Smart Meters for electricity.

Wi-Fi is implemented widely in Maryland’s schools and bathes the children and the teachers in radiofrequency radiation every school day for years.  Parents with the wisdom to protect their children from such exposure MUST forfeit a public school education for those children.  All this has occurred even though the Maryland Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council, which reports to the Governor, recommended phasing Wi-Fi out of the schools in favor of much safer wired technology.  (Wifi Radiation in Schools in Maryland, Final Report, December 13, 2016, page 8.  (https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/OEHFP/EH/Shared%20Documents/CEHPAC/MD_CEHPAC_SchoolWiFi_022017_final.pdf)

Many Maryland public schools have even accepted the installation of cell towers on school grounds, in payment for fees, dramatically increasing the exposure of the children and the teachers to radiofrequency radiation.

This assault on the public health by radiofrequency radiation will be completed by installation of 5G’s small cell towers up and down residential and business streets, up close to Maryland residents.  These towers will operate 24 hours per day throughout the year.

What is Maryland’s implicit policy on exposure to radiofrequency radiation?

Maryland’s implicit policy appears to be this:

“No resident of Maryland shall be permitted to escape 24-hour exposure to radiofrequency radiation, at ever higher levels, even though such radiation has already been shown to be harmful to human health.”

“Wireless technology is good by definition, so the more of it the better, no matter what its effects on health may be.”

“All scientific evidence that shows that exposure to radiofrequency radiation is harmful to human health should be categorically denied, no matter what source that evidence comes from, including the National Institutes of Health, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization, and the international biomedical research community more broadly.”

Why is human health so vulnerable to harm from radiofrequency radiation?

In the simplest terms, human beings are bioelectrical in nature.  That is why electrocardiograms work when they monitor a beating heart.  And that is why electroencephalograms work when they monitor the activities in the brain.  Humans evolved in levels of radiofrequency radiation far below those produced by human technology today.  We humans are simply not designed to tolerate today’s high levels of radiofrequency radiation.

When the radiofrequency radiation from cell towers, including 5G’s small cell towers, and other wireless sources, hits the body, that radiation disrupts the bioelectrical workings of the body.  This disruption occurs at levels of radiation far below the Maximum Permitted Exposure limits set by the Federal Communications Commission, which are the only “official” limits in place in the U.S.A. today.  In response, the body must fight back constantly to regain control.  This battle can lead to a wide range of health problems.  Here is just a partial list:  sleep disruption, headaches, irritability, ringing in the ears, fatigue, loss of concentration and memory, nerve pain, dizziness, eye problems, nausea, heart palpitations, depression, and cancer.

No one is immune to harm, but vulnerability varies widely with the individual.  That vulnerability appears to be greatest for pregnant mothers, young children, teenagers, men of reproductive age, seniors, the disabled, and those with chronic health conditions.  A host of major medical conditions are now under study by the international biomedical research community to determine what role exposure to radiofrequency radiation may play in causing, or aggravating, them.  Examples include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autoimmune diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease, among so many others.

The effects of radiofrequency radiation appear to be cumulative; so the longer that exposure continues, the greater the chance that an individual will be overtly affected.  Some individuals will develop a devastating condition called Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome, with a host of symptoms, including extreme pain from exposure to even very low levels of radiofrequency radiation.  Just to survive, such individuals must often leave their homes and jobs, where exposure levels have proved to be too high, and move to rare locations away from radiation sources.  Such individuals regularly contact scientists (including me), physicians, and other aware individuals for advice on what to do.

What is the evidence of harm caused by radiofrequency radiation?

Thousands of archival biomedical research papers, published in peer-reviewed journals, have shown that radiofrequency radiation (“wireless radiation”) is harmful to human health, not to mention the health of other living entities.  These papers have been collected and reviewed in a number of major documents.  Here are three examples of such reviews:

BioInitiative Working Group, Cindy Sage, M.A. and David O. Carpenter, M.D., Editors, BioInitiative Report:  A Rationale for Biologically-based Public Exposure Standards for Electromagnetic Radiation, December 31, 2012.  Written by 29 authors from 10 countries.  Draws on about 1800 references.
(http://www.bioinitiative.org)

Igor Belyaev, Amy Dean, Horst Eger, Gerhard Hubmann, Reinhold Jandrisovits, Markus Kern, Michael Kundi, Hanns Moshammer, Piero Lercher, Kurt Müller, Gerd Oberfeld, Peter Ohnsorge, Peter Pelzmann, Claus Scheingraber, and Roby Thill, EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016  for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses, Reviews of Environmental Health 2016, Vol. 31, No. 3, pages 363-397.  Draws on 308 references.
(https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/reveh.2016.31.issue-3/reveh-2016-0011/reveh-2016-0011.pdf)

Martin L. Pall, Ph.D., 5G Risk:  The Scientific Perspective (2019).  Addresses the intracellular mechanism of harm from wireless radiation, and the eight primary areas of biological harm.  Draws on 139 references.  (www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/5G-Risk-The-Scientific-Perspective-by-Martin-L.-Pall-The-5G-Summit-2019.pdf)

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization classified radiofrequency radiation as a Group 2B Human Carcinogen (“possibly carcinogenic”), naming explicitly “wireless phone” radiation (cellular radiation), based on the increased risk for glioma.  Glioma is a malignant type of brain cancer that is usually fatal.  It most recently took the life of Senator John McCain and Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden.  (https://www.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pr208_E.pdf)

In 2018, a massive study by the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health linked cellular radiofrequency radiation (RFR) to cancer of the nerves of the heart (schwannomas), to cancer of the brain (glioma), and to multiple other health effects in test animals.  (https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/areas/cellphones/index.html)

In 2015 and continuing, 247 scientists from 42 nations signed an appeal to the United Nations.  These are scientists who have “published peer-reviewed papers on the biological or health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields” (which are inclusive of radiofrequency radiation).  Their appeal was the following:

“Address the global public health concerns related to exposure to cell phones, power lines, electrical appliances, wireless devices, wireless utility meters and wireless infrastructure in residential homes, schools, communities and businesses.”  (https://www.emfscientist.org/)

For more information on the health effects of radiofrequency radiation, please see the website of the Environmental Health Trust, especially the “Science” tab.  (https://ehtrust.org/)

What are the advantages and disadvantages of 5G compared to fiber-optic technology?

5G has only ONE advantage compared to a wired technology, like fiber-optic technology:  5G will support mobility, just as current cellular technologies do.  Among wireless technologies, 5G will support faster wireless data rates, enabled by its operation at higher frequencies than current cellular technologies.

But wired technology, especially fiber-optic technology, is superior to 5G in EVERY WAY other than mobility.  Fiber-optic technology produces NO radiofrequency radiation, so it poses NO health hazard and thus is far safer than 5G or any cellular technology.  Also, fiber-optic technology is MUCH faster than any wireless technology, including 5G.  And fiber-optic technology is more reliable, more cyber secure, more private, and far more energy efficient than 5G or any cellular technology.  Further, fiber-optic technology requires no cell towers and antennas.  Rather fiber-optic technology employs optical fibers that are no bigger than a wire.  These fibers are close to invisible and are easily buried.  So fiber-optic technology does not despoil the environment with massive cell towers and antennas, unlike 5G and any cellular technology.  (For a more detailed description on the limitations of 5G, see https://whatis5g.info/.)

So users of wireless technology, including 5G, will have to decide if mobility ALONE is more important for their particular application than any other factor, including their own health and the health of their families, their friends, and their communities.

Compared to fiber-optic technology, 5G is already an out-dated technology, even aside from its adverse health effects.

What is driving the implementation of 5G?

5G appears to be an effort by the wireless industries to open new profit centers, now that they have largely maxed out the profits from today’s cell phone technology.  Consider these questions:

Is the hype for 5G coming more from potential providers of 5G, who hope to profit from 5G, or from potential users, who will have to pay for 5G?

Is the RUSH to implement 5G more about staking out claims to small cell sites in right-of-ways than about providing services that customers really need?

Is the RUSH to implement 5G driven by the growing awareness of the public and its representatives that radiofrequency radiation is harmful to health, and thus the providers feel that they must act quickly before resistance builds further?

What scientific studies, from impartial sources, can the providers of 5G identify that prove that 5G has NO adverse health effects on humans?  The burden of proof is on the providers.

When questioned by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal in a hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee (February, 7, 2019), the representatives of industry could name no existing Independent studies and none in progress that industry was supporting.  (Story:  https://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/at-senate-commerce-hearing-blumenthal-raises-concerns-on-5g-wireless-technologys-potential-health-risks; Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsil3VQE5K4)

What should our telecommunications goals be?

Let me suggest the following:

Promote the expansion of fiber-optic technology as widely as possible, instead of degrading our environment with more harmful radiofrequency radiation, this time from 5G.

Require that the safety of 5G be proven by impartial studies before 5G can be installed in Maryland, instead of permitting the use of Maryland residents as guinea pigs to test that safety.

Join forces with other state and local governments to fight back against Federal laws and regulations that attempt to force any potentially harmful technology on the public without adequate PRIOR proof of safety.

Assert the legal right of the public to be free from the threat of assault by a wireless technology which every scientific indication to date suggests will be harmful to human health and sometimes fatal.

Who am I?

I am a retired U.S. Government career scientist (Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University).  During my Government career, I worked for the Executive Office of the President, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  I currently interact with other scientists, with physicians, and with aware individuals worldwide about the impact of radiofrequency radiation on human health.

I have been a resident of Montgomery County since 1979.

Respectfully,

Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.
Montgomery Village, MD

 


Take Action: Contact your county council representatives.


Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert, 0 comments

Action Alert: Montgomery County is about to vote on 5G cell towers in our front yards!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Small Cells in Montgomery County Action Alert

Montgomery County is about to vote on 5G cell towers in our front yards!

The latest effort by Councilman Hans Riemer is a new zoning law that will allow cell towers 30 feet from homes.

Here is what you can do now.

1. Talk to your neighbors about 5G. Here are some resources to learn more

News Articles

2. Call and email the Council. Connect with them on Twitter and Facebook.

Gabe Albornoz 240-777-7959
Councilmember.Albornoz@montgomerycountymd.gov
View Staff List for Gabe Albornoz

Andrew Friedson 240-777-7828
Councilmember.Friedson@montgomerycountymd.gov
View Staff List for Andrew Friedson

Evan Glass 240-777-7966
Councilmember.Glass@montgomerycountymd.gov
View Staff List for Evan Glass

Tom Hucker 240-777-7960
Councilmember.Hucker@montgomerycountymd.gov
View Staff List for Tom Hucker

Will Jawando 240-777-7811
Councilmember.Jawando@montgomerycountymd.gov
View Staff List for Will Jawando

Sidney Katz 240-777-7906
Councilmember.Katz@montgomerycountymd.gov
View Staff List for Sidney Katz

Nancy Navarro 240-777-7968
Councilmember.Navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov
View Staff List for Nancy Navarro

Craig Rice 240-777-7955
Councilmember.Rice@montgomerycountymd.gov
View Staff List for Craig Rice

Hans Riemer 240-777-7964
Councilmember.Riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov
View Staff List for Hans Riemer

Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert, 0 comments

Please Attend: 1st Cell Tower Application Hearing, Mon Sept 30, 7:30!!

Community Meeting Monday, Sept. 30, on First Application for Small Cell Tower in City Right-of-Way:

For Utility Pole at 902 Merrimac Drive (south of intersection of  Carroll Avenue and University Boulevard)

Come Learn & Share Your Concerns with City Staff and Crown Castle Representative.

This is the first of 11 small cell towers Crown Castle plans for Takoma Park in the next two years! (See list below.)

Time:   Monday, Sept. 30th, at 7:30 p.m.

Place:   Takoma Park Community Center, 7500 Maple Avenue

The City has received the first application for a small cell tower that falls under Takoma Park’s new Ordinance for such towers in City rights-of-way.  Crown Castle, a big supplier of infrastructure for telecom carriers, wants to place an antenna for T-Mobile on a Pepco pole in Ward 6, at 902 Merrimac, between Carroll and Lockney, a block south of the intersection of Carroll and University. The pole is ~ 85 feet from residents’ homes! Our Ordinance requires the Director of Public Works to hold a Community Meeting “to provide the public with information about the proposed installation, answer questions, receive information, and respond to concerns.”

Afterwards, the Director decides whether to approve an application — and federal guidelines pressure the City to decide in a hurry. Since this is the first  tower application ever under our Ordinance, our input Monday will help City officials develop the most effective review process for the future.  Let’s take advantage of this opportunity and respond with robust participation!

Please come also to support our first Takoma Park residents to face one of these small cell towers so near their homes. The pole that would hold the cell antenna is ~ 85′ from the closest residents’ homes!

You can read Crown Castle’s application, its report on how it plans to comply with federal radiation guidelines, etc., by scrolling to the bottom of this page on the City’s website: https://takomaparkmd.gov/initiatives/project-directory/small-cell-antennas-in-the-citys-rights-of-way/  Come and share your questions and concerns about potential impacts on health, safety, and equity posed by the location of this proposed small cell tower so near homes in Ward 6.

And See Crown Castle’s Two-Year Plan for Placing 10 Other Small Cell Towers in Our City’s Rights-of-Way:

The plan is on pages 7-9 in Crown Castle’s main Application Form, which is one of the files posted at the bottom of the link above. The addresses in Takoma Park (and two just outside the City but on Crown Castle’s list) are:

7059 Eastern Ave.

8349 Flower Ave.

800 Kennebec Ave.

8200 Brighton Ave.

8209 Flower Ave.

700 Devonshire Ave.

508 Lincoln Ave.

6902 New Hampshire Ave.

6347 New Hampshire Ave.

Anacostia Tributary Trail System (near New Hampshire Avenue)

[And 8411 Piney Branch Road, in nearby Silver Spring]

[And 628 Sheridan Street, NE, just off Eastern, in nearby DC]

(Here’s recent news from the Environmental Health Trust related to radio frequency emissions from small cell towers: https://ehtrust.org/federal-court-overturns-fcc-order-which-bypassed-environmental-review-for-5g-small-cell-wireless/ )

Thank you — we hope to see you Monday night. And please share this news with others.

— Community Vision for Takoma

Community Vision for Takoma
Visit us at cvtakomajunction.com
Follow us on Facebook Community Vision for Takoma
Community Vision for Takoma is a volunteer citizens group dedicated to an inclusive, just, and compassionate community. We invite you to join us in protecting and building upon our community’s progressive legacy. We believe that Takoma Park can be a model for other communities as we protect our natural environment, support right-sized development, and protect affordable housing, living-wage jobs, diversity, access to the arts, and thriving small, independent businesses.  We welcome your ideas and participation. Please contact us at tjcommunityvision@gmail.com.

Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert, Weekly News Scoop, 0 comments

HB 654/HB 1020 UPDATE – INDUSTRY WIRELESS BILLS TABLED FOR “INTERIM STUDY”

- HB 654 /HB 1020 UPDATES -

INDUSTRY WIRELESS BILLS TABLED FOR "INTERIM STUDY"

THANK YOU FOR YOUR RAPID RESPONSE PHONE CALLS AND EMAILS TO STATE DELEGATES!!!

The Maryland House Economic Affairs Committee voted on March 11, 2019 to refer HB 654 for "interim study." Bills referred for interim study will receive no further action before the next session - meaning that HB 654 is effectively dead - at least for now.

MC4T had strongly opposed this Bill and testified along with a broad based coalition of citizens groups from all around Maryland, and also both the Maryland Municipal League (MML) and the Maryland Association of Counties (MaCo).

This committee action follows February 21 hearing held by Chairman Dereck Davis on HB 654 which carries formal title of "Wireless Facilities - Installation and Regulation." This bill was commonly referred to in this latest legislative session as the "industry bill" reflecting its actual authorship.  (County Executive Marc Elrich appeared at the hearing to testify AGAINST state pre-emption contained within HB 654 and referred to the County's recent actions on local solutions to wireless regulation.)

Del. Davis introduced HB654 and was the ONLY sponsor.

MC4T will continue to closely monitor developments in Annapolis and keep you updated...

Again, thanks for all your help in reaching out to state legislators to communicate your opposition.

Your efforts ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Rick Meyer
for
--
Montgomery County Coalition for the Control of Cell Towers

Edited Still from "ALEC Rock" Produced by Mark Fiore (http://www.markfiore.com) and the Center for Media and Democracy (http://www.prwatch.org), which is the creator of ALECexposed (http://www.alecexposed.org), and co-produced by the Alliance for a Better Utah (http://betterutah.org) to help expose ALEC.

Posted by twtpadmin in Legislation, 0 comments

Cell Wireless Facility Application Spotlight: Utility Poles on Merrimac Drive Improperly Expanded BEFORE Tower Committee Decision on Proposed Wireless Facility – Takoma Park Should Deny Permit for Attachment

Prepared by Rick Meyer (mc4t.org)

March 8, 2019

Takoma Park should reject application for permit to install wireless facility that may be requested by PEPCO on behalf of Crown Castle for attachment to utility pole located in front of 902 Merrimac Drive.

The original permit to replace and “make ready” existing pole(s) on Merrimac Drive was issued improperly in 2017 for third party attachment of a wireless facility.

The application for the original permit should NOT have been submitted by PEPCO until AFTER proper recommendation was issued by Tower Committee for application 201802-05 submitted in December 2017 and, subsequently, tabled by Crown Castle in February 2018. Nor should Takama Park have issued the permit.

Nonetheless, even though the Crown Castle had withdrawn their application PEPCO went forward with “make ready” and made the pole(s) substantially taller.

Crown Castle’s second application #2018120624 as submitted in late 2018 was ONLY recommended because pole #80422-090050, which was unlawfully made taller, was subsequently, and incorrectly, classified as “existing” by the Tower Committee.

Specifically,

  1. PEPCO and Takoma Park did NOT follow COMCOR 2.58E.01.08.
    • The section is excerpted below.
    • The section specifies ALL permits must reference TFCG application number and makes no carve out for permits issued by municipalities such as Takoma Park.
    • Since Takoma Park is subject to County zoning rules this section must also be followed, but apparently was NOT.
    • Further, it would appear that neither Takoma Park, nor PEPCO immediately forwarded permit to the Tower Committee, which in theory,should have triggered alarm bells that permits were being issued ahead of Tower Committee recommendations.
  2. The taller replacement pole requested in first application 201802-05 would NOT have been recommended for “limited use” by the Tower Committee under zoning ordinances in effect at time permit was issued:
    • The first Tower Committee application for this facility was submitted in December 2017, tabled in February 2018 and, then, superseded by a new application in December 2018.
    • The second application asserted that an improperly modified pole should be considered as existing.
    • Comments were filed to the Tower Committee regarding the first application noting that modifications to pole would exceed allowable increases and would NOT quality for" limited use" under the zoning ordinance in effect AT THAT TIME.
    • Thus, the first application to the Tower Committee would have referred to Office of Zoning and Hearings for a conditional use hearing.
    • Remember, ZTA 18-02 did not become effective until June 2018.
      1. This ZTA authorized replacement poles in the C/R zone that met the standards of the ordinance as a Limited Use.
      2. Among the standards were more relaxed antenna size standards.
      3. And it established a height limit for the pole, including the attached antenna facility, as the height of the pre-existing utility pole plus 10 feet,
      4. except when on wide roads (greater than 65 feet) where the height limit was allowed to be a total of 15 feet
    • So, the first permit to increase pole height was improperly issued because the replacement pole had NOT been recommended by Tower Committee and would not have been eligible for limited use.
    • Thus, the improperly modified pole cannot be accurately or properly be considered as “existing” as it was non-conforming to zoning requirement in effect at time of permit issuance.
  3. PEPCO's "make ready" of the pole occurred after expiration of the permit issued by Takoma Park.
    • It was announced at the March 6, 2019 Tower Committee meeting that the permit which was improperly issued had expired in March 2018.
    • However, the pole markings show manufacture date of "5 18" - or May 2018. (see photo below.)
    • The photos submitted with the second Tower Committee application from Crown Castle were dated September 2018.
    • So, the replacement pole must have been installed sometime between May and September 2018.
    • PEPCO should have notified Takoma Park for street and sidewalk closures on the specific date(s) when pole was installed to determine the precise installation date.
    • Regardless, we believe replacement pole was installed without a lawful Takoma Park permit in force.
  4. Section 3.6.7 of the zoning ordinance requires non-electrical distribution lines in this zone to be installed underground.
    • The diagrams in the application clearly show that the pole is to dependent on aerial fiber optic cable for backhaul.
    • However, new aerial cable that is NOT for electric distribution MUST be underground.
    • The proposed facility is therefore even further in non- conformance.
  5. There were actually two poles that were significantly enlarged in relation to this facility but work on the second pole directly across the street should NOT have commenced until the Tower Committee properly recommended the site. (see photos below.)
    • The stub pole directly across the street from #80422-090050 was also modified to be made substantially taller, but not fully disclosed by PEPCO as necessary in relation to the entire wireless facility project.
    • This second pole will be the connect point for proposed new aerial fiber.
    • The combination of these two modified poles substantially and adversely modifies the street scape.
    • But the scale of these combined modification(s) were never properly addressed in application(s) for permits or to the Tower Committee.

02.58E.01.08 Building Permit.

  1. A building permit is required for the construction of a telecommunications transmission facility in the County.
  2. All permit applications must reference the Wireless Communications Site application number, and must include the recommendation of the Telecommunications Transmission Facility Coordinating Group and the approval of the land owning agency, if applicable.
  3. Building permit approvals may be expedited if copies of standard construction drawings are on file with the permitting agency.
  4. Upon issuance and release of the building permit, a copy of the permit will be sent to the Tower Coordinator for filing with the application and supporting documentation. A copy of the site plan and construction drawings will be furnished to the Tower Coordinator upon request for use in updating the database.

Merrimac Drive August 2017 Source: Google Maps

Merrimac Drive, January 2019 Source: Rick Meyer

Marking on pole #80422-090050 showing May 2018 manufacture date. Source: Rick Meyer

Posted by twtpadmin in City of Takoma Park, Weekly News Scoop, 0 comments

Scientists 4 Wired Tech Review of Maryland HB 654 Wireless Facilities

Scientist 4 Wired Tech gave a section by section review of the truly horrid HB 654.

http://scientists4wiredtech.com/2019-maryland-hb-654-wireless-facilities/

Each section of the bill is listed and there are comments throughout such as this:

“That is a truckload of certains in the introduction of HB.654. Of course, what actually matters are to which specific items do these certains point . . . so one has to to read on . . . to fully comprehend how many wish-list items the authors of this bill (ALEC, Verizon and AT&T) were able to shoehorn into the bill. This is the most telecom-friendly and most consumer-unfriendly CPMRA infrastructure deployment bill reviewed to date.

CPMRA = Close Proximity Microwave Radiating Antenna”


Scientists for Wired Tech: a member organization that seeks to make effective, lasting changes to federal, state and local laws, regulations and practices that will protect people of all ages, and all living organisms from the hazards of continuous exposures to Radio-Frequency Microwave radiation (RF/MW radiation), which is a manmade, toxic agent that causes systemic biological damages at levels many thousands of times lower than current U.S. RF/MW radiation exposure guidelines.

Posted by twtpadmin in Legislation, 0 comments

How to view the hearing on the bills SB937 and SB713 on Small Cell Towers and 5G before the Finance Committee of the Maryland State Senate

Dear Maryland Colleagues concerned about Small Cell Towers and 5G,

Background

The U.S. Government is working hard to force small cell towers and 5G on the state governments, the local governments, and YOU.

Maryland State Senate bill SB937, and its "cross filed" identical bill HB654 in the Maryland House of Delegates, make the Maryland State Government the principal authority forcing small cell towers and 5G on the Maryland local governments and YOU.

Maryland State Senate bill SB713, and its "cross filed" identical bill HB1020 in the Maryland House of Delegates, make the local Maryland governments the principal authorities forcing small cell towers and 5G on YOU.

SB937 and HB654 are supported by the telecommunications industry, among others.  SB913 and HB1020 are supported by the Maryland Municipal League, an organization comprised of many local Maryland governments, among others.

Both bills accede to Federal demands that no entity, at any level of government, will be able to stop the forcing of small cell towers and 5G on YOU.

You may access the text of the bills by clicking on the bill numbers shown here:  SB713 and SB937.

How to View the Hearing

You can view the hearing held on both SB937 and SB713 before the Finance Committee of the Maryland State Senate on the Maryland General Assembly website.

Your web browser must accept Pop Ups.  According to Maryland Legislative Services, which provides the videos of the hearings, you need to load the RealPlayer free software to see its videos; BUT, surprisingly, I did not find it necessary to load RealPlayer with either the current Firefox browser or the current Microsoft Internet Explorer browser.  I cannot explain why at this point.

First, try to view the hearing with your computer set up as it already is.  If that does not work, unblock (permit) Pop Ups temporarily in your browser, and try again.  (Remember to block Pop Ups when you are done viewing the video.)

Click HERE to take you directly to the video.

If that does not work, use the step-by-step approach below to reach the above URL, and to learn how the video of any hearing can be accessed:

(1) Click on the URL at the end of this sentence to open your browser automatically and to move to this URL:  http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/.  OR open your browser, and type, or copy and paste, the same URL into your Search box.  The home page of the Maryland General Assembly will open.
(2) Scroll down the home page until the subtitle "Previous Committee Meetings" appears on the right side of the screen, just under the heading "Committee Meetings".
(3) Click on the subtitle "Previous Committee Meetings".  A web page entitled "Committee Audio and Video" will open.
(4) Scroll down the web page "Committee Audio and Video" to the "Senate" section.
(5) Look for the line headed "Finance".  You will see a date window displayed there.
(6) If that window already says, "Tuesday, February 26, 2019", which is the date of the hearing, click on the bold right-facing arrow at the end of that line, in a blue box to start the video.  The video should begin to play after a pause of several seconds.
(7) If the date above is NOT displayed in that window, click on the tiny arrow pointing downward at the right end of the line on which the date appears, to cause a menu of dates to drop down.
(8) On the drop-down menu of dates, click on "Thursday, February 26, 2019 Session # 1", which is the date of the desired hearing.  That will cause the drop-down menu to close, and the selected date will appear in the window to right of the "Finance" line.
(9) With that date of "Tuesday, February 26, 2019" displayed on the "Finance" line, click on the bold right-facing arrow at the end of that line, in a blue box, to start the video.  The video should begin to play after a pause of several seconds.

If the video fails to begin, you may need to unblock (permit) Pop Ups in your browser just for this purpose, as noted above, and begin again.  If that, too, fails, update your browser and try again.

The hearing lasted 3 hours and 57 minutes (3:57), but you do not have to watch all of it.  Bills SB937 and SB713 are addressed together.  You can pull the blue dot along the time line under the video to reach these locations:

0:00 Hearing begins

2:10:29 The part of the hearing that addresses SB937 and SB713 begins.

Senator Beidle introduces SB713.  Three other Senators co-sponsor this bill.
Senator Klausmeier introduces SB937.  No other Senator co-sponsors this bill.

Many witnesses present testimony in favor and opposed to the bills.

3:57:08  The discussion of both bills ends and the hearing also ends.

Those testifying are in groups up to 6 or so.  Usually all of those in a given group are of the same view about the desirability of a given bill, but not always.  Some of those testifying oppose both bills.

 

Who am I?

I am a retired U.S. Government career scientist (Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University).  During my Government career, I worked for the Executive Office of the President, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  I currently interact with other scientists, with doctors, and with aware individuals worldwide about the impact of radiofrequency radiation on human health.

I have been a resident of Montgomery County since 1979.

Respectfully,

Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.

Posted by twtpadmin in Legislation, 0 comments

Montgomery County Residents Speaking Out! 5G and its small cell towers threaten public health. Implications for HB654/SB937 and HB1020/SP713 before the Maryland General Assembly

Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D  /  February 25, 2019

5G and its small cell towers threaten public health.  Implications for HB654/SB937 and HB1020/SP713 before the Maryland General Assembly.

This message describes, as briefly as I can, the answers to the questions below.  Kindly read what interests you.  I present these comments as a retired U.S. Government career scientist (Ph.D. in Applied Physics, Harvard University).

  • Why is control of 5G secondary to stopping its deployment?
  • Why are both HB654/SB937 and HB1020/SP713 fatally flawed?
  • What makes Maryland a leader in MANDATING exposure to harmful radiofrequency radiation?
  • What is Maryland's implicit policy on exposure to radiofrequency radiation?
  • Why is human health so vulnerable to harm from radiofrequency radiation?
  • What is the evidence of the harm caused by radiofrequency radiation?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of 5G?
  • What should our telecommunications goals be?
  • Who am I?

Why is control of 5G secondary to stopping its deployment?

Control by local government of the deployment of 5G's small cell towers is, indeed, an important goal, because local governments are closer to the people and can better reflect their wishes.  That makes HB1020/SP713 the better approach, as intended by its authors, compared to HB654/SB937 which forfeits local control entirely.

But there is an even more important goal:  STOPPING the deployment of 5G altogether.  The reason, as shown throughout this message, is that there is NO SAFE WAY to implement 5G in our communities; rather, there are only "bad ways" and "worse ways".  So local control means that local governments can have a say in the choice among the "bad ways".

Why are both HB654/SB937 and HB1020/SP713 fatally flawed?

Both bills reaffirm the worst aspect of Federal policy:  a prohibition against stopping all deployment.  For example, HB1020/SP713 makes statements like these:

S-703 (C) (1):  "THE APPLICABLE LOCAL LAW AND REGULATION PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION:

(1) MAY NOT GENERALLY PROHIBIT THE INSTALLATION OF ALL WIRELESS FACILITIES OR POLES IN THE PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY OR ON PRIVATE PROPERTY; AND"

S-704 (C):  "THE DESIGN AND AESTHETIC REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS OF AN AUTHORITY MAY NOT HAVE THE EFFECT OF PROHIBITING ANY WIRELESS PROVIDER'S WIRELESS SERVICE."

Statements like these write into Maryland law the principal provision of Federal policy that so many efforts are now trying to overturn.  For this reason, in my view, neither HB654/SB937 nor HB1020/SP713 should be made law.

What makes Maryland a leader in MANDATING exposure to harmful radiofrequency radiation?

Wireless Smart Meters for the measurement of electricity have already been forced on virtually every home and business in Maryland.  These meters bring the source of radiation up close and personal to the residents, even to the walls against which children sleep.  They transmit pulses of radiofrequency throughout the day and the night, every day of the year.  To escape the radiation from your own meter, you must pay the electric power company a monthly Opt-Out fee, forever, for a non-radiating meter.  At last report, about 44,000 Maryland homeowners have made this choice.  But there is NO way to escape the radiation from your neighbors' wireless meters.

Wireless Smart Meters for the measurement of natural gas and water are either already implemented in parts of the State, or are contemplated (WSSC), and will worsen the problem already created by the Wireless Smart Meters for electricity.

WiFi is implemented widely in Maryland's schools and bathes the children and teachers in radiofrequency radiation every school day for all their school years.  Parents who don't want their children exposed to such radiation MUST forfeit a public school education for their children.  All this has occurred even though the Maryland Children's Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council, which reports to the Governor, recommended phasing WiFi out of the schools in favor of much safer wired technology.  (Wifi Radiation in Schools in Maryland, Final Report, December 13, 2016, page 8, https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/OEHFP/EH/Shared%20Documents/CEHPAC/MD_CEHPAC_SchoolWiFi_022017_final.pdf)

The addition of the radiation from 5G's small cell towers, located up close and personal to Maryland residents, and operating 24 hours per day throughout the year, will complete this assault on the health of the public.

What is Maryland's implicit policy on radiofrequency radiation?

The State's implicit policy appears to be this:

"No resident of Maryland shall be permitted to escape 24-hour exposure to radiofrequency radiation, at ever higher levels, even though such radiation has already been shown to be harmful to human health."

"All biomedical research from any source, including the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, and the international biomedical research community more broadly, that shows that exposure to radiofrequency radiation is harmful to human health, will be categorically denied."

Why is human health so vulnerable to harm from radiofrequency radiation?

In the simplest terms, human beings are bioelectrical in nature.  That is why electrocardiograms work when they monitor a beating heart.  And that is why electroencephalograms work when they monitor the activities in the brain.  Humans evolved in levels of radiofrequency radiation far below those produced by human technology today.  We humans are simply not designed to tolerate today's high levels of radiofrequency radiation.

When the radiofrequency radiation from cell towers, including 5G's small cell towers, and other wireless sources, hits the body, that radiation disrupts the bioelectrical workings of the body.  This disruption occurs at levels of radiation far below those set as the FCC's Maximum Permitted Exposure limits.  In response, the body must fight back constantly to regain control.  This battle can lead to a wide range of symptoms.  Here is just a partial list:  sleep disruption, headaches, irritability, ringing in the ears, fatigue, loss of concentration and memory, nerve pain, dizziness, eye problems, nausea, heart palpitations, depression, and cancer.

No one is immune to harm, but vulnerability varies widely with the individual.  That vulnerability does appear to be greatest for pregnant mothers, young children, teenagers, men of reproductive age, seniors, the disabled, and those with chronic health conditions.  A host of major medical conditions are now under study by the international biomedical research community to determine what role exposure to radiofrequency radiation may play in causing, or aggravating, them.  Examples include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autoimmune diseases, and Alzheimer's disease, among so many others.

The effects of radiofrequency radiation appear to be cumulative; so the longer that exposure continues, the greater the chance that an individual will be overtly affected.  Some individuals will develop a devastating condition called Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome, with a host of symptoms, including extreme pain from exposure to even very low levels of radiofrequency radiation.  Just to survive, such individuals must often leave their homes and jobs, where exposure levels were too high, and move to rare locations away from radiation sources.  Such individuals regularly contact scientists (including me), doctors, and other aware individuals for advice on what to do.

What is the evidence of the harm caused by radiofrequency radiation?

There are thousands of archival biomedical research papers, published in peer-reviewed journals, that have shown that radiofrequency radiation is harmful to the body in one way or another.  These have been collected and reviewed in a number of summary documents.  Here are just two examples:  (1) BioInitiative 2012, draws on about 1800 publications (https://bioinitiative.org/); (2) EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of EMF-Related Health Problems and Illnesses, draws on 308 references (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27454111). ("EMF" stands for electromagnetic fields, a term inclusive of radiofrequency radiation.)

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization classified radiofrequency radiation as a Group 2B Human Carcinogen ("possibly carcinogenic"), naming explicitly "wireless phone" radiation (cellular radiation), based on the increased risk for glioma.  Glioma is a malignant type of brain cancer that is usually fatal.  It most recently took the life of Senator John McCain and Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden.  (https://www.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pr208_E.pdf)

In 2018, a massive study by the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health linked cellular radiofrequency radiation (RFR) to cancer of the nerves of the heart (schwannomas), to cancer of the brain (glioma), and to multiple other health effects in test animals.  (https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/areas/cellphones/index.html)

In 2015 and continuing, 247 scientists from 42 nations signed an appeal to the United Nations, described below.  These scientists have "published peer-reviewed papers on the biological or health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields" (which are inclusive of radiofrequency radiation).

"Address the global public health concerns related to exposure to cell phones, power lines, electrical appliances, wireless devices, wireless utility meters and wireless infrastructure in residential homes, schools, communities and businesses."  (https://www.emfscientist.org/)

For more information on the health effects of radiofrequency radiation, please see the website of the Environmental Health Trust, especially the Science tab.  (https://www.emfscientist.org/)

What are the advantages and disadvantages of 5G?

5G has some true advantages.  5G is expected to employ higher radiofrequencies than those currently in use in cellular systems in the United States.  Those higher frequencies will permit more rapid rates of data transfer compared to current WIRELESS technology.  And, as a wireless technology, 5G will support mobility.

But wired technology, especially fiber-optic technology, is superior to 5G in so many other ways.  Fiber-optic technology produces NO radiofrequency radiation, so it poses NO health hazard.  Fiber-optic technology is safer, faster, more reliable, more cyber secure, and more private than any wireless technology, including 5G.  (See https://whatis5g.info/ for a detailed description of the limitations of 5G.)

So users of wireless technology, including 5G, will have to decide if mobility ALONE is more important for their particular application than any other factor, including their own health and the health of their families and colleagues.

When listening to the hype about 5G, consider the following:

Is the hype coming more from potential providers of 5G, who hope to profit from 5G, or from potential users, who will have to pay for 5G?

Is the RUSH to implement 5G more about staking out claims to small cell sites in right-of-ways than about providing services that customers really need?

Is the RUSH to implement 5G driven by the growing awareness of the public and its representatives that radiofrequency radiation is harmful to health, and thus the providers feel that they must act quickly before resistance builds further?

What scientific studies, from impartial sources, can the providers of 5G identify that prove that 5G has NO adverse health effects on humans?  The burden of proof is on the providers.

When questioned by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal in a hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee (February, 7, 2019), the representatives of industry could name no existing studies and none in progress.  (Story:  https://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/at-senate-commerce-hearing-blumenthal-raises-concerns-on-5g-wireless-technologys-potential-health-risks; Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsil3VQE5K4)

What should our telecommunications goals be?

Let me suggest the following:

Promote the expansion of fiber-optic technology as widely as possible, instead of degrading our environment with more harmful radiofrequency radiation, this time from 5G.

Require that the safety of 5G be proven by impartial studies before 5G can be installed in Maryland, instead of facilitating the use of Maryland residents to be the guinea pigs to test that safety.

Join forces with other state governments, and with local governments, to fight back against Federal laws and regulations that force any potentially harmful technology on the states without adequate PRIOR proof of safety.  Any technology with the potential to harm, and even take, life should not be mandated by the U.S. Government or encouraged by the states.

It will be difficult to stop 5G, but it will be easier to stop it NOW than to get it removed later after huge numbers of Maryland residents have become ill.

Who am I?

I am a retired U.S. Government career scientist (Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University).  During my Government career, I worked for the Executive Office of the President, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  I currently interact with other scientists, with doctors, and with aware individuals worldwide about the impact of radiofrequency radiation on human health.

I have been a resident of Montgomery County since 1979.

Respectfully,

Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.

 

Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert, 0 comments

Democracy at Stake: Watch the Maryland General Assembly Hearing on HB 654

Still Time to Contact Maryland Reps (see below).

House Economic Matters Committee Video link - Thursday, Feb. 21, at 1 pm in Annapolis

Starting at about 2:28:45

House Economic Matters Committee Chair Dereck Davis, introducing his bill, HB 654. It's worth listening to him to understand the remarkably un-democratic dynamics on this issue. He seems to insist that local governments all across Maryland must appease industry to speed up the rollout of 5G.  He seems to want to make it perfectly clear that if they continue resisting, he plans to personally do everything he can to force them to.

 

Posted by twtpadmin in Legislation, 0 comments

Local Voices Should Speak Louder than ISPs (Common Cause Maryland)

Large wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T are in the process of deploying the next generation of wireless broadband technology known as “5G.” 5G will use infrastructure called “small cells” that will be deployed on street lights, poles, buildings, and homes to boost wireless signals.

Local communities through their elected officials have a lot of power to oversee the deployment process for broadband infrastructure including 5G. In communities across Maryland, citizens and local government have come together to design a roll out for 5G that works.

But ISPs like Verizon and AT&T are using their big money leverage to control the deployment process by ramming state bills that remove local oversight of small cell deployment. Local oversight is important to make sure small cell deployment meets public safety, aesthetic, and quality of life standards that our communities expect.

Big ISPs have now turned their efforts to Maryland where they got HB 654 introduced. This bill would remove local zoning review in approving small cells and kneecap local government oversight in the deployment process. This means small cells will be deployed on Maryland street lights, buildings, and near homes without any say from local voices.

On Thursday, February 21, HB 654 will be heard in the House Economic Matters Committee. We need to tell our legislators loud and clear WE OPPOSE removing local community voices from 5G deployment.

You can also make an impact by submitting testimony to the House Economic Matters Committee. Here is the important point for your testimony: “I’m a Maryland voter who believes local communities should have a say in the 5G deployment process. 5G can offer benefits but it should not come at the expense of cutting local communities from the process. As a Maryland resident, small cell placement could impact public safety, aesthetics, and my quality of life. I oppose HB 654 which would remove local oversight from 5G deployment.”

We need you to speak out now!ISPs are using their big money influence to push these bills across the country and now they’ve turned their sights to Maryland. We need to show our legislators our voices speak louder than ISPs and we want a say in 5G is deployed.

Thank you for all you do,

Damon Effingham, Executive Director

and the team at Common Cause Maryland

Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert, 0 comments