Free smart meter opt out for North Carolina

Great big thanks to activists in North Carolina who won a free utility smart meter opt out provided they submit a simple note from a doctor to the utility.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) decision states, “…the Commission believes it is inappropriate to require customers who maintain that they need to avoid exposure to RF emissions to the extent possible to protect their health to pay [Duke Energy Carolinas] DEC’s proposed smart meter opt-out charges.

Andrew McAfee, an activist leader in this case said: “The removal of Duke’s opt-out fees stops that added insult to injury for many who suffer debilitating electrosensitivity conditions and their associated health costs,”  “Most importantly, the NCUC order recognizes our medical doctor’s proper role in determining what is healthy, not the FCC.”

The note from the doctor does not need to explain any diagnosis or symptoms, but would need to be signed and notarized and simply state:

“I am a medical physician licensed by the North Carolina Medical Board. ______________(Name of Duke Energy Customer) must avoid exposure to RF emissions to the extent possible to protect ______ (his or her) health.”

In California, and in other states, utilities charge extortion fees to avoid smart meters. This case in North Carolina sets an important precedent.

More: Landmark NCUC decision

Local Authority Over Wireless Facilities in Public Rights-of-Way

EMF Safety Network engaged Best Best and Krieger partner Gail Karish to provide the legal means in which a California city can deny a small cell application in the public rights of way (PROW). Attorney Karish presents this information alongside the limitations on local authority in order to know the full scope of what a city can and can’t do.

Although the attorney has addressed the City of Sebastopol, the letter and legal advice is applicable and can be presented to any California city so they can know they are not powerless over small cell deployments.

April 24 2018 Letter to EMF Safety Network re: small cell

 

New Mexico regulators reject smart meters!!

New Mexico Public Utilities Commission has rejected a plan to install a half million smart meters. “The plan presented in the Application does not provide a net public benefit and it does not promote the public interest,” wrote the Commission. Whereas every other US state with rare exception, is forcing smart meters on residents, or charging extortion opt-out fees, Santa Fe regulators have historically upheld the public’s best interest by rejecting smart meters!

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Chairman Sandy Jones cited “rate increases, an excessive opt-out fee, and layoffs as deal breakers”.

This decision is in stark contrast to what the California Public Utilities Commission did in 2010, which was to partner with the utilities and rapidly deploy millions of smart meters with no safety review, and despite thousands of complaints. There are four appeals filed in 2015 still pending in this case.

According to New Mexico activist and author Arthur Firstenberg, “The decision means there will not be smart meters in the near future in New Mexico’s metropolitan areas: Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Clayton, Ruidoso, Tularosa, Alamogordo, Silver City, Lordsburg and Deming.”

Thank you to all the activists and educators who helped make this happen. Great big Congratulations!

California Department of Public Health issues cell phone advisory

CDPH warns cell phones can impact health, especially in children

This is the press release issued from the CDPH today:

SACRAMENTO As smartphone use continues to increase in the U.S., especially among children, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today issued guidance for individuals and families who want to decrease their exposure to the radio frequency energy emitted from cell phones. Although the scientific community has not reached a consensus on the risks of cell phone use, research suggests long-term, high use may impact human health.

“Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “We know that simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket and moving it away from your bed at night, can help reduce exposure for both children and adults.”

Cell phones emit radio frequency energy when they send and receive signals to and from cell towers, and some scientists and public health officials believe this energy may impact human health.

Meanwhile, cell phone use in the U.S. has increased dramatically in recent years. About 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone, and 12 percent rely on their smartphones for everyday Internet access. In addition, the average age when children get their first phone is now just 10 years old, and a majority of young people keep their phones on or near them most of the day and while they sleep.

“Children’s brains develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cell phone use,” said Dr. Smith. “Parents should consider reducing the time their children use cell phones and encourage them to turn the devices off at night.”

The new CDPH guidance includes practical steps both adults and children could take to reduce exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phones. That includes:

  • Keeping the phone away from the body
  • Reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak
  • Reducing the use of cell phones to stream audio or video, or to download or upload large files
  • Keeping the phone away from the bed at night
  • Removing headsets when not on a call
  • Avoiding products that claim to block radio frequency energy. These products may actually increase your exposure.

See the CDPH advisory: How to Reduce Exposure to Radiofrequency Energy from Cell Phones

This CDPH press release is also available in Espanol

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