US Department of the Interior warns: communication towers threaten birds

Bald EagleshIn a letter regarding a new nationwide wi-fi deployment (called *FirstNet), the US Department of the Interior states the wireless proposal threatens birds, and is not consistent with current information and laws that protect birds.  They called for an environmental review.

hTwo  hundred forty one bird species are at mortality risk from both tower collisions and from exposure to the radiation towers emit.  This includes birds that are endangered or threatened, Birds of Conservation Concern, migratory birds, and eagles.  They estimate up to 6.8 million bird deaths a year may result from collisions with towers.

hhStudies of radiation impacts on wild birds documented nest abandonment, plumage deterioration and death.  Birds studied included House Sparrows, White Storks, Collared Doves, and other species.  Studies in laboratories of chick embryos documented heart attacks and death.

hIn their letter, The Dept of the Interior criticizes the FCC’s radiation safety guidelines stating,“the electromagnetic radiation standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today.”

For more information see Dept of Interior letter and background: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/us_doi_comments.pdf

*In 2010 President Obama called for a new nationwide wireless network.  FirstNet is that broadband initiative. See background proposal and More info on FirstNet. 

“The world is going wireless and we must not fall behind. ” President Barack Obama

Jury awards Vermont couple $1million in cell tower lawsuit

Felix and OlgaA jury awarded a million dollars to Olga Julinska and Felix Kniazev in a big win against  Vermont Electric Power Corp  for building a communications tower right next to their mountain top property.

Julinska and Kniasev are artists who purchased the mountaintop home as much for its inspiring 360 degree view as for the privacy it afforded.  They said the jury verdict was a victory for themselves and every other Vermont resident bullied by an imminent domain process that takes property for public good without always compensating property owners fairly.  Read more. 

Planet Radiation: Interview with Eileen O’Connor

Eileen O'ConnorEileen O’Connor is the Director for the Radiation Research Trust (RRT), Founder board member for the International EMF Alliance, Stakeholder for the EU Commission Dialogue Group and Member of the UK Health Protection Agency, EMF Discussion Group.

Eileen is interviewed by Rev. Alison Levesely of Divine Conversations on UnTangled FM.   “This conversation will be challenging and a no holds barred frank conversation about the radiation we are living with on our planet. What are the options open to you and what can you do about this invisible nightmare that is causing untold damage?”

Click on the following link and scroll down the page to find and listen to the interview.  http://www.untangledfm.com/#%21divine-conversations/c180o

Protect Monarch Butterflies from radiation

On August 21, 2013 the city of Pacific Grove will hear an appeal on the placement of an AT&T 4G cell tower next to the Monarch Butterfly sanctuary.

Pacific Grove is an overwintering area for the monarch butterfly. Each year, these butterflies migrate thousands of miles from Canada to Pacific Grove and other special places in the Western Hemisphere. They arrive and stay through several reproductive cycles, and then continue their travels.

Pacific Grove has an ordinance specifically protecting monarch butterflies. It has a small area set aside for the butterflies as a sanctuary, but the butterflies roost and feed in trees in the surrounding area. Many travel books feature this sanctuary to attract visitors from all around the world.

AT&T wants to put a permanent set of cellular 4G antennas at Wilkie’s Inn, (1038 Lighthouse Avenue) next to the butterfly sanctuary. This is one of the few monarch habitats the butterflies rely on.

Here’s two studies that indicate insects are harmed by radiation.  Food collection and response to pheromones in an ant species exposed to electromagnetic radiation found exposure to radiation caused colony deterioration and affected social insects’ behavior and physiology. Another study Oxidative and genotoxic effects of 900 MHz electromagnetic fields in the earthworm Eisenia fetida found radiation caused genotoxic effects and DNA damage in earthworms.

Please take action to help stop these antennas in Pacific Grove, California. Sign this petition by Tuesday, August 20, 2013  Read more and sign the petition.

UPDATE: The city Pacific Grove council voted against the butterflies. The petition author writes, “Thank you to the hundreds of supporters on this issue. Sad to say (but not surprised) that all but one of the city council members voted for the cell antennas to be built near one of the rare monarch butterfly overwintering sites in Pacific Grove. AT&T must’ve made the incentive worth while.The city is supposed to protect the butterfly sanctuary and didn’t.”

Cell tower collapses near San Ramon California

A 20-30 foot cell tower laden with radio, cellular and microwave antennas has toppled. KTVU news reports that “supporting wires holding up a large radio tower were cut, possibly with bolt cutters, causing it to collapse”.  The tower was located on Rocky Ridge near San Ramon and Danville.  The police suspect vandalism.

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EMF Safety Network files lawsuit against Sebastopol 4G cell tower

On January 11, the EMF Safety Network filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against the City of Sebastopol, Verizon, and Crown Castle alleging the City’s decision to approve a 4G cell tower expansion was in violation of a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  According to the Sebastopol attorney, the city has a “hold harmless” clause in their contract with Verizon which requires Verizon to pay for all litigation costs related to the cell tower.

Sebastopol is located adjacent to an internationally recognized wetlands preserve, the Laguna De Santa Rosa.  The City filed a CEQA exemption for the project stating there would be “negligible or no expansion of use”, calling it a “minor alteration.”  EMF Safety Network lawyer Rose Zoia argued their exemption claims were false.  The addition of 3 and 4 G panels to the cell tower will add significant radio frequency (RF) exposure to the downtown area and extend nine miles into the Laguna.

Sebastopol’s Telecommunications Ordinance states, “ No telecommunications facility shall be sited such that its presence threatens the health and safety of migratory birds.”

An environmental study by A. Balmori, Electromagnetic pollution from phone masts. Effects on wildlife. states,

“Electromagnetic radiation is a form of environmental pollution which may hurt wildlife.”

“Phone masts located in their living areas are irradiating continuously some species that could suffer long-term effects, like reduction of their natural defenses, deterioration of their health, problems in reproduction and reduction of their useful territory through habitat deterioration.  Electromagnetic radiation can exert an aversive behavioral response in rats, bats and birds such as sparrows. Therefore microwave and radiofrequency pollution constitutes a potential cause for the decline of animal populations and deterioration of health of plants living near phone masts.”

A second study, Bioassay for assessing cell stress in the vicinity of radio-frequency irradiating antennas. assesses cell stress in water plants from RF. Conclusion excerpt: “The present work makes a unique biological connection between exposure to RF-EMF and real biological stress in living cells.”

Verizon reps swagger into town with their cookie cutter safety data, and hired guns making broad claims of FCC safety.  Cities are caught in a legal trap between mega-rich wireless industry, educated residents armed with evidence of environmental harm and the city’s local ordinances which call for protecting the public and environmental health.  The 1996  Telecommunications Act makes it illegal to deny a cell tower based on health impacts!

The Sebastopol City Council voted 2-2 to deny the cell tower expansion, however because it was a tie, the original planning commission decision to approve the 4G network was upheld.  Faced with the cost of a lawsuit from Verizon for denying the tower- or a lawsuit from local citizens which Verizon has to pay, the vote was likely  financially driven.

Your help is needed – Please donate toward this lawsuit.