May 6, 2009. Queens, NY City Council Member Peter Vallone, Jr. has introduced a bill requiring phone companies to give advance warning of their intent to put up new antennas before the permit is issued. The bill would also require the Buildings Department commissioner to establish rules for how and where antennas can be erected and require cell phone companies to show they made efforts to locate the antenna in non-residential areas.
It is unclear if this bill will hold any weight if passed, given that Section 704 of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 prevents local governments from resisting, or from influencing the siting of cell phone towers and antennas on health or environmental grounds. An EMF Petition to Congress asking that Sec. 704 be repealed is posted at www.ElectromagneticHealth.org.
ElectromagneticHealth.org is a national, grass roots advocacy organization working to educate the public and health practitioners about the hazards of electromagnetic fields, and to educate Congress on the changes that must be made at the federal level to protect public health. According to the EMF Petition to Congress, Congress must do the following:
1. Mandate the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revisit its exposure guidelines
for radiofrequency radiation (RF) immediately.
2. Repeal Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which took away the rights of state and local governments to stop the erection of cell towers and wireless antennas in their communities based on “environmental” grounds (defined by FCC as “human health”).
3. Declare a national moratorium on further wireless infrastructure build-out, including the Wi-Max roll-out currently underway, a joint venture of Sprint, Time Warner Cable, Google, Clearwire and others.
4. Establish cell phone and wireless-free neighborhoods, transportation options, government buildings, and public spaces; require employers to establish wireless free zones; and, mandate theremoval of cellular and wireless technologies from public schools and their properties.
ElectromagneticHealth.org is asking Congress to act swiftly, decisively and with full integrity to stem the emerging electromagnetic radiation pollution increasingly permeating the lives of the American people.