CA Assembly SB-649 June 28 Testimony

View the video of the 6/28/17 Local Government Hearing
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  • View from 0:19:28 to 3:05:10
  • A. Key Testimony From Verizon and AT&T Executives:

    Rudy Reyes, Verizon @ 2:36:20:

    A cell tower might give you five to ten miles radius of coverage, but the small cells for 4G/LTE densification goes a few blocks . . . for 5G, the spectrum is going to be millimeter wave spectrum. That spectrum goes much shorter distances, maybe 100 feet and requires a line of sight . . . we are going to need about five to ten times the number of 5G nodes, as we will 4G/LTE nodes . . . so it is really about p times q, price times quantity. So this cost formula needs to pencil out in order to bring 5G to California . . . just for downtown LA, Verizon alone is going to need 200 to 300 small cells just to densify for 4G/LTE. Then you have to multiply that for five to ten times for when we get to 5G.

    This means 1,000 to 3,000 5G small cells in downtown LA, which according to Dr. Google is 4.75 square miles. This would spread 300 4G Small cells + 3,000 5G Small Cells over 4.75 square miles for Verizon alone. If each major Wireless Carrier does the same (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile), that’s 3300 x 4 = 13,200 small cells in roughly an area 11,500 feet by 11,500 feet or one small cell for every 10,000 square feet – understanding that an average Safeway is 50,000 square feet

    Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas @ 2:39:18:

    With respect to the liability associated with potential either health impacts or some other safety impacts, does that rest with the Companies or does that shift to the Cities, if we make this a ministerial permit instead of a discretionary permit.

    Senator Hueso @ 2:40:02:

    There is nothing precluding the local municipal agency from enforcing all building code requirements. Public safety is extremely important. This doesn’t exempt the industry from following the building code requirements. They are still in place, they must be followed . . . They have to conform to the codes that are imposed by the US standards.

    Hueso didn’t answer the question.

    Bill Devine, AT&T @ 2:40:38:

    May I add an additional comment . . . on page 4, line 38 of the Bill, ‘Small Cells must apply with all applicable Federal State and local health and safety regulations including the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.’ So it reinforces that in the Bill and that was an amendment that was added in the Senate

    Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas @ 2:41:04:
    And Liability would rest with the Telecomm Carrier.

    Bill Devine, AT&T @ 2:41:08:

    With the company.

    Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas @ 2:41:31:

    The issue with community facilities and safety is not, in my opinion, one that has received as much attention as I’d like in this bill. I read the fire piece a couple of times and it said [not] on a fire department building, does that at all extend that concern into schools, in any sense? . . . Land use goes to the local jurisdiction, even at local schools.

    Hueso @ 2:42:35:

    In the public right of way, there is nothing stopping; if there is a vertical pole within the public right of way of a fire station, there is nothing that preempts [a small cell] from being sited there.

    Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas @ 2:41:04:

    For me, that would be an on-going concern if this bill moves forward.It would be schools and fire facilities.

    Senator Hueso @ 2:44:35:

    Not all cities oppose this bill, not even a majority of the cities. It’s a very high number. It’s like 197, but it’s not a majority — there are over 400 cities [in California].

    Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas @ 2:41:31:

    Understood. All of the cities in the jurisdiction I represent do not support this bill and the county which is the largest in the state does not support this measure.

    B. Fair Treatment at 6/28/17 Local Government Hearing For Proponents and Opponents of SB.649?

    The 60 minutes for testimony on 6/28/17 was apportioned fairly (30 minutes for Support, 30 minutes for Opposition), but the 100+ minutes of discussion among/questions from of the Assembly Local Government Committee (from 1:24:45 to 3:05:55) was not apportioned fairly. Virtually all of the post-testimony discussion was with SB.649 Supporters: Bill Author Ben Hueso and Industry representatives from AT&T, Verizon and the CTIA — the Wireless Association. There was not a single follow up question from the members of the Assembly Local Government Committee about the unconstitutional consequences of SB.649 resulting from placing so-called Small Cell antennas in residential zones.

    On 6/27/17 after 5:00 pm, we received confirmation from the California Assembly regarding a second accommodation from the California Legislature (the first was on 5/15/17 at the Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing) for Electromagnetically Sensitive (EMS) California residents to speak to their government face-to-face. We used this accommodation to secure a time-certain start (2:00 pm), a directive by the chair for everyone in the hearing room to turn off the wireless antennas on their wireless devices and a metering of the peak Radio-Frequency Microwave Radiation (RF/MW radiation) levels at the testimony table in the Hearing room.

    6/28/17 Remarks by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Chair of Local Government Committee

    (Emphases added.)

    0:19:28 (at start of the SB.649 Hearing): We will also have a Special Order of Business to hear SB.649 (Hueso), which we will start in just a few minutes. I would like to go over a few rules of this Special Order of Business so we can all be clear on the Committee’s expectations any my expectations as Chair.

    First, I requested that we hear this Bill as a Special Order with a dedicated time-certain so that all stakeholders can be present, listen and participate in the hearing. It is my hope that all of the Committee members can ask the questions they need to and we can have a full discussion in the Committee.

    . . . Here are my expectations for the Special Order of Business. No more than two minutes per speaker. Talking for less is actually OK and appreciated . . . No more than 30 minutes per side. We’ll have 30 minutes for the Opposition and 30 minutes for the Support . . . I also have a request from the EMS-sufferers, to turn wireless on your phone off and put phones in airplane mode.

    2:59:28 (near the end of the SB.649 Hearing, just before the vote): I want to assure you that we have worked really hard with the author, with Industry, we have asked for the League [of California City’s] input. We haven’t, again, received any kind of amendments. Even from my locals, just other than oppose the bill.

    What about the following Proposed SB.6498 Amendments that the Local Government and Chair Aguiar-Curry received on 6/22/17 @ 4:59 pm and again on 6/27/17 @ 12:05 pm? Did she forget about these or did she never see them? How could that happen?

    From Email 6/27/17 @ 12:05 pm Scientists from Wired Technology to Aguiar-Curry

    Scientists For Wired Technology Recommended SB.649 amendments

    1. Change the language of 65964.2. to the following:


    (a) A small cell shall be a permitted use subject only to a permitting process adopted by a city or county pursuant to subdivision

    (b) if it satisfies the following requirements:

    1. The small cell is located in the public rights-of-way in any zone or in any zone that includes a commercial or industrial use.
    2. The small cell complies with all applicable federal, state, and local health and safety regulations, including the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.).
    3. The small cell is not located any closer than 2,500 feet from a fire department facility, police facility, medical facility, residence, school, elder care facility, park or wilderness area, which along with historic and coastal zones need to be protected from the densification of wireless communication facilities or wireless co-location facilities.

    2. Change the language of 65964.2. (3)(2) (A) to the following:

    65964.2. (3)(2)

    (A) “Small cell” means a wireless telecommunications facility, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 65850.6, or a wireless facility that uses licensed or unlicensed spectrum and that meets the following qualifications:

    • (i) The small cell antennas on the structure, excluding the associated equipment, total no more than two cubic feet in volume and accepts no more than 10 watts of input power, whether an array or separate.
    • (ii) Any individual piece of associated equipment on pole structures does not exceed one cubic foot in volume and cannot produce any more than 10 watts of output power.
    • (iii) The cumulative total of associated equipment on pole structures does not exceed one cubic foot in volume and cannnot produce any more than 10 watts of output power.
    • (iv) The cumulative total of any ground-mounted equipment along with the associated equipment on any pole or nonpole structure does not exceed one cubic foot in volume and cannot produce any more than 10 watts of output power.
    Email on June 28 @ 9:44 am

    Hello . . . Is Anyone Listening?

    Date: 6/28/17

    To: Members and Staff of the Assembly Local Government Committee

    • Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Chair of Local Government
    • Assemblymember Richard Bloom
    • Assemblymember Anna Caballero
    • Assemblymember Timothy Grayson
    • Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher
    • Assemblymember Tom Lackey
    • Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas
    • Assemblymember Marie Waldron
    • Assemblymember Randy Voepel
    • Jovan Agee
    • Steven Stenzler
    • John Ferrera
    • Enedina Garcia
    • Lily Movsisyan
    • Nardos Girma
    • Laurel Brodzinsky
    • Cody Storm
    • Lilia Stone
    • Adriana Zerio
    • Shannon McKinley
    • Robert Wilson
    • Elisa Arcidiacono
    • Guy Strahl

      • Re: Ohio Judge Rules That Ohio SB.311 Microwireless Portion of Bill Is Unconstitutional . . . So is the SB.649 Firefighter Exemption

        Yesterday, I wrote to you warning it is very likely that the hundreds of substantial scientific studies that conclude significant harm to humans and other living organisms from exposures to Radio-Frequency Microwave Radiation (RF/MW radiation) that we gave to Angela Mapp would be left out of the SB.649 bill analysis.

        I can now confirm that the substantial scientific evidence that we provided to Angela Mapp was systematically filtered out and hidden from Assembly members and the public and fraudulently mislabeled and dismissed as “concerns”. What we presented to each of you was not concerns, worries or risks, but substantial scientific evidence that concludes certain harm — immediate, short-term and long-term harm — from RF/MW radiation exposures. Therefore, the Local Government Committee has failed to complete its proper due diligence on SB.649, and in failing to do so, shifts significant liability to the State of CA and CA local communities. Voting today on SB.649 will be a disaster for California because SB.649 is unconstitutional on many grounds.

        The local communities will be forced to absorb and pay tens of millions of dollars of disability benefits, Section 8 housing benefits, Medi-Cal benefits and lost tax revenue by creating a large disabled set of Californians (estimated at 1 to 4 million residents) many of whom who have already been forced out of their jobs and homes with the spread of ubiquitous Radio-Frequency Microwave Radiation (RF/MW radiation) in the workplace and in residential zones. SB.649, if passed as is, allowing microwave-transmitters and refrigerator-size “associated equipment” power supply cabinets in residential zones — will illegally torture Electromagnetically Sensitive (EMS) Californians and force them to move.

        The substantial scientific evidence was entered in the CA public record on 7/15/15 and on 4/4/17 and acknowledged by Senator Hertzberg on 4/26/17. Systematically ignoring this evidence, as was also done in the CA Senate re: SB.649. means that the Assembly Local Government Committee has also refused to do its required due diligence on this critically important consequence of voting for SB.649.

        SB.649, without significant amendments, will land immediately in court — as did OH SB 331 on March 20, 2017. I reported to you yesterday and at

        The Ohio court already decided: in less than three months, it declared the Ohio Bill Unconstitutional!

        A. Ohio Cased Decided

        CITY OF BEXLEY, OHIO, et al., Plaintiffs vs. THE STATE OF OHIO, et al., Defendants.

        II. The Evolution of S.B. 331.
        The portions of S.B. 331 addressed by plaintiffs amended existing statutes in R.C. Chapter 4939, and put in place new provisions addressing how municipalities may interface with new “micro wireless facilities.” Such facilities are defined to include “both a distributed antenna system and a small cell facility, and the related wireless facilities.” R.C. 4939.01(F). R.C. 4939.02(A)(8) was added to set forth a new finding by the General Assembly that “[i]t is the public policy of this state to [e]xpedite the installation and operation of micro, and smaller, wireless facilities in order to facilitate the deployment of advanced wireless service throughout the state.”

        VI. Conclusion.
        “Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on their First Claim is GRANTED and the cross-motions by defendants are DENIED. The court finds and declares that the portions of S.B. 331 which amended R.C. 4111.02, enacted R.C. 4113.85, and amended Ch. 4939 are unconstitutional, and must be severed . . . The repeal of statutes in Ch. 4939, and of R.C. 4111.02 (by Section 2 of S.B. 331) is deemed invalid under Sullivan, supra; the statutory provisions in effect on March 20, 2017 therefore remain in force. IT IS SO ORDERED.

        A. Firefighter Exemption in CA is also Unconstitutional

        A bill is pending in the California Assembly that will be by the Local Government Committee on Wednesday, June 28th. If it passes and becomes law effective January 1, 2018, nearly all cell towers or masts may be sited by telecom carriers without any local control.

        In a flex of corporate power and influence over the legislature, an amendment was added to the bill at the 11th hour to grant a pass to macro towers, allowing cell towers of multiple shapes and sizes to be sited without cities or local residents having any say in the matter. In what is the first exemption based on health in the US, the California legislature has granted an exemption from Senate Bill 649 to the firefighters.

        They will be exempt from automatic placement of cell towers on their stations. The California firefighters have experienced often disabling symptoms following installation of towers on their stations and thus agreed to undergo SPECT brain scans and other neurological tests in 2004. This study was organized by Susan Foster, a US Advisor to the UK EM Radiation Research Trust, and following the results which showed brain abnormalities in all six men tested, Susan wrote the original version of Res. 15 which passed the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) in August 2004 calling for a moratorium on the placement of cell towers on stations in the US and Canada. The letter can be found here.

        VOTE NO ON SB.649!