Oppose HB654 – Wireless Facilities – Installation and Regulation

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”.


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.


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


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