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Breaking News & Action Alert: County Executive Calls For Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Working Group For Cell Towers Siting in Residential Areas

ScreenShot Marc Elrich memo_re Cell Tower Bill ZTA 1907

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"My staff and I have talked with many residents and industry representatives, and we have found them to be knowledgeable and willing to help improve the process. I would like to propose that we convene a working group comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders, including industry, residents, municipalities and homeowner/tenant associations and/or non-profit organizations. Staff support would be provided by Executive and Council staff. The group would have a limited time – perhaps 75 -90 days - to present written recommendations. I believe such a group would allow opportunity for a more complete discussion of these issues." 

"Regarding concerns about ZTA 19-07, I have the following concerns and comments:

  1. The ZTA does not set any proposed minimum setback from a building; it is a limited use  process up to 30 feet from the building and then it is a “modified conditional use” process  for less than 30 feet setback."

Hats off to Marc Elrich, Montgomery County Executive, for for actually wanting to engage ALL stakeholders on these complex and important issues!

Call and E-mail  ALL Councilmembers Now and Tell Them You Support Marc Elrich's Multi-stakeholder Advisory Working Group For Cell Towers Siting in Residential Areas. You may also send an e-mail letter using our Action Network link. It only takes a minute!

phone * e-mail * tweet

Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz (ZTA 19-07 co-sponsor) 240-777-7959
Councilmember.Albornoz@montgomerycountymd.gov
@albornoz_gabe

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

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

Tom Hucker (Council President) 240-777-7960
Councilmember.Hucker@montgomerycountymd.gov
@CmHucker

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

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

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

Councilmember Craig Rice (ZTA 19-07 co-sponsor) 240-777-7955
Councilmember.Rice@montgomerycountymd.gov
@RicePolitics

Councilmember Hans Riemer (ZTA 19-07 Lead Sponsor) 240-777-7964
Councilmember.Riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov
@hansriemer


Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich 240-777-2500
marc.elrich@montgomerycountymd.gov
@MontCoExec

Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert

Watch Now: PRESS BRIEFING June 28, 2021 – MoCo Residents Protest Radical ZTA 19-07

PRESS BRIEFING MONDAY, JUNE 28, 11:15 AM
Montgomery County Coalition to Protect Neighborhoods

Montgomery County Residents Protest Radical Bill ZTA 19-07 That Impose Cell Towers Near Homes — MoCo Council Poised for Straw Vote

Who: Residents, Community Groups, Advocacy Groups

What: Press Conference on Resident Opposition to “Small” Cell-Tower Zoning Proposal

When: Monday June 28, 2021

Why: Community groups and residents are outraged that the Montgomery County Council may move forward this week with legislation to routinely allow “small” cell towers in residential communities 30 feet from homes with no notice and no hearing. They could be even closer with a special permit. Monday’s Coalition press conference takes place the day before the full Council’s work session on this unpopular proposal, which is scheduled for Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

Posted by twtpadmin

Urgent Action: Cell Towers Coming to #MoCo Homes if ZTA 19-07 passes. Please share widely

Tech Wise MoCo MD news banner

Dear Mo Co Friends and Neighbors,

This is it! The Mo Co Council is set to hold a work session on ZTA 19-07 that

  • Allows short “small” cell towers—also called wireless transmission facilities—to be placed as close as 30 feet—or less—from our homes.
  • Our street lights can be replaced with these cell towers.
  • Our utility poles can be replaced with these cell towers.
  • No required notice or public hearing so long as they are 30 feet from homes!

Opposed to the removal of our right to participate in the decision making process?

We need you to take action. Join us! Sign our petition to County leaders opposing the ZTA.

History of the bill

In January of this year Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer re-introduced Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 19-07 that will allow small cell towers—also called wireless transmission facilities—to be placed as close as 30 feet—or less—from our homes. The PHED (Planning, Housing and Economic Development) Committee made additional changes that allowed existing street lights and utility poles to be replaced by stronger, wider poles to hold the cell antennas and heavy equipment. This bill has been rejected 5 times over the last 5 years but Councilmember Riemer keeps bringing it back.

We strongly oppose this bill and hope you will also.

Montgomery County residents have continuously and strongly opposed the previous as well as the current proposed ZTA. Here are video-recordings from the two most recent public hearings:

Watch these informative presentations on the issues surrounding the ZTA:

Join our Petition to STOP the Cell Tower ZTA 19-07. It just takes a minute!

You may also contact the Mo Co Council members directly by phone or individual emails.

Use your address to find your district here.

However you contact the Council, please make sure you do it TODAY!

Contact us to be added to our e-News & Action Alerts. We will post many updates, including on upcoming public hearings, in these alerts.

For those who have asked how to help, please contact us if you are interested in receiving flyers and yard signs for your neighborhood. We also have PDF flyers and handouts available to download.

Share this email with with your Mo Co friends and neighbors.

Thank you,

Team Tech Wise Mo Co MD

Tech Wise Montgomery County Maryland logo

TechWiseMoCoMD.org

Montgomery County Coalition to Protect Neighborhoods

 

Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert

URGENT-OPPOSE CELL ANTENNAS IN FRONT OF OUR HOMES – Info, Flyers & Sample Letters (Updated 3/30/21)

Montgomery County Council will vote soon on ZTA 19-07. Without a public hearing or your permission, telecom carriers could install a 4G/5G wireless cell tower 30 feet from your home. With a special permit, cell towers would be allowed far closer.

Added March 30, 2021. Email County Council TODAY with our Online Action Tool:
actionnetwork.org/letters/stop-zta-19-07

Councilmember Hans Reimer (D/At-Large) issued a press release setting February 10, 2021 as the date he intended to revisit action (again) on Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 19-07 that had been "suspended" almost exactly one year prior. The Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee that he chairs voted on March 10th 2021 to send the ZTA on to the full Council, which the Committee had drastically revised. It’s urgent to voice your concerns to the Council ASAP as they will likely vote on it very soon.

Lining our neighborhoods with small cell towers would increase climate change, reduce property values, beam radio-frequency microwave (RF/MW) radiation 24/7 into our homes -– just to name a few issues. (See details 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 downsides 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 in our neighborhoods. 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, because the County’s process for cell-tower oversight is broken –– including its failure to monitor radiation levels inside affordable, multi-family housing and other buildings it lets be used like cell towers, even when the rooftop antennas exceed FCC limits.
  • “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

Flyers (downloadable PDFs to print & share)

Help spread the word. Download the Oppose ZTA 19-07 flyer PDF now.

Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert

Action Alert: Montgomery County Council to Vote on Cell Antennas Placed 30 Feet From Homes ZTA 19-07

ZTA 19-07 Update March 10, 2021: Re-post from Small Cells in Montgomery County.

The Montgomery County Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee just voted for a new ZTA 19-07 that would allow a utility pole or street light at least 30 feet from your house to be swapped out with a new pole that has antennas.

  • 30 FEET SETBACK

Cell antennas can now be placed 30 feet from our homes.

  • ZERO PUBLIC COMMENT & HEARINGS:

Antennas proposed for street lights or utility poles 30 feet or more from homes would be effectively automatically approved. There will be no notice nor hearings.

  • WIDER POLES

New wider poles will be replacing the street lights and utility poles in order to hold the heavy equipment

  • TALLER STREET LIGHTS

Our street lights will go up several feet higher to be capped with cellular antennas.

WHAT CAN YOU DO

Email County Council TODAY with our Online Action Tool:
actionnetwork.org/letters/stop-zta-19-07

 

 

Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert

Did you know up to 80,000+ 5G/6G low orbit satellites and millions of companion user terminals and gateway stations are on the way in the name of 5G?

We invite you to watch this shocking and informative presentation:

Ben Levi, Joe Sandri, Arthur Firstenberg and Julian Gresser discuss the growing problem of 5G satellites in space and what can be done. Presented by Americans for Responsible Technology.

Slideshow of key slides from the video.

Watch the Video.

Healthy Heavens Trust Declaration mentioned by Julian Gresser in the "Space Wars" video.

 

For more information: healthyheavenstrust.org


Update: March 11, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 11, 2021 -- Scientists, Astronomers, National Security Experts Sue FCC Over Satellite Safety

hr

Petition Filed at FCC Seeking 180 Day Pause on Internet Satellite Program Due to Various Safety Risks

Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert

MoCoSafeG.org Sample Letters: URGENT-OPPOSE CELL ANTENNAS IN FRONT OF OUR HOMES

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

Update: Tell MoCo Council: Stop ZTA 19-07. Email County Council TODAY through our Online Email Campaign: actionnetwork.org/letters/stop-zta-19-07

County Councilmember Hans Riemer has revived his 2019 proposal to let cell towers be built as close as 30 feet from our houses—on streetlights and utility poles, possibly two or more on a block. It does not correct the horrific 2018 setback of just 10 feet from homes in mixed-use zones. Despite strong resident opposition, Mr. Riemer seems eager to push this Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) through while everyone else is preoccupied by the pandemic. The Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee that he chairs voted to pass this ZTA on March 10th and now it goes to the County Council. It’s urgent to voice your concerns to the Council ASAP.

We need stronger safety reviews, oversight & restrictions—not thousands more cell towers, which is what we’ll get with ZTA 19-07!

Click image to enlarge. Tell MoCo Council: Stop ZTA 19-07 & fix what is wrong with the current cell-tower siting rules!

Lining our neighborhoods with small cell towers would increase climate change, reduce property values, beam radio-frequency microwave (RF/MW) radiation 24/7 into our homes -– just to name a few issues. (See details 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 downsides 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 in our neighborhoods. 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, because the County’s process for cell-tower oversight is broken –– including its failure to monitor radiation levels inside affordable, multi-family housing and other buildings it lets be used like cell towers, even when the rooftop antennas exceed FCC limits.
  • “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 twtpadmin in Action Alert, Legislation

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
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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 twtpadmin in Action Alert, Legislation

Sample Letter for Opposing 3rd Cell Tower Near Blair High School – There are Other Possible Sites for this Public Safety Radio Equipment

Sample Letter You Can Personalize

Send Comments to Planning Board by Noon Wednesday March 4

Send to: OCEMail@montgomerycountymd.gov, Councilmember.Katz@montgomerycountymd.gov, County.Council@montgomerycountymd.gov, MCPChair@mncppc-mc.org. Gwen.Wright@montgomeryplanning.org, Joshua.Penn@montgomeryplanning.org

Re: Mandatory Referral 2020013 PSSM at FS 16

Dear County Executive Elrich, Members of the County Council and Planning Board Commissioners:

I’m writing to request that the application for the 199’ Macro Tower adjacent to Blair High School be withdrawn.  This would be a second tower within 50 feet of the Blair campus and less than 300 feet from homes and a child care. This new tower would be on the same property as an existing tower that will remain and would be a third tower that is within 200 feet of the campus. The existing two towers that will remain have a combined 70 antennas within 200 feet of the campus. More antennas will likely be added by right to those two towers in the coming years.

The proposed third tower with at a height of 199’ can have dozens of commercial wireless antennas and other equipment added after the County constructs the tower.  The construction of the tower by the County provides a loophole and allows the wireless companies to avoid the special exception/conditional use public hearing process with an objective hearing examiner, a review process that is required for new macro telecommunications towers in Montgomery County. Even though the tower would not meet the required setback and other standards, the antennas could be added by right without notice or public hearing through the permit process once the County’s tower is constructed.

There is no other school in Montgomery County with two cell towers in such close proximity.  A third and oversized tower at this location would be an excessive over-concentration of wireless facilities in a small area where thousands of young people, including child care and elementary school students are gathered.  This is unjustified and not equitable.

As you may know, wireless carriers previously applied to locate a 170’ tower at the same location but since the tower was not in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance and was too large for the site, the application was withdrawn. If this larger proposed tower at the same location was submitted as a special exception/conditional use it would likely be denied because it doesn’t comply with the Code.

There are numerous alternatives for the County to co-locate the seven public safety radio antennas on support structures and towers that already exist in both the immediate and adjacent areas.  I urge you to co-locate the County’s antennas on one of those structures.

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter that would affect our students for many years to come.  I hope you will withdraw the application and continue to support the primary mission of MCPS to provide a safe and supportive environment for the academic success of every student.

Sincerely,

 


See also: Facts about the Blair High School Cell Tower

Posted by twtpadmin in Action Alert