KPFA interview – Smart Meter Lawsuit

Yesterday on KPFA 94.1 Layna Berman, host of Your Own Health and Fitness talks with EMF Safety Network director Sandi Maurer about Smart Meters, and the legal action against the utilities and regulators in California.  Covered is both a review of the basic Smart Meter problems and complaints, and some new information about how the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and PG&E have never addressed or resolved the serious complaints, but only offered an opt-out with penalty fees.

There is an intro by Layna Berman, followed by commentary by Dr. Jeff Fawcett, followed by the Smart Meter discussion. You can access the show at: http://www.yourownhealthandfitness.org/Sage/20120828.mp3

We are suing the CPUC!

Cartoon by Jim Heddle EON

On June 7th, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) denied the EMF Safety Network Rehearing Request on the grounds that, “the evidence does not support re-opening a review of Smart Meters.” Because the Rehearing Request is denied we can now sue the CPUC for failing to address serious Smart Meter issues, including health and safety impacts, and FCC compliance.

The CPUC has buried it’s head in the sand!

The CPUC rubber stamped PG&E claims of Smart Meter safety!

Although no new evidence can be added to the lawsuit in Appeals court, this lawsuit is important because it could force the CPUC to address the issues it has been ignoring.

The CPUC has NEVER addressed the health and safety impacts of Smart Meters.  They’ve only provided an opt out with a penalty!

We need to raise $25,000 for legal costs ASAP!  Attorneys James Hobson and Joshua Nelson of Best, Best and Krieger will represent us in the California First Court of Appeals. The lawsuit will be filed by the July 11 deadline.

If every customer on PG&E’s delay list would donate 15 cents, we’d have it covered! Considering we probably won’t reach those 177,000 people, if people donate $10-$100 this will help! Please give whatever amount you can!

Three ways to donate:

1. Donate online– click on the Donate button. (You do not need a Paypal account to donate! See the ‘Don’t have a PayPal account?’ section to the left of login box and click on link to use your credit card.)

2. Send a check payable to EMF Safety Network PO Box 1016, Sebastopol CA 95473

3. If you are donating $100 or more and want a tax deduction make your check payable to EON and mail to EMF Safety Network PO Box 1016, Sebastopol CA 95473.  Online donations will not be tax deductible.

The results of suing the CPUC, if we win, will be that the Court will mandate the CPUC to address our original EMF Safety Network Application which includes:

  • Re-opening both of the Smart Meter proceedings (D.06-07-027 and D.09-03-026)
  • Evidentiary hearings on radiation health, environmental, and safety impacts
  • Review of actual Smart Meter program performance
  • An independently prepared RF Emissions Study

Your contributions will enable us to step up and challenge the CPUC!!

Thanks to all of you who’ve already given to this cause. Legal costs are ongoing, as we are still participating in the CPUC opt-out proceeding, so any amount you can contribute is a HUGE help!

We believe that whatever the CPUC rules for PG&E, they will eventually apply to other utilities! So, please support our efforts, even if you are a customer of another California utility!

Inching towards justice!  THANKS TO ALL YOUR EFFORTS!

Sandi Maurer

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.