Oppose SB-649 “small cells” in California

Would you want to have these all over your town, in your neighborhood, maybe even in front of your house?

SB-649 is a current California Senate bill introduced by Senator Hueso.  EMF Safety Network opposes this bill because it will fast track wireless radiation antenna deployments in our neighborhoods and communities, and thwart public participation.

The League of California Cities opposes SB-649.  They describe it stating, “This proposal unnecessarily and unconstitutionally strips local authority over public property and shuts out public input and local discretion by eliminating consideration of the aesthetic and environmental impacts of “small cells.”

How to oppose SB-649 “Wireless telecommunications facilities”

Please submit your comments by April 3rd!

1.  Go to http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB649

2.  Scroll down and click on “Comments to Author”

3.  If you have not registered you will need to do so.

4.  After you register click the circle “oppose” and send your comments (2000 characters) to the author by March 28.  If you are representing a group please sign as such.  Before you click submit, copy your comments into a separate email.

5.  Send the same comments to your State Senator which you can find here:  Type in your address and city.  http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

EMF Safety Network and Ecological Options Network sent the following letter opposing SB-649.

Suggested comments:  If you need help with what to say you can use any or all of these comments which are adapted in part from the California League of Cities form letter, and our letter.

Dear Senator Hueso,

I respectfully oppose SB-649. This proposal unnecessarily and unconstitutionally strips local authority over public property and shuts out public input and local discretion by eliminating consideration of the aesthetic and environmental impacts of “small cells.”

International scientists and doctors advise reducing wireless radiation exposure to protect public and environmental health.

Wireless disrupts cellular communication, damages immune and nervous systems, desynchronizes brain and heart rhythms, and causes headaches, sleep problems, tinnitus, anxiety and a host of other health problems.

5G millimeter wave technology is scientifically shown to affect humans, penetrating the skin and affecting biological systems

There is no substantial evidence to support SB649’s determination that the deployment fits the CEQA exemption. There is substantial evidence in support of a fair argument that the project may create environmental impacts.

The National Toxicology Program published a 25 million dollar study which is one of the largest and most comprehensive studies on cell phone radiation and cancer. In the study the rats exposed to cell phone radiation developed two types of cancers, glioma, a brain tumor, and schwannoma, a tumor in the heart.

This bill strips local government of the authority to protect the quality of life of their residents, and to protect public property and the public right-of-way from relatively unconstrained access by small cells.

Neither the CPUC, nor the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can be relied on to serve the public interest because they are both regulatory captured agencies.

SB 649 goes too far by requiring local governments to approve “small cells” in all land use zones, including residential zones, through a ministerial permit, thereby shutting the public out of decisions that could affect the aesthetics of their community and the quality of their environment.

Thank you!

[your name]

Trees injured by cell tower radiation

Scientists in Germany studied tree damage in relation to electromagnetic radiation for nine years, from 2006-2015.  They monitored, observed and photographed unusual or unexplainable tree damage, and measured the radiation the trees were exposed too.

“The aim of this study was to verify whether there is a connection between unusual (generally unilateral) tree damage and radiofrequency exposure.”
They found significant differences between the damaged side of a tree facing a phone mast and the opposite side, as well as differences between the exposed side of damaged trees and all other groups of trees in both sides. They found no tree damage in low radiation areas.
The 30 selected trees in low radiation areas (no visual contact to any phone mast and power flux density under 50μW/m2) showed no damage.
The scientists concluded, “Statistical analysis demonstrated that electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone masts is harmful for trees.”  Link to the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27552133?dopt=Abstract#
Damaged Magnolia trees across the street from a cell tower

Harmful effects of smart meters, cell phones and wireless by Jerry Flynn, military radio expert

Jerry Flynn is retired Captain in the Communications Electronics Engineering Branch from the Canadian Armed Forces. He extensively studied radio communications, including radio and antenna theory, the radio frequency spectrum, radar and telephone systems, electronic warfare, signals intelligence, and more.

The perils of LED streetlights

Screenshot at 100% SR LED
Close up of a PG&E LED streetlight in Santa Rosa California

 

 

There is a major push all over the country to install LED streetlights based on assumptions of saving energy and money.  In places where the LEDs have been installed there are so many complaints.  On February 16 Sebastopol will consider whether or not to allow PG&E to install the LED streetlights.  PG&E owns the streetlights and requires cities to opt-in to the changeout.

PG&E is currently installing LED streetlights in Santa Rosa, and we took a team to investigate, measure and photograph there.  What we found is, unlike the warm yellow streetlights, the LED’s are very white, with cold blue tones, and painfully bright.

Mary Carvalho who lives in Santa Rosa writes, “Has anyone noticed lately that the night sky is lit up like a full moon every night?”

Paul Marantz, a lighting designer said about the yellow streetlights, “there was a warmth about them that’s missing from the new lights. And because of the way the LEDs are designed, it’s a much more directed light, with more glare.”

When the environment is saturated with blue rich light it causes melatonin reduction which can affect sleep. Harvard Medical School reported blue light has a dark side.  “Light at night is bad for your health, and exposure to blue light emitted by electronics and energy-efficient lightbulbs may be especially so.”

PG&E LED streetlight
PG&E LED streetlight

Bob Parks, executive director of the International Dark-Sky Association states, “Now, people can certainly close their blinds and block-out that rich blue-white light. The problem is that every other species on the planet can’t do that, so you have an impact on everything else. And not just animals — we are talking plants, trees, right down to one-cell organisms.”- Earth Island Journal

The Department of Energy (DOE) and IEEE reported there are serious health risks from LEDs if inexpensive drivers are used.  DOE writes, “Why is flicker bad? For one thing, in addition to being annoying and distracting, it can cause eyestrain, blurred vision, and impairment of performance on sight-related tasks. And in those who are flicker-sensitive, it can cause debilitating headaches and migraines — 10% of the population is estimated to suffer from migraines, and that’s only one of the groups prone to flicker sensitivity.  According to the IEEE recommended practice, flicker has been reported to contribute to autistic behaviors, and can be a trigger for epileptic seizures.… Some of these problems might occur even when the flicker isn’t detectable by the eye.”

The EMF Safety Network sent a list of questions to PG&E about their LED streetlights. We await their answers.  We can trust PG&E will cut costs and we can’t be certain they will tell the public the truth.  We don’t know whether or not PG&E will be using the streetlights for wireless transmissions, as has been done in Los Angeles and Florida.  The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had a presentation on their website that touted the benefits of “intelligent” wireless streetlights.

Intelligent streetlights

We don’t know if PG&E is installing these, but we do know the rapid increase of microwave technologies deployed on our homes and in our neighborhoods, largely without informed consent, threatens privacy, public health, children, wildlife and nature.

The other risk is whether or not the LED streetlights add unintentional radiation to the power lines, creating “dirty electricity” like PG&E smart meters do.  Samuel Milham, MD and David Stetzer, Electrical Engineer wrote a peer reviewed published paper in 2013.  They wrote, “Dirty electricity, also called electrical pollution, is high-frequency voltage transients riding along the 50 or 60 Hz electricity provided by the electric utilities… has been associated with cancer, diabetes and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in humans.

Some people claim brighter streetlights will help reduce crime. However, Earth Island Journal reported “Public safety was a big motivator behind the Oakland conversion project, and it may seem intuitive that brighter lights improve safety.  However, some studies suggest that though brighter streets make people feel safer, they have no impact on actual crime levels.”

In 2015, PG&E’s claims of LED cost and energy savings were merely assumptions.  In the CPUC 2015 Uncertain List they stated, “market move to LED technology requires verification.”  As yet PG&E has offered no proof.  In addition the city claimed the streetlight conversion would be free, however PG&E intends to recover streetlight costs through customers rate increases. So we all pay for the LED streetlights.

Why should perfectly good streetlights be scrapped for a risky technology whose benefits are questionable? A study published in late 2010 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that LEDs contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially dangerous substances.  While it is possible that the LED’s save energy, it’s not worth the cost to public and environmental health.

In September 2015, the Sebastopol city council had the PG&E streetlight conversion on their consent calendar.  Due to complaints, they took the issue off consent and put it on the regular agenda. At that meeting, Rich Emig, Public Works superintendent, gave a report acknowledging the LED health risks. Public comments included one woman who said when she was a child she had seizures from light flicker. See the Sebastopol City Council’s video which starts at 1:40:00

Considering the city acknowledged the serious pubic health risks, why are they bringing it back to the council, and why have they not notified the public of this issue that will affect each and everyone of us?

More information: 

What LED light pollution looks like from space
http://www.techinsider.io/astonauts-photos-from-space-leds-light-pollution-2016-1

Ecological Light Pollution  http://www.urbanwildlands.org/Resources/LongcoreRich2004.pdf

A Silent Cry for Dark Skies http://astrosociety.org/edu/publications/tnl/74/74.html#3

Residents sue Monterrey over new LED streetlights (2012)
http://www.montereyherald.com/article/ZZ/20120717/news/120718012

Ann Arbor Michigan has been a leader in converting city streetlights to energy-efficient LEDs, but despite a large reduction in energy usage, DTE Energy is proposing rate increases for LED lights, while decreasing rates for conventional high-pressure sodium lights. http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/02/ann_arbor_responds_to_streetli.html

Darkness is a requisite part of life.
“Half of your life, half of the lives of all nature, half of all human history has occurred between sunset and sunrise.  We and all of the natural kingdom have evolved in a landscape that segues from a bright blessed day to a dark sacred night.  A dark night is really that–sacred.  Every cell in the human body has time-related functions, part of the bigger circadian system.  I’m referring to science, not some woo-woo feel-good incense-laden chanting mysticism.  Healthy life depends on critical functions for which the absence of light is essential.”

1.  All outdoor lighting shall be full cutoff, or fully shielded.
2.  If LED lights are used, they shall have a correlated color temperature (CCT) less than 3000K.
3.  All lights shall minimize glare, sky glow, and light trespass. —–Excerpt and recommendations from www.Nightwise.org

Video of New York news story on LED street lighting and resident reaction. http://pix11.com/2015/04/27/new-bright-leds-that-replaced-street-lamps-angering-local-residents/

The city of Davis received so many complaints about the LED lights they put the project on hold for a year, then spent $350,000 more money on the project. http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2014/10/21/davis-will-spend-350000-to-replace-led-lights-after-neighbor-complaints/

Berkeley complaints:  http://www.berkeleyside.com/2014/08/06/berkeley-residents-weigh-in-on-new-led-streetlights/

Houston, we’ve got a problem with LEDS.  ​​http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2016/02/08/136878/city-waiting-for-more-information-on-alternative-led-street-lights-as-some-call-for-change/

Grassroots website about LED streetlight complaints http://lightsickness.com/actions-you-can-take/