Board of Health Issues Emergency Order for Verizon to Cease and Desist in Pittsfield Massachusetts Cell Tower Battle

In Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where author Herman Melville penned Moby Dick while peacefully contemplating the pristine rolling Berkshire Hills, residents have been fighting an imposing cell tower affecting residents health for over 2 years. They argue the cell tower was not permitted properly and has caused severe symptoms in 17 nearby residents in the town. After careful deliberation the Pittsfield Board of Health agreed with the later and unanimously voted on February 2, 2022 to send to Verizon a cease and desist order to resolve the issue of RF emissions from the large 116-foot monopole antenna complex which abuts a residential neighborhood. The Board reaffirmed their intention to move forward with the order on Feb 23, 2022 emphasizing “it is their duty to do everything they can to protect the health of residents.” On April 6, 2022 the Board of Health formally ordered the cease and desist order to be sent April 8, however, it was conditioned on city funds to be released. On April 11, 2022 a formal Emergency Cease and Desist Order was sent to Verizon and Farley White South Street LLC, the owners of the property where the cell tower is located. Verizon and Farley White SS LLC will have 7 days from the Order to request a hearing and Show Cause.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts Board of Health Cease and Desist Order April 11, 2022 states that “The Verizon Wireless 877 South Street wireless facility operated by Verizon Wireless is a public nuisance, a cause of sickness, and a trade which may result in a nuisance or be dangerous to the public health for purposes of G.L. ch. 111 ss 122-125, 127B, 127C, 143-150 and 152.” and further, “The Verizon Wireless 877 South Street wireless facility operated on the premises creates an access barrier that directly causes harm to certain individuals, and renders dwellings Unfit for Human Habitation or constitutes a Condition Which May Endanger or Materially Impair the Health or Safety and Well-Being of an Occupant as defined in State Sanitary Code 410.020 and 410.750(P).”

It is the first time in the United States that a Board of Health has made the courageous determination that cell towers could cause adverse health effects and should be turned off and relocated. It is not the first time, however, residents have experienced health effects from cell towers, including in Sacramento, Sonoma , Silicon Valley and in Canada. A school board in Ripon California did terminate its cell tower agreement on school grounds due to concerns of a cancer cluster.

Updated April 16, 2022

Wildlife and Biodiversity: A Disappearing Act by Cell Towers on Land and in Space?

Calling all environmentalists! The most important peer reviewed article to date on environmental effects of wireless radiofrequency radiation was just published and deserves a full read. What do we know about wireless radiation effects on the natural environment? This comprehensive review by Levitt, Lai and Manville (2021) provides a wealth of scientific information, connecting the scientific dots of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) harm to flora and fauna. In a very readable text the authors answer many puzzling questions about this complex subject that combines biology, ecology, technology and physics. The authors warn, “It is time to recognize ambient EMF as a novel form of pollution and develop rules at regulatory agencies that designate air as ‘habitat’so EMF can be regulated like other pollutants.”

Most of us are aware that human activity has drastically altered the terrestrial and marine environment causing an accelerated decline in species and biodiversity by land degradation, overharvesting, plastic and chemical pollution, and the extraction and use of fossil fuels.  Environmental scientists all agree that transformative change is necessary. But what happens to the environment when humans alter the Earth’s previously low-level geomagnetic forces that life evolved harmoniously in? Can cell towers and proliferating 5G satellites impact species that depend on the Earth’s magnetic fields for navigation, foraging, pollination and reproduction? What are the effects on climate change?

The Effects of Non-ionizing Electromagnetic Fields on Flora and Fauna

California Telecom Bills Crushing Local Government Control

In the biggest telecom power grab so far to remove local authority in zoning for broadband expansion, California legislators have authored a stack of telecom bills, many of which are poised to benefit industry while overlooking health, safety and environmental consequences, as well as democracy. Big Telecom isn’t messing around anymore. Under the guise of “closing the digital dividein underserved and rural areas after the pandemic, many of the 20 bills are give aways to industry and do not focus attention on safer and more equitable solutions, such as fiberoptic to premises, to expand much needed broadband to all. The Big FourTelecom bills include SB 556 (Dodd), SB 378 (Gonzalez), AB 537 (Quirk), and AB 955 (Quirk). As of Sept 10, 2021 these bills are now on the Governor’s desk and he has until Oct 10th to sign them. Governor Newsom is likely being heavily lobbied by industry and some legislators. The California League of Cities continues to be opposed to at least SB 556 and states, “Despite securing amendments that narrow aspects of the bill to conform with federal law, the measure still undermines local authority and makes no meaningful progress towards closing the digital divide.”

Firefighter Exemptions For Cell Towers

In addition, AB 537 (Quirk) has an exemption for firefighters for placing cell towers on their facilities. Firefighters developed neurologic effects (headaches, fatigue, memory impairment, insomnia) when cell towers were placed on their fire stations thus an exemption was inserted in California bills on cell towers. AB 57 (Quirk 2015) has an exemption on the grounds of health effects. AB 537 (Quirk 2021) also has this exemption and reads, Due to the unique duties and infrastructure requirements for the swift and effective deployment of firefighters, this section does not apply to a collocation or siting application for a wireless telecommunications facility where the project is proposed for placement on fire department facilities. SB 649 (Hueso, Quirk and Dodd 2018) is a bill similar to currently proposed SB 556 (Dodd 2021) also had a health exemption for firefighters and was vetoed by Governor Brown.   

Updated 11/13/21

UPDATE 10/4/21 Governor Newsom Vetoes SB 556 and signs AB 537, SB 378 and AB 955

Governor Newsom Vetoed SB 556 (Dodd) and signed into law AB 537 (Quirk) . Here is a list of bills signed and vetoed on Oct 4, 2021 with the Governor’s veto message. Here is an Analysis of SB 556 by Best, Best, & Krieger, Attorneys at Law. The California Senate Floor Analysis of SB 556 states,

Opponents raise a variety of concerns associated with this bill. Opponents claim that this bill could have negative consequences for public health, safety, and cybersecurity due to the technologies deployed. Opponents also argue that this bill conflicts with the FCC’s regulations, creates ambiguities about local fees for utility attachments, and limits local governments’ ability to regulate access to public rights of way without enabling local governments to effectively enforce consumer protections. In opposition, the League of California Cities states, “SB 556 directly conflicts with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) adopted regulations on wireless services deployment, which cities and counties across the nation are actively implementing. This measure requires local governments to make space available to telecommunications providers without recognizing local authority to manage the public right of way preserved in federal law. FCC regulations explicitly enable local governments to ensure that such installations meet appearance and design standards, maintain traffic safety, protect historical resources’ integrity, and safeguard citizens’ quality of life. To protect the public’s investment, the control of the public rights of way must remain local.”

Mystery Solved: 2020 NAS Report Links Diplomats Neurologic Symptoms from “Havana Syndrome” to Directed Microwave Radiation Similar to Electromagnetic Illness

American scientists have been struggling to unravel the cause of a “mystery illness” for years, after reports of incapacitating neurologic symptoms were experienced in American and Canadian government officials stationed in Cuba in 2016 (AKA-“The Havana Syndrome”), and American diplomats in China in 2018. More recently similar attacks have been reported on U.S. soil and later in 2021 in Vienna. A second 60 Minute episode on the Havana Syndrome airing on February 20, 2022 revealed many more White House officials and family members who suffered attacks on the White House grounds in the last 3 years. Several have developed permanent neurologic symptoms requiring ongoing medical treatment. This variable and perplexing array of symptoms were reported in diplomats, their families, and even their pets intermittently, but usually at night in homes and hotels, with many developing permanent neurologic effects from what physicians termed was a form of “functional brain injury”. Dr. Beatrice Golomb authored an explanation for the mystery illness in her 2018 peer reviewed article, Diplomats’ Mystery Illness and Pulsed Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation. The National Academies of Sciences agrees that it is likely to be directed pulsed microwave radiation beams of “energy”. Congress is moving to pass a bill to pay for medical treatment of the brain injuries suffered by U.S. diplomats and their families.

The distinctive symptoms experienced by the victims included severe piercing headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, imbalance, nosebleeds, memory loss, hives, ringing in the ears, loss of eyesight and hearing loss.   Odd sounds such as chirping, ringing, grinding or humming, were also experienced, that were loud, emanated from a distinct direction that appeared to follow the individual and could not be reduced by putting their hands over their ears.  The health effects mirror those of individuals who have developed electrosensitivity (EHS) or electromagnetic illness in the presence of wireless devices such as Wi Fi, Cell Towers and cell phones, which emit pulsed radiofrequency radiation. The National Academy of Sciences in 2020 looked at the evidence and concluded that pulsed radiofrequency radiation is the most plausible explanation for the diplomat’s symptomatology. This is a story of political and medical intrigue that dates back to the 1950’s. 

New Hampshire Commission Studies 5G Technology Health and Environment Effects

The first Commission formed in the United States to study the environmental and health effects of 5G technology released their comprehensive final report November 1, 2020. The Commission to Study the Environmental and Health Effects of Evolving 5G Technology was born in the in the “Live Free or Die” state of New Hampshire, and included 15 recommendations addressing the need for public education about wireless hazards, RF health studies, RF measurements, cell antenna setbacks, fiberoptic rather than wireless deployment, commercial warning signs and wildlife protection. After hearing extensive testimony in a series of 13 meetings over the course of a year and reviewing an abundance of research, the Commission highlighted the lack of a single definition for 5G, insufficient evidence of safety for 5thgeneration technology, a concern that safety standards for wireless technologies have not been updated with the latest science and that 5G is largely a marketing concept. They also expressed concern that the FCC has a long history of being accountable to industry over the desires of communities and individuals.

Landmark Lawsuit Successful Against FCC for Failing to Reevaluate 5G and Wireless Safety

A joint lawsuit was won against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filed on July 30, 2020 by the Environmental Health Trust and the Children’s Health Defense for failure to protect human health and the environment by dismissing scientific evidence of harm from wireless radiation. The Petitioners challenged the FCC’s refusal to reevaluate and update their 24-year-old radiofrequency (RF) safety guidelines for existing and new telecommunications technologies.  This comes at a time when new lucrative 5G Spectrum is being auctioned and fast tracked in communities.  The lawsuit was won by the Petitioners (EHTrust, CDH and others) as per the DC Court of Appeals Decision on August 13, 2021. In the ruling the court returned this decision back to the FCC and ordered the FCC to reexamine its standards for wireless radiation exposure and provide a review of wireless harms that is compliant with the law for non-cancer harms. The decision could be appealed. Oral arguments were heard by the DC  Court of Appeals January 25,2021.

Earlier OTARD (Over the Air Reception Device) Petition Not Successful

Note that another Petition to Review an FCC ruling on wireless antenna placement on homes was filed Feb 26, 2021 by CHD ( CHD vs FCC OTARD) failed. The original FCC OTARD (Over-the air reception devices) ruling allows quick deployment of wireless in neighborhoods and rural areas without permits or notification that was previously required. It preempts sate and local zoning laws, homeowners associations and deed restrictions. For the first time it allows property owners to place antennas for wireless and data services to their neighbors, including 5G.  Scroll down to see the information and extensive testimony and references filed in the OTARD Petition. An Opening Brief was filed6/23/21.

EMF Medical Conference 2021

A  comprehensive four day CME and CEU sponsored medical conference for health professionals on EMF convened online January 28-31, 2021 to present the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of health effects associated with exposures to wireless technologies and electromagnetic fields. At the EMF Conference 2021, expert scientists and physicians discussed broad aspects of this complex subject that many physicians have not been aware of, despite more patients exhibiting health impacts. Non healthcare professionals registered for the symposium as well. Physicians and allied health professionals can now obtain CME/CEU for the talks for the next year after the conference.
 
Update 5/23/21

5G Health Concerns Overshadowed by COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories

Investigate Europe has written a series of comprehensive articles on 5G relating to health and the environment. They point out that 5G is a mass experiment. In their latest articleReal 5G issues overshadowed by Covid-19 conspiracy theories, they underscore that the critical discussion of health effects has been upstaged and buried with the current conspiracy theories about 5G causing COVID-19. Cell towers have even been destroyed by alleged conspiracy theorists.

Anna Eshoo with Congressional Members of House Committee on Energy and Commerce Ask FCC to Delay New 5G Declaratory Ruling

Update 11/7/21

In another effort to “cut the red tape” and fast track deployment of 5G throughout cities in America, the Federal communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 on a new Declaratory Ruling  June 9, 2020, which will further limit local government control in the permitting and placement of 5G cell towers. Representative Anna Eshoo, along with 23 of 29 Democratic members of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to ask for a delay in voting on this measure this during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter states, “We are especially troubled by the burden responding to this Declaratory Ruling will place on local governments that are justifiably focused right now on combatting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Likewise, we worry that if this Declaratory Ruling does not benefit from meaningful input from local governments, the result could undermine municipalities’ ability to balance their responsibilities to public safety and community design with their desire to ensure access to affordable wireless networks and the next generation services.”

FCC Seeks Comments on New Human Exposure Safety Standards for 5G and Beyond Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields

The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comments on expanding non-ionizing radiofrequency radiation (RF) human exposure safety limits for new wireless telecommunications equipment that will emit RF frequencies above 6 Gigahertz (GHz), that do not penetrate the body beyond the skin-  FCC Docket 19-226 Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields .  The new due date to submit comments has been extended from May 6 to June 17, 2020. This FCC Press Release to extend the deadline to June 17, 2020 for Comments on Human Exposure to EMF was filed May 15, 2020. The FCC public notice notes “We anticipate that interested parties will be able to use this time to develop complete, fully supported comments and reply comments, and acknowledge that parties can make ex parte presentations to introduce supplemental materials once the notice-and-reply comment cycle has closed.”