Defeat of Cell Tower Bill SB 649 Celebrated and Next Steps

On Sunday, Oct. 29 Sebastopol Mayor Una Glass joined EMF Safety Network for a photo at the Sebastopol Farmers Market to celebrate the defeat of Senate Bill 649, which would have created a state mandated system of cell towers in California. Governor Brown vetoed SB 649 two weeks ago.
Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, and Sonoma County were among the 300 cities, 47 counties and over 100 organizations opposed to SB 649. Senator McGuire and Assemblyman Levine also opposed the bill.
The defeat of SB 649 was won by a consortium of organizations, especially the League of California Cities, RCRC representing Rural Counties, Best Best and Krieger, Environmental Working Group and the many organizations who opposed the bill.
As for our contributions, early on EMF Safety Network (EMFSN) partnered with Ecological Options Network (EON) and formally opposed SB 649 when it was first introduced in March, and re-introduced our opposition to the subsequent committees.
We were fortunate to have Environmental Working Group to guide us on how to oppose the bill. We created a letter template and brought in many groups to oppose SB 649.  We kept our list members informed via email, website, Facebook and Twitter. We gave people the science, tools, flyers and information on how to take action to oppose SB 649.

Read more including next steps

Governor Brown Vetoes SB 649!

On Sunday Oct. 15, 2017 Senate Bill 649 has been vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown. SB 649 would have created a state mandated system of cell towers every couple hundred feet apart in California. 300 cities, 47 counties and over 100 community, planning, health, environment and justice organizations opposed SB 649.

EMF Safety Network and Ecological Options Network opposed SB 649 since the bill was introduced in March because cell towers emit harmful radiation. The bill would have allowed unlimited refrigerator-size cell equipment on utility poles, streetlights, sidewalks, in parks, on schools and public buildings with no safety oversight.

Sandi Maurer, Director of EMF Safety Network said, “We mailed Governor Brown a couple thousand postcards depicting SB 649 as a slobbering warty monster wielding a zapping cell tower and asked him to veto SB 649. We are thrilled and relieved Governor Brown vetoed this bill.”

Mary Beth Brangan co-director of EON said, “Now we need to prepare ourselves for the next state and federal telecom push, where they will try again with bills to overtake local authority and disregard public health.”

Governor Brown’s veto statement:

See this post for more information about SB 649: http://emfsafetynetwork.org/stop-sb-649-in-california/

Thank you to everyone who helped achieve this victory and to all the cities, counties and organizations opposed. This is a win not only for California but for the rest of the United States!

Please thank Governor Brown for vetoing SB 649!  You can contact him on his website, call or send a card in the mail: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/
phone: (916) 445-2841
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

STOP cell towers on every block in California #STOPSB649

Cell towers emit harmful radiation.
If Senate Bill 649 passes you could awake in 2018 to find a cell tower outside your bedroom window, or on your children’s school. Senate Bill 649 would create a state mandated system of cell towers every couple hundred feet apart.  SB 649 would harm California.

SB 649 would eliminate local control and public input.  It would allow refrigerator-size cell equipment on utility poles, streetlights, sidewalks, in parks, on schools, hospitals, and any public building with no safety oversight. Only fire stations, coastal commission and historic areas are exempt. Cities would have no recourse to remove a tower even if every resident complained.

Peer-reviewed published science shows harmful effects of cell tower radiation include: fatigue, headaches, sleep problems, anxiety, ringing in the ears, heart problems, learning and memory disorders, increased cancer risk, and more.  Children are especially vulnerable. See  Biological Effects from Radiofrequency Radiation  and www.emfscientist.org

SB 649 would harm nature. Peer reviewed published studies found radiation harms trees, birds, bees and insects.  Studies of radiation impacts on wild birds documented nest abandonment, plumage deterioration and death. https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/us_doi_comments.pdf More studies here: http://www.emfresearch.com/emf-wildlife/

SB 649 would lay the groundwork for 5G millimeter wave technology.  What is 5G?  See this fact sheet.  Peer reviewed published science shows millimeter waves adversely affect health. https://goo.gl/gbBKHL More studies here.

300 cities, 47 (out of 58) counties, and dozens of health, environment, consumer, and justice organizations representing millions of Californians have opposed SB 649. Organizations opposed to SB 649 9:8:2017

Here are letters from specific groups: Environmental Working Group  AARP American Association of Retired Persons  Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments  Ecological Options Network, EMF Safety Network  Dr. Golomb Oppose SB 649

UPDATE! Governor Jerry Brown vetoed SB 649!

On October 15 Governor Brown Vetoed SB 649!  Can you thank him? You can call his office, send a letter by mail, fax, or contact him through his website.

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841 Fax: (916) 558-3160 https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/

 

SB 649 is a shameless gift to the telecom industry

photo courtesy Kevin MottusIf Senate Bill 649 passes…
in 2018 you could awake to a cell tower right outside your bedroom window.

Unless you live in a fire station, a coastal commission or a historical city, SB 649 would put cell towers in every neighborhood and countryside in California. SB 649 would only allow design of how refrigerator sized equipment on and near poles can look.

Over the counter permits would eliminate local review of radiation impacts and essentially deregulate the telecom industry.  300 California cities and 47 counties oppose SB 649.

SB 649 will increase harmful radiation pollution.  Independent scientists are calling for immediate action to reduce radiation:

“Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans.” https://www.emfscientist.org/

Peer reviewed published studies found radiation causes a wide range of health impacts including sleep problems, headaches, tinnitus, DNA damage and cancer. Children are more vulnerable.

“The harmful effects of electromagnetic fields, regardless of their frequencies, are now scientifically settled. Pregnant women (the fetus) and children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable.”- Dominique Belpomme, MD, MPH, Paris V Descartes University, European Cancer & Environment Research institute.

Peer reviewed published studies found radiation harms nature, trees, birds, and bees. Studies of radiation impacts on wild birds documented nest abandonment, plumage deterioration and death. https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/us_doi_comments.pdf

Read our opposition letter here: SB 649 UPDATE 7:6:2017

SB 649 abandons the public to trust the telecom industry to certify radiation safety.

EMFSN, EON and CABTA in the news on KPFA and here.

Health, environment, consumer, and justice organizations  representing millions of Californians have opposed SB 649 including:  Environmental Working Group, Sierra Club California, California League of Conservation Voters, AARP American Association of Retired Persons, Association of Environmental Professionals, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, California Communities Against Toxics, Center for Environmental Health, Citizens for Health, SF Public Utilities Commission, The Greenlining Institute, The Utility Reform Network, Teens Turning Green, As You Sow, Baby Safe Project, Bay Area Educators for Safe Tech, California Brain Tumor Association, Chico Chapter of Weston A. Price Foundation, Citizens For A Radiation Free Community, Consumers for Safe Cell Phones, Daily Acts, East Bay Move to Amend, Ecological Options Network, EMF Safety Network, Environmental Health Trust, Environmental Voices, EMR Protection Forum, Grassroots Environmental Education, Green Sangha, Health & Habitat Inc, Healthy 880 Communities, Law Offices of Harry V. Lehmann PC, Marin Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Mom’s Across America, Moms Advocating Sustainability, National Association For Children and Safe Technology, Parents for a Safer Environment, The Peoples Initiative Foundation, Physicians for Safe Technology, Radiation Research Trust, Sacramento Smart Meter Awareness, Sage Associates, Scientists for Wired Technology, Seniors for Environmental Awareness, Stop Smart Meters, Veterans for Radiation Safety, Windheim EMF Solutions, Wireless Radiation Alert Network, Wireless Radiation Education and Defense, and Your Own Health and Fitness.

The majority of these groups listed above oppose SB 649 based on the science of wireless harm.

The Communication and Conveyance committee passed the bill on  July 12. The Assembly Appropriations Committee passed the bill on September 1.

The State Assembly and Senate barely passed SB 649 and the bill now awaits the Governor’s signature or veto.  Find how your representatives voted here: http://emfsafetynetwork.org/sb-649-barely-passes-the-assembly-moves-to-the-senate/

Update on Oct.15, 2017 Governor Brown Vetoed SB 649!

Oppose SB-649 “small cells” in California

July 15, 2017 update to this post is here: http://emfsafetynetwork.org/sb-649-is-a-shameless-gift-to-the-telecom-industry/

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]

CA Department of Public Health sued for hiding cell phone radiation warnings

Dr. Joel Moskowitz, Director of UC Berkeley School of Public Health has sued the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for failing to provide a tax payer funded study on cell phone radiation risks. The CDPH refused to comment on the case.

Attorney Claudia Polsky states this is “tax payer funded scientific research over a period of years resulted in a review of the scientific literature about cell phone risks and the production of a document that was supposed to reach the public informing people about how to reduce risks from cell phone use.”

Dr. Moskowitz was asked why the state is trying to suppress the document. He stated, “They [CDPH] claim that they are concerned that this would lead to chaos and confusion among the public. I suspect that they were afraid of the reaction of the telecommunications industry should they publish this document; in fact, they even argued that in their brief.”

UPDATE: In response to media pressure the CDPH pre-released the cell phone advisory to the SF Chronicle. Here it is:  CDPH cell phone document April 2014

Fairfax Town Council letter to PG&E “Comply with our Ordinances”

Thank you to the Town of Fairfax CA who sent a letter to PG&E asking then to “cease the impending roll-out of SmartMeter installations in Fairfax.”

Fairfax writes, “By PG&E’s actions to proceed with the SmartMeter program in Fairfax, in essence, PG&E is effectively attempting to render the CPUC rehearing review process moot. Furthermore, by continuing forward on installations, PG&E will be in violation of the Town of Fairfax’s Ordinance and would therefore be potentially subject to Code Enforcement Violations.”

2-14-17 Fairfax letter to PGE – SmartMeter Installation

PG&E has threatened both Sebastopol and Fairfax with smart meter installations even though there are appeals pending at the California Public Utilities Commission, and both cities have laws banning smart meter installation.  EMF Safety Network has been quoted in three newspapers recently.

Marin Independent Journal:

Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

Sonoma West Times and News:

We have asked the City of Sebastopol to enforce the ban on smart meters and they have not responded. However, Sebastopol Mayor Una Glass opened public comments at the last city council meeting with a statement referencing the Marin Independant Journal article,“that basically said that this council doesn’t care about smart meters anymore.” She affirmed Sebastopol still has an ordinance that is not repealed and she stated, “We are concerned with the health of our citizens.”