Legislation

URGENT: OPPOSE CELL ANTENNAS IN FRONT OF OUR HOMES — STOP ZTA 19-07 – Sample Letters – Contact the Montgomery County Council Today!

URGENT: OPPOSE CELL ANTENNAS IN FRONT OF OUR HOMES

STOP ZTA 19-07 – Contact the Montgomery County Council Today! —

 

County Councilmember Hans Riemer has revived his 2019 proposal to let cell towers be built as close as 30 feet from our homes –– on streetlights and utility poles, possibly two or more on a block. Despite strong resident opposition, Mr. Riemer seems eager to push this Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) through while most elected officials and residents are preoccupied by the pandemic. The Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee that he chairs will take up his proposal for ZTA 19–07 on Feb. 10th. Therefore, it’s urgent to voice your concerns to the County Council ASAP –– before his committee votes on it!

 

Lining our neighborhoods with small cell towers would increase more climate change, reduce property values, beam radio-frequency microwave (RF/MW) radiation 24/7 into our homes -– just to name a few harms. (See below!) A map exists of the intended plan for densification (cancel sign-in to gain access).

 

Even worse, in the past year, informed residents have exposed just how inept the County’s current oversight of existing wireless facilities is –– especially the antennas allowed to accumulate on top of affordable multi-family apartments without any inspections or measurements. No one, it turns out, knows for sure that the families who live directly under them are not being exposed to illegal levels of RF radiation! Please urge Mr. Riemer, the rest of the Council, and the County Executive to act immediately to end this blatant environmental injustice –– instead of rushing to inflict similar safety and health hazards on every resident in the County.

 

Mr. Riemer is a big fan of 5G. He apparently buys all of the telecom industry’s pro-5G advertising. However, what industry never mentions in their advertising are the many down sides to implementing 5G, including:

 

  • 5G would be a huge new energy hog — intensifying our climate crisis. Energy experts estimate that wireless internet communication technologies could be responsible for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, undermining our efforts to combat climate change. Many trees also would likely have to be cut down for 5G towers –– a further climate cost.
  • 5G has major cyber security problems by providing millions of entry points for hackers into key utilities and infrastructure.
  • 5G is designed to support 3 million wireless devices per square mile, digitizing our entire lives and monitoring behavior 24/7 with massive invasions of privacy –– a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
  • The NSA reports, “Focusing predominantly on 5G technology, the implications of privacy and security are contrasted across the competing requirements of high-speed, low-latency connectivity of billions of devices…the Internet is using much data about many people in many ways, and this raises privacy concerns.”
  • ZTA 19–07’s sponsors falsely suggest the pandemic has shown we need 5G, including to help wipe out the digital divide. What the pandemic has revealed is how many residents and businesses still need affordable access to safe, reliable, secure, high-speed Internet service. Improving wired connections –– that were paid for, but never delivered –– will meet that goal better than expanding wireless technology. We don’t need 5G. For equity, we need to make sure that wiring all the way to their premises for high-speed Internet is available for all residences –– including individual apartments –– and that the service is affordable for all, including businesses.
  • Montgomery County passed Bill 44-20 saying that racial equity and social justice issues must be considered in all county ordinances. However, zoning legislation will not be subject to the bill until September 2021 because of a transition clause. ZTA 19-07, if passed before then, will evade such scrutiny. Such scrutiny is essential, however, because the County’s has non-existent process for cell-tower oversight –– including its failure to monitor radiation levels inside affordable, multi-family housing and other buildings it lets be used like cell towers.
  • “Small” cell antennas in front of houses reduce property values, according to the Montgomery County Property Tax Appeals Board.
  • The Property Tax Assessment Appeal Board for Montgomery County lowered a Rockville home’s assessment: “Comparables warrant a reduction in value. Probability of neighboring cell tower also affects value negatively.”
  • The Mayor of Takoma Park and most of Takoma Park’s City Council are part of an amicus brief supporting this same promising, landmark court case against the FCC. The case seems likely to push the FCC to thoroughly review decades of science indicating its 25–year–old exposure guidelines for wireless radiation are not applicable to modern technology, and to update them accordingly. Oral arguments were just heard in late January.
  • In 2018, Councilmember Riemer, in supporting a previous court challenge led by Montgomery County, noted that he and others had asked the FCC “to make every effort to consider all available research and update their RF emissions guidelines accordingly. They have declined to that…so we are taking them to court to ensure that they fulfill their responsibility to keep our residents safe.” ZTA 19–07 undermines the promising new effort above –– involving Takoma Park officials –– to finally achieve the County’s very own goal.
  • Evidence from hundreds of studies, including the definitive NIH National Toxicology Program Study, show that wireless radiation, from 2G, 3G and 4G –– all below 5G, cause biological and environmental effects. There is “clear evidence” of cancer from cell phone level radiation exposure. 4G/5G densification will add significantly to current levels of radiation exposure.
  • Symptoms are being experienced by wireless deployments in other areas:  firefighters suffered neurological damage, cancer cluster at an elementary school with tower, and injuries in Switzerland.
  • 252 leading scientists and experts in Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) from 43 nations have signed an Appeal to the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) asking for greater health protection on EMF exposure as of October 2019.
  • The insurance industry will not insure cell towers, antennas, poles, wires, and devices due to the health risks and damages from long term exposure.
  • As of March 2020, 203,659 signatories from 203 nations and territories have signed an Appeal to the UN, WHO, Council of Europe, and governments of all nations to halt the deployment of 5G wireless networks, including 5G from space satellites.

Below is a sample letter you can personalize and send to your District member and all At-Large Montgomery County Council members (Glass, Albornoz, Jawando, and Riemer, the sponsor).  Include your address on your District letter.

 

Note: Councilmember Riemer is the lead sponsor, while Gabe Albornoz, County Council Vice President, and Craig Rice, Councilmember for District 2, are co-sponsors. However, they are not on Mr. Riemer’s PHED committee, which is taking the lead on ZTA 19–07. The only other two members of that committee are Councilmember Jawando and Councilmember Friedson, so please be sure to contact them ASAP!

 

 

 

If you would like to help on this issue or get more information, please email our great group of informed citizens at info@mocosafeg.org  

 

 

 

 

To:  Montgomery County Council

 

Short:

 

I am writing to request that you vote against ZTA 19–07, which would allow densified 4G and 5G “small” cell microwave radiation antennas in residential areas of Montgomery County. I oppose deploying untested, ultra-high frequency microwave radiation in Montgomery County. Several lawsuits against the FCC for its unreasonable Orders and outdated exposure guidelines have been brought to court by Montgomery County and its affiliates. We ask you to table this amendment until all devices are proven safe for all Montgomery County citizens, our environment, and the core values of our society. In the meantime, rewrite wireless zoning for maximum protections for our communities until FCC standards are safer for people and the environment. Likewise, require warnings be made mandatory for every Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF) installation, and in every commercial venue with WiFi, antennas, small cells, etc. The robust promotion of 5G for this ZTA is new, therefore another public hearing on ZTA 19–07 is urged by your constituency.

 

Sincerely,

 

<organizations and individuals names, address>

 

 

Stronger:

 

The undersigned organizations and individuals request that you publicly oppose and vote against ZTA 19–07, which would allow deployment of intensified 4G and new 5G “small cell” microwave radiation antennas in residential areas of Montgomery County. We support a wired-based, fiber to the premises solution as the more secure, cheaper, faster technical solution without the property devaluation, insurance liability, and health risks.

 

The proposed 4G/5G antennas and their networks are likely to have long standing effects in many areas: climate, the ecosystem in general, privacy invasion, cyber security, reduced property values, and human health –– especially in children. The insurance industry has calculated the medical risks are too high to cover, so the proposed, and existing, wireless infrastructure of towers, antennas, poles, and supporting equipment in Montgomery would have no insurance coverage for damages from long-term exposures.

 

The 4G microwave radiation infrastructure and devices have more than 2,000 scientific and medical studies linking exposures to biological effects for people, wildlife, and plants. This radiation appears to be especially riskier to children and other medically vulnerable people. Other nations and cities are rejecting 5G and small antennas due to these biological effects. Montgomery County needs to rewrite wireless zoning for maximum protections of our communities and establish “safe havens” that accommodate its medically vulnerable population.

 

The new 5G technology includes ultra-high frequency millimeter microwave radiation, which has higher energy per square meter and greater capacity for risk to people and the environment than 4G. No safety studies have established a level at which this frequency is safe, and 5G service will include 4G, which we already know is dangerous. Warning signs, viewable to the public, Warning signs that are viewable to the public need to be mandatory for every WTF installation, and in every commercial venue with WiFi, antennas, small cells, etc.

 

Furthermore, Montgomery County was party to a lawsuit against the FCC for their failure to thoroughly review and update their exposure guidelines. Legal challenges continue against the FCC’s guidelines –– most notably, EHT et al vs FCC, for which many Takoma Park elected officials signed on to the Amicus Brief. Additionally, the U.S. District Court of Appeals found in United Keetoowah Band vs FCC (August 9, 2019) that the FCC was “arbitrary and capricious” in exempting 5G infrastructure from health, environmental, and historical review. As a result, the FCC is under judicial order not to proceed with enforcement of their requirement that local jurisdictions pass legislation such as ZTA 19–07.

 

Alternatives exist with wired networks such as fiber optic, known as “SafeG”. Fiber optic is already in place in many areas. It has no health risks, and the service is documented in locally-owned networks to be much faster, cheaper, more energy efficient, while providing more reliable data integrity and protecting privacy. Wired internet also remains subject to local regulatory control.

 

Protection of our safety, health, and environment is the primary purpose of our government and of your representation of us, the electorate. We ask you to table this amendment until all medical, scientific, and legal issues are resolved, and the proposed technology, infrastructure, and devices are proven safe for all Montgomery County citizens, our environment, and the core values of our society. The heavy promotion of 5G for this ZTA is new. Therefore, another public hearing on ZTA 19–07 is urged by your constituency.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

<organizations and individuals names, address>

Use your address to find your district at https://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/mccouncildistrict:

 

 

Marc Elrich, County Executive ocemail@montgomerycountymd.gov

 

At-Large: Hans Riemer, Councilmember.Riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-7964

 

At-Large: Will Jawando, Councilmember.Jawando@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-7811

 

District 1: Andrew Friedson, Councilmember.Friedson@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-7828 (Bethesda, Potomac, and Poolesville)

 

District 2: Craig Rice, Councilmember.Rice@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-7955

(Clarksburg, Damascus, and Germantown)

 

District 3: Sidney Katz   Councilmember.Katz@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-7906 (Gaithersburg and Rockville)

 

District 4: Nancy Navarro   Councilmember.Navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-7968 Colesville, Laytonsville, Olney, and Wheaton)

 

District 5: Tom Hucker   Councilmember.Hucker@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-7960 (Burtonsville, Silver Spring, and Takoma Park)

 

At-Large: Evan Glass   Councilmember.Glass@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-7966

 

At-Large: Gabe Albornoz   Councilmember.Albornoz@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-7959

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by techwisemocoadmin in Action Alert, Legislation, Montgomery County

JANUARY 25, 2021 UPDATE HE’S BACK!! COUNCILMEMBER RIEMER RE-INTRODUCES ZTA 19-07 WHILE ANNOUNCING A “FINAL PUSH” TO PASS INDUSTRY FRIENDLY ZONING REGS IN THE MIDST OF A RAGING PANDEMIC

January 25, 2021 UPDATE
* SHARE AND DISTRIBUTE WIDELY *
By Rick Meyer, Montgomery County Coalition for the Control of Cell Towers

HE'S BACK!!

COUNCILMEMBER RIEMER RE-INTRODUCES  ZTA19-07  

while announcing A "FINAL PUSH" TO PASS INDUSTRY FRIENDLY ZONING REGS IN THE MIDST OF A RAGING PANDEMIC

Councilmember Hans Reimer (D/At-Large) last week issued press release setting February 10, 2021 as the date he intends to revisit action (again) on Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 19-07 that had been "suspended" almost exactly one year prior.

We remain STRONGLY OPPOSED to this very ONEROUS zoning bill, which is completely unfriendly to County residents.  Particularly at this time when residents and most elected officials of the County Government are focused on beating COVID-19.

The press release contains numerous assertions that are NOT supported by data, and it misleadingly scrambles analogies between WIRED and WIRELESS networks. A full fact-check on the press release will be ready later this week.

As lead sponsor again, Mr. Riemer, with this proposed legislation, makes his fourth attempt  over the past three years, to make it faster, cheaper, and easier for Big Wireless to install bulky, high-powered wireless antenna transmitters and related equipment as close as 30 feet, and sometimes closer, to single-family zoned homes.

ZTA 19-07 is co-sponsored by Council Vice-President Gabe Albornoz (At-Large) and Councilmember Craig Rice (District 2). Both co-sponsors are quoted in the press release.  However, neither Mr. Albornoz nor Mr. Rice serves on the Planning, Housing & Economic Development (PHED) Committee which has jurisdiction over wireless zoning issues.

Why Riemer Pulled the Bill in 2020

Mr. Riemer, as Chair of the County Council's PHED Committee, summarily pulled a scheduled vote on the proposed bill from the Committee agenda on February 1st of last year. He was apparently unable to enlist the support of PHED Committee members -- Councilmembers Andrew Friedson (D - District 1) and  Will Jawando (D/At-Large) -- in order to move the bill out of the committee. Committee approval is necessary to bring the bill to full Council for consideration and final vote.

The Council conducted a hearing last year where two dozen County residents testified to register STRONG disapproval of the ZTA.  Of the scant number who spoke in favor of the ZTA, most of them had ties to the wireless industry (lobbyists and outside lawyers).

County Executive Marc Elrich submitted testimony OPPOSED to ZTA 19-07 at the hearing in January 2020.  Mr. Elrich urged the Council to pause, so that comprehensive zoning legislation and administrative regulations could be developed to address the wireless issues. And he conveyed his intent for staff and agencies to develop the legislation and regulations by working with residents and technical experts, not just industry lobbyists.

It was reported last year that neither Mr. Friedson, nor Mr. Jawando would support ZTA 19-07 while Montgomery County was actively engaged in two lawsuits against the FCC. (Those lawsuits are very briefly described below.) So, rather than be defeated in a formal (and public) Committee vote, Mr. Riemer - as Chair - simply removed the item from consideration the day before scheduled vote last year and placed bill in suspension.  (More explanation about Mr. Riemer's sidestep on ZTA 19-07 can be found in this Bethesda Beat article...)

However, if Mr. Reimer can swing just one PHED member to support ZTA 19-07 this year - a full and final Council vote could come as soon as early March 2021.

There is unlikely to be another hearing allowing public testimony. So we must stop ZTA 19-07 in Committee – with a formal vote.
Tech Wise MoCo MD Logo

We need your support to STOP ZTA 19-07 once and for all!  

We urge each of you to email both Mr. Friedson and Mr. Jawando TODAY (along with the 4 other Councilmembers who have NOT sponsored this bill). Tell Councilmembers to prioritize the concerns of County residents and neighborhoods ahead of the interests of Big Wireless.

Find Council Contact Information at the bottom of this page

More details will be coming soon.

 

Montgomery County's Lawsuits Against the FCC

Updated: July 15, 2020 (Another update will be posted here very soon).

The County remains engaged in two very important pending lawsuits against the FCC. Decisions are expected sometime in the second half of this year.  These lawsuits are:

  1. Challenge to FCC's 3rd Order(WC docket 17-84 and WT docket 17-79) as adopted in August 2018. Montgomery County was one of more than 40 municipalities and counties (plus many other entities) that contested the FCC's "3rd Order." The FCC's issuance of the 3rd Order was widely interpreted as a huge win by the wireless industry where Chairman Pai's FCC allowed expedited roll-out of 5G at expense of local regulatory authority over public rights-of-way. The various multiple lawsuits contesting the 3rd Order were consolidated into the 9th Circuit. Oral arguments were heard by a three-judge panel on February 10, 2020. Video of the proceedings can be seen here:
  2. Challenge to FCC's failure to update 1996 RF Emissions standards. This separate lawsuit was funded exclusively by Montgomery County and filed in early 2019. The suit seeks to compel the FCC to update RF emission rules to reflect realities of close proximity wireless transmitters that Big Wireless is installing for 4G and 5G technology. {You can read more about Montgomery County's suit here.} Keep in mind that small cell technology did not exist in 1996 - when almost all wireless facilities were on taller "macro towers" or on roof tops of multi-story commercial buildings - usually away from general public. Montgomery County's litigation against the FCC's failure to act on RF emissions was also consolidated with case(s) described above in 9th Circuit. Oral arguments were also heard on February 10, 2020.

It is no small irony, that Mr. Reimer and Mr. Rice, who were both on the Council in November 2018 voted IN FAVOR of the RF Emissions litigation at the urging of outgoing County Executive Ike Leggett. And, yet both would subsequently introduce and support ZTA 19-07 which seeks to expedite 5G rollout with NO new RF safety standards!

The FCC Tries to Cut Legs Out from Under Montgomery County's RF Emissions Lawsuit

On November 27, 2019 the FCC very suddenly decided to end a long running "Notice of Inquiry" that had sought public input on whether FCC should amend RF Emissions standards. (It was the failure of the FCC to conclude this very inquiry that led to Montgomery County's second lawsuit described above.) The FCC found in Order 19-226 that - despite extensive public comments and ample scientific data to the contrary:

  • "no appropriate basis for and thus decline to propose amendments to existing (RF emissions) limits - at this time."
  • imputted the safety of RF emissions to include all "modern" technology and then streamlined criteria for licensing.
  • decided that methodology for assessing high frequency (gigahertz GHz) devices will be extended to apply to THz frequencies, as well; and,
  • denied a petition regarding health exposure to outer ears - by treating these sensitive sensory organs just "like all other extremities."

Council Effectively Declines to Appeal FCC Order 19-226 - and Slams Door Shut on Back-up Strategy to Beat FCC

During February 10, 2020  oral arguments members of three-judge 9th Circuit panel very pointedly asked County's legal counsel whether Montgomery County was appealing the FCC's action in 19-226.

Surprising, the County's legal counsel answered: "No!"

As a important footnote, the Council held a "Executive Session" - out of public view - on January 28, 2020 to meet with legal counsel (Keller & Heckman) representing County regarding lawsuit on RF emissions. Regrettably, as is the Council's custom, the Executive Session meeting minutes provide no summary of the actual discussion nor the conclusions reached by Council - except that "guidance was provided to the County Executive."  As such, the Council has made no public announcements regarding the January 28, 2020 closed Council session where "FCC litigation" was reportedly discussed, nor provided any interim updates to residents of Montgomery County  on progress of this very important litigation.

But from all appearances, the County Council apparently declined to file as intervenor (or even file amicus brief) to support the very  important  Petition for Reconsideration as filed by the Environmental Health Trust seeking to specifically overturn Order 19-226.

The EHT petition asserts that the FCC (in Order 19-226) improperly terminated a Notice of Inquiry begun in 2013 to update RF Emissions standards and by doing so unlawfully disregarded a large body of evidence in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. (APA)

Thus, through action/or inaction in secret Executive Session, the Council may have effectively closed off the only possible backup alternative if the 9th Circuit rejects the County's own RF Emissions lawsuit for lack of standing. (e.g. the FCC did what the County's lawsuit asked and ended the Notice of Inquiry.) In other words, there is real possibility that County's second lawsuit becomes moot, even if outcome of updated RF regulations were not issued as County sought.

Legal Counsel leading EHT's appeal is Montgomery County resident Ed Myers, who recently factored prominently in a successful legal challenge against FCC in United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, et al v. FCC, 933 F.3d 728 (D.C. Cir., Aug 19, 2019). In fact, the County's own lawsuit against the FCC (the second suit listed above) even cites that decision in it's brief!

Email County Council TODAY with our Online Action Tool:

actionnetwork.org/letters/stop-zta-19-07

Council Contact Information

Gabe Albornoz 240-777-7959
Councilmember.Albornoz@montgomerycountymd.gov

Andrew Friedson 240-777-7828
Councilmember.Friedson@montgomerycountymd.gov

Evan Glass 240-777-7966
Councilmember.Glass@montgomerycountymd.gov

Tom Hucker 240-777-7960
Councilmember.Hucker@montgomerycountymd.gov

Will Jawando 240-777-7811
Councilmember.Jawando@montgomerycountymd.gov

Sidney Katz 240-777-7906
Councilmember.Katz@montgomerycountymd.gov

Nancy Navarro 240-777-7968
Councilmember.Navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov

Craig Rice 240-777-7955
Councilmember.Rice@montgomerycountymd.gov

Hans Riemer 240-777-7964
Councilmember.Riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov

Latest FCC Lawsuit information:

ZTA 19-07 Opposition Testimony Spotlight: Sue Present, Individual

November 19, 2019 - Council Session - Evening Public Hearing (ZTA 19-07)

Related Posts:

Posted by techwisemocoadmin in Action Alert, Legislation

Community Vision for Takoma ZTA19-07 Testimony

YOUR CHOICE IS CLEAR:

Champion Public Interests – Or Let the Telecom Industry Rule Our Streets

Nov. 19, 2019 Statement on behalf of Community Vision for Takoma*

by Colleen Cordes

Our Health and Safety Is Not Negotiable — Letting cell towers be installed as close as 30 feet from homes is to gamble with our health and the health of our children and grandchildren. Everyone on the Council is smart enough to know that we live in a world where good people work for big corporations – but where the first priority of the corporations they work for is profits, not people. So we’re not surprised that the good people of the telecom industry have spent decades trying to prevent and suppress important emerging science about the potentially serious health risks of radio-frequency radiation on our health and wellbeing. We are not surprised that they are trying to seduce the County into surrendering our public rights of way without a peep, with promises of amazing high-tech wonders to come. What we are surprised by, Councilmembers Hans Riemer, Gabe Albornoz, and Craig Rice, is that so far you seem to be so naïvely falling for this hype.

Everyone knows the FCC is a Captured Agency – But What About the Montgomery County Council? – The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University actually published a long exposé in 2015: Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates. To each member of our own County Council, know that we are paying attention and we will remember when the next election rolls around: Did you vote to let the Council be captured by the telecom industry as well? This is not a threat – it’s a statement of reality.

What is the Crowd Here Tonight So Concerned About?

  • Serious Potential Public-Health Risk: Consider, for example, the science-based commentary published by Scientific American last month–We Have No Reason to Believe 5G Is Safe . Written by Joel M. Moscowitz, Ph.D., who directs the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California at Berkeley, it links to a recent call from hundreds of scientists and doctors for a 5G moratorium.
  • Corporate Welfare, Compliments of Taxpayers:  Corporations prefer to place cell towers in public rights-of-way since they can use our land at cost rather than negotiate a rate with a private property owner: It’s a much more profitable business model.
  • A Host of Other Social and Ecological Concerns About 5G Yet to be Subject to Public Debate:  The sponsors of ZTA 19-07 repeat industry’s hype about the positive potential of 5G. What about its negative potential? In addition to health concerns, critical predictions include:
    • A new world of 24/7 corporate and government surveillance and control.
    • Further diversion from face-to-face relationships with people and nature.
    • Severe pruning and reduced planting sites for shade trees, at an ecological moment in time when trees are more important than ever.
    • Increases in unemployment thanks to a huge push for autonomous trucks and cars and services of all kinds.
    • Ever more biased algorithms in AI-enabled tracking devices in all aspects of our daily lives contributing to new racial inequities.
    • And a big increase in energy use to power the multitude of new connected devices.

Remember the wonders of lead, asbestos, tobacco, CFCs, and fossil fuels? Let’s critically evaluate this new technology before we dive in — not be sorry later. Let’s get savvy. Drop the gee-whiz naivete about the next technological revolution. It’s clearly premature to line our residential streets with cell towers to speed the deployment of 5G. We need wisdom-based, not profit-based technology policies, generated only after robust public participation in decisions about the design and use of powerful technologies. The public should have access, for our deliberations, to a strong base of thoughtful, carefully researched analyses that scrutinize the full range of potential social and ecological impacts — both good and bad. ZTA 19-07 fails to meet any of these tests of wisdom.

And Councilmember Riemer, please stop distributing that canned statement from the American Cancer Society – last subject to a medical review, by the way, five years ago. We know it’s one of industry’s favorite ” don’t worry” go-to articles. Have you investigated whether the Society has connections to corporations that are invested in the speedy rollout of 5G? Did you not know that the ACS, related to other issues, has been criticized for conflicts of interest (See: https://nonprofitquarterly.org/is-the-american-cancer-society-putting-money-ahead-of-mission/) and questionable partnerships with corporations (See: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/05/health/american-cancer-society-brawley-resigns.html)?

See also: The Miseducation of America | By Dr. Devra Davis | Mar 29, 2021 An expose on the major omissions of fact from the New York Times July 16, 2019 article on 5G by William J. Broad.

Councilmember Riemer, you’ve also directed us to pro-5G stories in The New York Times. Here’s news straight from the NYT about its new partnership with Verizon involving NYT getting early access to 5G networking and equipment – talk about an incredible PR opportunity for the telecom industry! (See: https://open.nytimes.com/exploring-the-future-of-5g-and-journalism-a53f4c4b8644 ) And here’s more news about increasing links between Verizon and NYT — this one from the Wall Street Journal, which describes “a deepening advertising partnership between the two companies.” (See: https://www.wsj.com/articles/verizon-sponsors-new-york-times-subscriptions-for-high-schools-11569492001 ) Other news media have their own financial conflicts. Have you noticed the full-page ads for 5G from Verizon and T-Mobile in The Washington Post lately? We’ve noticed – we hope you will put the dollar signs here together as well.

Racial Equity and Social Justice: An especially urgent issue – the danger that the siting of cell towers in our neighborhoods will target our most affordable neighborhoods first and unfairly often. This is a pressing issue of racial equity.  Consider the County’s record to date in allowing large installations of cell antennas at affordable housing sites that are home primarily to families of color. ZTA 19-07 would do absolutely nothing to change that, or to prevent communities of color from once again being asked to shoulder far more than their share of the risks to health and safety.

Community Vision for Takoma urges the County to commission an immediate full scale, on-site audit of what actual health exposures are right now at apartments at 7600 Maple Avenue. Those 189-units provide an affordable home to many individuals and families of color. They have a right to safe shelter and to be fully informed. If our County commitment to racial equity and affordable housing means anything, we urge you to make sure a comprehensive, on-site review of what’s happening there gets started this week. That would include a detailed study of actual current conditions, including what warning signs are posted and in what languages, if protective physical barriers are in place, who has access to the two roof levels and the penthouse, and a comprehensive study of radio frequency emissions on top of, inside, around the perimeter and the grounds.

We brought this urgent issue to the Tower Committee this month – after an application to replace some of the 33 antennas there predicted that areas of the roof would register 25 times the limits for the general public’s exposure to RF radiation allowed by the FCC’s way too lenient rules. The Chair of the Committee threatened to throw us out of the meeting. But we’re not leaving the room. All applications for wireless transmission facilities should be subject to a review for their impact on racial equity and social justice.

It’s your choice, and your constituents are paying attention: Will you champion public interests or let the telecom industry rule Montgomery County’s streets? Please, prioritize the social and ecological health of our County: Community Vision for Takoma opposes ZTA 19-07, and we refuse to consent to be part of this experiment.

 


* Community Vision for Takoma (CVT) is a volunteer group working for an inclusive, just, and compassionate community and an effective, responsive local government.  We strive to apply Takoma Park’s progressive legacy to the social and ecological challenges of the 21st century. This version has been slightly revised from our submitted written testimony.

Posted by techwisemocoadmin in Action Alert, Corruption, Legislation, Montgomery County

Big Turnout in Opposition to ZTA 19-07 Public Hearing – November 19, 2019

Posted by techwisemocoadmin in Legislation, Montgomery County, Testimony

TUESDAY Nov. 19, 2019 HEARING: ACT NOW to Stop County Approval of Cell Towers in Front Yards

UPDATE: The hearing was held Nov. 19, 2019 (related post located here), but there is still time to voice your concerns. Find council contact information at the end of this post.

Tuesday Night, Nov. 19:

Let’s Pack the County Council Hearing to Oppose Cell Towers as Close as 30 Feet from Our Homes!

In order to speak, you need to sign up to make a 3-minute comment Nov. 19, Tuesday, at the County Council hearing on County Councilmember Hans Riemer’s proposal — Zoning Text Amendment 19-07. Also, contact County Councilmembers directly  — see links to all below — to share your concerns.
ZTA 19-07 would make it easier to line residential streets with cell towers on street poles in our public rights-of-way — as close as 30 feet from our front doors.
What’s the problem?
  • Serious Potential Public-Health Risk: From Scientific American last month–We Have No Reason to Believe 5G Is Safe (Joel M. Moscowitz, UC Berkeley). It links to a recent call from hundreds of scientists and doctors for a moratorium on 5G deployment.
  • Corporate Welfare, Compliments of Taxpayers:  Corporations prefer to place cell towers in public rights-of-way since they can use our land at cost rather than negotiate a rate with a private property owner: It’s a much more profitable business model.
  • Other 5G issues:  Sponsors of ZTA 19-07 repeat industry’s hype about the positive potential of 5G. What about its negative potential? In addition to health concerns, predictions include: A new world of 24/7 corporate and government surveillance and control, further diversion from face-to-face relationships with people and nature, harm to trees, and a big increase in energy use to power the new connected devices. Remember the wonders of lead, asbestos, tobacco, CFCs, and fossil fuels? Let’s critically evaluate this new technology before we dive in — not be sorry later.

Tell our County Council ::: Our Health & Safety Is Not Negotiable!

Speak Up — or just show up, with or without a sign — at Tuesday’s County Hearing: Anyone can sign up — you’ll be placed on a wait list, but we hear folks on the wait list generally get to speak. And just your attendance — with a handmade sign, if you like — will be powerful!
Call and Email the Council — Contact Info Below. Connect with them on Twitter and Facebook. Set up meetings in person with staff  to express your opinion. They need to hear from you today:
 
Hans Riemer (At Large) is the lead sponsor of this proposed Ordinance. The 2 co-sponsors are Craig Rice (District 2), and Gabe Albornoz (At Large).
We need 5 of the 9-member Council to oppose it to stop it. Help us reach the whole Council, but especially Evan Glass and Will Jawando, who are also At Large reps for the entire County, as well as Tom Hucker, our own District 5 rep.  And urge County Executive Marc Elrich to strongly oppose it too.
Send email to all Councilmembers — County.Council@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov
— or contact one by one:
——————-
Contact County Executive Marc Elrich: 240-777-0311
Community Vision for Takoma
Posted by techwisemocoadmin in Action Alert, Legislation

WUSA9 Report: Verizon permit delayed over ‘alarming’ radio frequency predictions in Takoma Park

Verizon permit delayed over ‘alarming’ radio frequency predictions in Takoma Park
‘Worst-case predictive modeling’ concludes exposure could be 25-times higher than the FCC limit.
Author: Scott Broom | WUSA9
Published: 10:59 PM EST November 7, 2019
Updated: 10:59 PM EST November 7, 2019

Related Links:

Community Vision Takes Stand on Cell Tower Safety at Local Building

ACTION ALERT: The Montgomery County Council will be holding a Public Hearing on Bill ZTA 19-07 on Tuesday, November 19th at 7:30pm at the Montgomery County Council Building

Posted by techwisemocoadmin in Action Alert, Legislation

URGENT: We need your help, again – to STOP ZTA 19-07

Montgomery County Coalition to Control Cell Towers-MC4T

Dear neighbors,

Councilmember Reimer is back with yet another industry tilted Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 19-07 – written by and for the exclusive benefit of Big Wireless.

ZTA 19-07 does NOT protect residents.

It is another retread in a series of bad bills that reduces cell pole setbacks in residential zones and further erodes the already insufficient procedural protections for residents.   Bottom line:  ZTA 19-07 will make it faster, easier and cheaper for Big Wireless to install large cellpoles in very close proximity to homes.

ZTA 19-07 must be stopped! 

How can you help defeat ZTA 19-07?

  • Attend the only scheduled public hearing  and voice your strong opposition to ZTA 19-07 at 7:30PM on Tuesday November 19, 2019 at Council Office Building in Rockville. (You may still be able to sign up to testify here.) Regardless, put this on your calendar and please plan to attend!
  • Email and call members of the Council to express your oppostion to 19-07. (It is very important that the four brand new members of the Council (Albornoz, Friedson, Glass and Jawando) hear from residents about our strong disapproval of ZTA 19-07.  Those four new Councilmembers were not  part of prior wireless ZTA reviews

Residents have been pleading with the Montgomery County Council for 3 years to work with us and to work with the County Executive to write and pass comprehensive legislation that truly protects neighborhoods from obtrusive and ugly wireless contraptions in close proximity to homes,  and to fix the administrative deficiencies of all current wireless telecommunications and related ordinances to provide equity, transparency and fairness for residents.

Please follow @MC4TORG on twitter and like/repost our most recent tweet regarding ZTA 19-07.

And, thanks so much for your continued support!

Rick Meyer

on behalf of

http://www.mc4t.org/

 

Posted by techwisemocoadmin in Action Alert, Legislation

The Montgomery County Council will be holding a Public Hearing on Bill ZTA 19-07 on Tuesday, November 19th at 7:30pm at the Montgomery County Council Building

The Montgomery County Council will be holding a Public Hearing on Bill ZTA 19-07 on Tuesday, November 19th at 7:30pm at the Montgomery County Council Building.  If this Bill passes, it will allow the deployment of Small Cell Millimeter Microwave radiating antennas in "some" residential areas every 2-3 or so homes only 30 feet away from our houses.

Rick Meyer, President of the Montgomery County Coalition for the Control of Cell Towers provides this commentary:

  • Residents defeated three previous attempts since 2016 to pass zoning legislation on behalf of Big Wireless to make it faster, simpler and cheaper to install wireless transmitters in close proximity to residences. (ZTA 19-07 is the fourth attempt since 2016 and the third sponsored by Councilmember Reimer.)
  • Unfortunately, residents were not able to defeat ZTA 18-02 last year which removed protections for apartment and condo dwellers in Commercial zones)
  • Reimer’s 19-07 is no better than what had been defeated previously.
  • And, 19-07 does nothing to fix procedural inequities and lack of opportunities for input by residents. Which is why the residents of Montgomery County have been pleading with the Council for 3 years for comprehensive Legislation that truly protects their neighborhoods from intrusive and ugly wireless contraptions.
  • ZTA 19-07 does NOT protect residents. It is another retread in a series of bad bills written by and for the exclusive benefit of Big wireless.

Here is what you can do now.

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

Related Links:

 

Posted by techwisemocoadmin in Action Alert, Legislation

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 techwisemocoadmin in Legislation