L.A. County Board of Supervisors Will Seek Federal Legislation To Overturn a Telecommunications Act of 1996 Provision Limiting State and Local Governments Rights to Protect Their People From Wireless Radiation
ElectromagneticHealth, June 3, 2009. In a growing trend of local government activism over health effects from wireless radiation, L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously yesterday to seek and support federal legislation that would repeal Section 704 of the Federal Telecommunication Act of 1996. This section of the Act has prevented state and local governments from influencing the siting of telecommunications towers and antennas in communities on health or environmental grounds since 1996.
With increasing health effects in the population experienced by people in proximity to cell phone towers and antennas, and with no end in site to the growth of radiation emitting facilities throughout homes, offices and public environments, local and state governments in the U.S. are finally now beginning to take a stand for the public health of citizens.
Days ago, a similar resolution was passed by the Los Angeles Unified School District Board (http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/los-angeles-unified-school-district-calls-for-the-return-of-state-and-local-rights-to-limit-antennas/). Just prior to that the City Council of Portland, OR resolved to ask their Congressional delegation to ask the FCC to take a look at citizens’ concerns about health effects. Recognizing that the FCC, not local governments, has jurisdiction, Portland’s City Council recommended “the FCC to work in cooperation with the FDA and other relevant federal agencies to revisit and update studies on potential health concerns arising from RF wireless emissions in light of the national proliferation of wireless use”. http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/portland-or-city-council-asks-fcc-to-investigate-health-concerns-of-wireless-technologies/
And in May 2009, 3 U.S. Governors declared May 2009 “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Awareness Month” (FL, CT & CO) http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/three-us-governors-acknowledge-health-impacts-of-electromagnetic-pollution-from-wireless-technologies/.
Los Angeles County Supervisors Zen Yaroslavsky and Michael D. Antonovich stated, “There is ongoing debate within the scientific community and among governing bodies throughout the world regarding how thoroughly the long-term health effects of low-frequency electromagnetic and radio-frequency emissions are understood. In particular, questions have been raised regarding how well the existing regulations established by the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] protect more vulnerable populations such as school-aged children, and how well they protect against the cumulative effect of radio-frequency emissions on people who live or work in close proximity to multiple cellular facilities.”
In addition to calling for repeal of Sec. 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the motion by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors calls for changes to the California Public Utilities Code (CPUC), which limits the authority of local governments to regulate wireless communications facilities in public rights of way. This restriction has unfairly allowed wireless providers to install radiation emitting antennas on light and utility poles that would otherwise not have been permitted.
“We literally have had people wake up to find cell towers installed directly in front of their homes with no notification or public hearings under the current CPUC regulations,” said Sally Hampton of Los Angeles based Residents Engaged Against Cell Towers (REACT).
Hampton, a leading Los Angeles activist, says, “Thanks to today’s action, the word will start to get not only to our elected representatives in Washington, D.C., but also to those in Sacramento, that laws need to be changed to give local governments more authority to regulate the proliferation of wireless facilities. We applaud the leadership of the Los Angeles County Supervisors, who collectively represent nearly 10 million citizens, and call on all local municipalities to join forces with Los Angeles to urge the Congress to repeal those sections of the 1996 TCA which preempts local control and prevents local governments from considering health effects.”
The motion by the Los Angles Supervisors states, “As long as questions exist as to the adequacy of these federal regulations, local governments should have the ability to include a consideration of health and environmental effects of these facilities when deciding whether or not to approve the construction or modification of a cellular communications facility. The county should also have expanded discretion to decide how, when and where cellular facilities should be sited within the road right of way due to the unique aesthetic and safety issues that these facilities raise.”
A motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas also called for the county’s legislative advocates to “actively seek and support federal legislation that would direct the Federal Communications Commission to pursue a comprehensive global analysis of best practices and scientific evidence in order to update their existing standards and to adequately measure the health impacts of telecommunications towers.”
The motion stated “The Federal Communications Commission’s adopted limits are substantially less protective than the standards of many of the individual nations within Europe, Asia and other regions of the world.”
Motion by Michael D. Antonovich and Zev Yaroslavsky Download PDF
Motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas Download PDF
For further information on the health impacts of radiation from wireless technologies go to www.ElectromagneticHealth.org. Listen to audio interviews with leading scientists and physicians who are seeing the impact of these technologies in the clinical setting.
www.ElectromagenticHealth.org is a leading national health advocacy organization educating the media, government, health practitioners, schools and employers about the hazards of wireless radiation while encouraging greater health consciousness in the telecommunications industry and among its regulators. ElectromagneticHealth.org initiated the EMF Petition to Congress that calls for changes in exposure guidelines, repeal of Sec. 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a moratorium on further antenna infrastructure build-out (including Wi-Max) and accommodations for citizens impaired today by wireless technologies. The Petition has been signed by people in every state in America as well as in 25 foreign countries.
Journalists seeking further information on electromagnetic factors in health or access to experts, please contact ElectromagneticHealth.org at 641-715-3900 Ext.61768 or Camilla Rees, Founder, at Camilla@electromagnetichealth.org.