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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

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

SMALL CELL TOWER ALERT – URGE STATE REPS NOT TO GUT TAKOMA PARK PROTECTIONS!

SMALL CELL TOWER ALERT - URGE STATE REPS NOT TO GUT TAKOMA PARK PROTECTIONS!

State of Maryland Bill HB 654 Would Severely Restrict Local Control of Cell Towers --

Other Pending State Bills HB 1020 & HB 474 Also Undermine Local Control

Please Call and Send Emails to Key State Legislators to Oppose These Bills.

And speak out at Public Hearing in Annapolis Thursday, Feb. 21st -- Must sign up in person before Noon. (Contact info and hearing details below)

Save our new Takoma Park City Ordinance and Montgomery County rules that place at least modest limits on the siting of small cell towers! Our local laws will be pre-empted by the State of Maryland, if a new bill, HB 654, is passed by the Maryland General Assembly. This proposal is reportedly the darling of the wireless industry. Why? Because it would wipe out many of our City and County protections and replace them with much weaker statewide rules!

For example: It would eliminate our County requirements for small cell towers to be certain distances from our homes. And goodbye to tree protections, annual tests to monitor radiation levels emitted from cell antennas, adequate public notice and public input, and most of the other public-interest provisions in our new City ordinance.

This truly horrible bill seems to have opened the gates to other state cell-tower bills, like HB 1020 (SB 713) and HB 474. Whether intended or not, those are also likely to undermine local authority over the siting of small cell towers -- just as our City, County, and many other localities are fighting the Federal Communications Commission in court to recognize our authority. Local communities have a right to make our own zoning and land-use decisions, and regulate the use of our public Rights of Way. If the State imposes some new authority over us now, it will reinforce the industry’s position that we locals are yokels – with no right to interfere in their roll-out of a dense network of new cell towers wherever and however they like in our urban neighborhoods. Despite the growing body of scientific evidence that emissions of radio frequency radiation pose real health and environmental risks!

Let’s stand up for local democracy and the safety of our community!

Please call & email:

Delegate Dereck Davis (D-PG County), Chair of the powerful House Economic Matters Committee in the Maryland House of Delegates & Sponsor of HB 654:

Phone: 410-841-3519.  Email: dereck.davis@house.state.md.us

And the Montgomery County Delegates on the Committee:

* Lorig Charkoudian, Takoma Park resident and our own new District 20 Rep:

Phone: 410.841.3423. Email: lorig.charkoudian@house.state.md.us

* Kathleen Dumais, also Majority Leader of the House:

Phone: 410-841-3052. Email: kathleen.dumais@house.state.md.us

* Lily Qi: Phone : 410-841-3090. Email : lily.qi@house.state.md.us

* Pamela Queen: Phone: 410.841.3380. Email: pam.queen@house.state.md.us

Please Urge Them: “Do Not Pass HR 654 -- or HB 1020 (called SB 713 in the Maryland Senate), HB 474, or ANY bill that pre-empts the authority of local governments to regulate small cell towers. Protect Our Families -- Preserve Local Zoning Over Cell Towers!” Let them know our communities deserve and demand to set our own rules on where, when, and if new cell towers are built.

And please come speak out at the public hearing on the three bills – including the truly awful HB 654 – in the House Economic Matters Committee next week, Thursday, Feb. 21, at 1 pm in Annapolis: You must sign up in person before Noon on that day to make a 3-minute comment! To present written testimony, bring 35 copies of your statement with you and deliver them – also before Noon – to the Economic Matters Committee office in Room 231 in the House Office Building located at 6 Bladen Street. The hearing is in Room 230. Questions? Contact the Economic Matters Committee.

Connect with CVT: Facebook page  or  website .

A note about Community Vision for Takoma: Originally formed around a vision for inclusive, vibrant, community-centered development at the Takoma Junction, we are expanding to bring our inclusive,  participatory, community-centered vision to other local issues that affect residents’ health, safety, and quality of life.


Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert, 0 comments

Montgomery County Residents Taking Action – Speak Out on HB654

As a longtime Montgomery County resident who is a retired U.S. government scientist does in the letter below:

Subject: Please OPPOSE HB654 "Wireless Facilities – Installation and Regulation"

February 16, 2019

Dear Members of the Economic Matters Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates,

Please OPPOSE HB654 entitled "Wireless Facilities - Installation and Regulation".

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2019RS/bills/hb/hb0654f.pdf

This bill would override the rights of local governments in Maryland to regulate the installation of additional sources of wireless radiation, especially so-called 5G ("Fifth Generation") cell towers.  The telecommunications industry wants to install these closely spaced cell towers up and down residential and business streets in Maryland.

This bill is an assault on the authority of local governments and thus on local rule.

This bill is an assault on the property rights and aesthetics of individuals and businesses who do NOT want cell towers installed permanently in their front yards with no right of refusal.

This bill is an assault on the health of Maryland residents.  The bill will lead to further increases in the levels of cellular radiofrequency radiation, 24 hours a day, already bombarding our communities.

Cellular radiofrequency radiation has already been shown in thousands of archival peer-reviewed biomedical research publications to have adverse effects on human health.

Most recently, the National Institutes of Health has linked cellular radiation to cancer and to other adverse health consequences, some of which can be fatal.

In 2011, the World Health Organization classified radiofrequency radiation, and specifically cellular radiation, as a Group 2B Human Carcinogen ("possible human carcinogen").

Such radiation is especially threatening to those most vulnerable:  pregnant women, young children, teenagers, men of reproductive age, seniors, and those with chronic health conditions.

This bill assaults both privacy and cyber security by increasing the amount of personal and business telecommunications traffic that is placed on the airwaves where it is susceptible to interception and interference.

This bill is a giveaway to the extremely wealthy wireless telecommunications industry which is seeking a new source of profit at public expense.  I would guess that a bill this contrary to the public interest could only result from an intense lobbying effort by highly paid representatives of the telecommunications industry.

Finally, 5G cannot compete with a better communications technology, like fiber-optic technology, which is already installed in Maryland and which produces NO cellular radiofrequency radiation.  Fiber-optic technology is safer, faster, more reliable, more cyber secure, and more private than any cellular wireless technology, including 5G.  Widening the availability of fiber-optic technology is where our emphasis should lie.

Please see https://whatis5g.info/ for the many concerns raised by 5G, and please see https://ehtrust.org/ for more information about the impact of wireless technology on health.

Who am I?

I am a retired U.S. Government career scientist.  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 hold a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University.  I have been a resident of Montgomery County since 1979.

Thank you for considering these views.

Respectfully,

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

 

Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert, 0 comments

ACTION ALERT – FEB. 12 TH , 2019!!

This is an alert from Montgomery County Coalition for the Control of Cell Towers (mc4t.org) and concerned Montgomery County residents.

We all need to take immediate action. Delegate Dereck Davis, the Chair of the powerful Economic Matters Committee in the Maryland House of Delegates, has introduced a state bill - HB 654 - We believe that this bill would dismantle local zoning requirements over small cell towers.

He is holding a hearing on this bill NEXT Thursday, February 21 at 1pm. The bill is fully supported by cell tower companies and they have hired lots of lobbyists to push their agenda.

The bill would remove local zoning review in approving small cells. This could mean small cells will be deployed on Maryland street lights, buildings, and near homes without any say from local voices.

That means these towers could be right up next to our homes – mere feet from our bedroom windows.

County and city safety standards would not apply.

Basically, the bill strips the County and our towns and cities from almost all their authority to ensure these facilities are safe and appropriately placed in our communities.

Many of us have worked with our local cities and towns to craft local ordinances to govern the placement of these small cell towers. All of that work would likely be null and void.

Please call the following three members of the Maryland House Economic Matters Committee today. Please email them. Tell them “Do Not Pass HR 654! Protect Our Families! Preserve Local Zoning Over Cell Towers.”

Talmadge Branch | Baltimore City | 45A | 410.841.3398 | talmadge.branch@house.state.md.us
(Mr. Branch is the Majority Whip, a major leadership position in the House)

Dereck Davis | Prince George's | 25B | 410.841.3519 | dereck.davis@house.state.md.us
(Mr. Davis is the Chair of the House Economic Matters Committee)

Benjamin Brooks | Baltimore | 10A | 410.841.3352 | benjamin.brooks@house.state.md.us
(Mr. Brooks is the Chair of the Public Utilities Subcommittee of the Economic Matters Committee)

Here is a sample note you can send in an email:

Dear Delegate Brooks:

Please oppose this terrible bill!

On February 21, you will hear HB 654. This bill is a giveaway to the telecom industry. At the expense of taxpayers and local communities!

The legislation silences our voices.  This bill would likely obliterate local laws – laws that we as a community have crafted to protect our homes and families. This bill will allow telecommunication companies to place their cell towers with little to no regard for the safety of our community.

Please protect our local communities. Don't pass this bill or ANY bill which takes away local rights!  Don't pass this bill or ANY bill which preempts counties and cities rights to regulate small cells.

* END SAMPLE NOTE *

You can show up in person to testify at the hearing. The more people the better. The hearing is on February 21 at 1pm. BUT YOU MUST SIGN UP IN PERSON BY NOON! State Capitol at the House Office Building which is 6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD.  The hearing is in Room 230. Bring 35 copies. Written statements can be longer but verbal remarks should only be 3 mins (about 450/500 words).

Send a copy of your email to everyone on the committee.  Below you can cut and paste all of their email addresses.

christopher.adams@house.state.md.ussteven.arentz@house.state.md.us, talmadge.branch@house.state.md.us, eric.bromwell@house.state.md.us, benjamin.brooks@house.state.md.us, ned.carey@house.state.md.us, lorig.charkoudian@house.state.md.us, brian.crosby@house.state.md.us, dereck.davis@house.state.md.us, diana.fennell@house.state.md.us, mark.fisher@house.state.md.us, cheryl.glenn@house.state.md.us, seth.howard@house.state.md.us, rick.impallaria@house.state.md.us, MaryAnn.Lisanti@house.state.md.us, johnny.mautz@house.state.md.us, warren.miller@house.state.md.us, lily.qi@house.state.md.us, pam.queen@house.state.md.us, mike.rogers@house.state.md.us, kris.valderrama@house.state.md.us, courtney.watson@house.state.md.us, ct.wilson@house.state.md.us

Takoma Park Residents!

We have an action alert that is specific to Takoma Park.


Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert, 0 comments