Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. filed with FEC to Run for U.S. President

Apr 6, 2023

We’re living in unprecedented times. Government corruption, health freedom, vaccine safety and censorship are now kitchen-table conversations among millions nationwide and around the world following three years of unrelenting government-sponsored censorship.

Millions of people are waking up to the real threat of forever losing freedoms to authoritarian industry-influenced governments if we fail to act. Children’s Health Defense (CHD) will do everything in its power to stop the abuse from tyrannical government leaders and public health officials who continue to put profits over people and ignore our inalienable, fundamental human rights.

Propelling the Movement Forward

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. filed with the Federal Election Commission Wednesday, April 5, as he considers running for President of the United States of America. Because of his decision to devote full time to his campaign, Mr. Kennedy’s title is now Children’s Health Defense Chairman on Leave. As part of his life’s work, he will continue to address CHD’s core issues — corruption, children’s declining health, failures of vaccine safety and more.

Kennedy said:

“My top priority is to end the corrupt merger between state and corporate power that has ruined our economy, shattered the middle class, polluted our landscapes and waters, poisoned our children, and robbed us of our values and freedom. This is central to CHD’s mission. I launched this organization after parents concerned about the meteoric rise in childhood chronic diseases approached me time and time again, urging me to look beyond what mainstream media and government health agencies were telling the public about what was causing these increases. After carefully reviewing the science, it was clear to me that vaccines and other toxic environmental exposures were inextricably linked to rising rates of autism, allergies, autoimmune disorders and a host of other conditions. I knew I could never turn my back on the children and families so profoundly affected by these exposures. My commitment to health freedom, preventing future injuries, unmasking those responsible and holding them accountable will never diminish. It will remain a driving force in all I do.”

In taking this step forward, long-time colleague Mary Holland will join RFK, Jr. as part of the campaign. Ms. Holland’s titles will now be CHD’s President on Leave and General Counsel on Leave.

Holland said:

“The health freedom movement has everything — truth, science, ethics, law — except power. It is time for CHD’s issues to take the spotlight. I believe that RFK, Jr.’s campaign will play a crucial role in this shift to center stage. And I believe CHD is now stronger than ever. CHD’s board and staff have been on the frontlines for decades and are eager to take on these new opportunities as the American public becomes more aware of our critical mission and vision.”

Expanding Leadership

While RFK, Jr. and Holland will be on leave, CHD is poised to remain at the forefront of the health freedom movement. In Holland’s absence, my position as Executive Director is now CHD’s Acting President. I have been with CHD since its first day and have been a part of this important movement for 30 years. I believe our mission is one of the most critical in the world. I’m proud to stand with each one of you.

To fulfill the other part of Holland’s job, Kim Mack Rosenberg, Esq., litigator, long-time advocate and co-author of “The HPV Vaccine on Trial,” has joined the team as CHD’s Acting General Counsel.

In February 2023, CHD expanded its executive team by adding Chief Operating Officer Andrew Pek, who brings new executive management to CHD’s infrastructure.

CHD Board Member Kay Sullivan has embraced the role of Vice Chair.

CHD Remains Steadfast in Our Mission

Our work will continue with unwavering dedication and resolve from our staff and board, who are intensely focused on our mission to end childhood health epidemics by working aggressively to eliminate harmful exposures, hold those responsible accountable and establish safeguards to prevent future harm. CHD fights corruption, mass surveillance and censorship that put profits before people as well as advocates for worldwide rights to health freedom and bodily autonomy.

CHD will:

  • Educate and inform with The Defender newsletter, CHD TV, our book publishing series, CHD Films and our awareness and advocacy campaigns, sharing meticulously-researched and trusted information that inspires action.
  • Continue to make an impact in local communities by amplifying the voices of activists as we grow to nearly 30 CHD chapters worldwide, spearheading changes in policies by leaders at the national, state and local levels.
  • Bring accountability through litigation of our 50+ active lawsuits that can have massive, life-changing impacts on CHD supporters and the world:

While significant changes are afoot, the CHD Team has never been more optimistic about our future and the movement. We will finally see our issues illuminated, educating millions of new people in the process. We remain committed to our mission and know that, with your actions and support, we can create the beautiful world our hearts and minds know is possible.

In gratitude,

Laura Bono's signature
Laura Bono’s signature
Laura Bono
Laura Bono

Laura Bono Acting President, Children’s Health Defense

Is Broadband Regulation Dead?

By Doug Dawson, Apr 5, 2023 | Original Pots and Pans article here.

I ask this question after Gigi Sohn recently withdrew her name from consideration as an FCC Commissioner. It’s been obvious for a long time that the Senate was never going to approve her nomination. Some Senators tried to blame their reluctance to approve on Sohn’s history as an advocate for the public over big corporations.

But the objections to Sohn were all the kinds of smokescreens that politicians use to not admit the real reason they opposed the nomination. Gigi Sohn is not going to be the next Commissioner because she is in favor of regulating broadband and the public airwaves. The big ISPs and the large broadcasting companies (some companies which are both) have been lobbying hard against the Sohn nomination since it was first announced. These giant corporations don’t want a third Democratic Commissioner who is pro-regulation.

In the past, the party that held the White House was able to nominate regulators to the FCC and other regulatory agencies that reflected the philosophies of their political party. That’s been a given in Washington DC, and agencies like the FCC have bounced back and forth between different concepts of what it means to regulate according to which party controlled the White House.

But I think the failure to approve Sohn breaks the historical convention that lets the political party in power decide who to add as regulators. I predict this will not end with this failed nomination. Unless the Senate gets a larger majority for one of the parties, I have a hard time seeing any Senate that is going to approve a fifth FCC Commissioner. If Republicans win the next presidential race, their nominee for the fifth Commissioner slot will also likely have no chance of getting approved.

The primary reason for this is that votes for an FCC Commissioner are no longer purely along party lines. The large ISPs and broadcasters make huge contributions to Senators for the very purpose of influencing this kind of issue. That’s not to say that there will never be a fifth Commissioner, but rejecting this nomination means it’s going to be a lot harder in the future to seat FCC Commissioners who embrace the position of the political party in power, like was done by Ajit Pai and likely would have been done by Gigi Sohn.

I think we’re now seeing the textbook example of regulatory capture. That’s an economic principle that describes a situation where regulatory agencies are dominated by the industries they are supposed to be regulating. Economic theory says that it’s necessary to regulate any industry where a handful of large players control the market. Good regulation is not opposed to the large corporations being regulated but should strike a balance between what’s good for the industry and what’s good for the public. In a perfectly regulated industry, both the industry and the public should be miffed at regulators for not fully supporting their issues.

The concept of regulatory capture was proposed in the 1970s by George Stigler, a Nobel prize-winning economist. He outlined the characteristics of regulatory capture that describes the broadband industry to a tee.

Regulated industries devote a large budget to influence regulators at the federal, state, and local levels. It’s typical that citizens don’t have the wherewithal to effectively lobby the public’s side of issues.
Regulators tend to come from the regulated industry, and they tend to take advantage of the revolving door to return to industry at the end of their stint as a regulator.

In the extreme cases of regulatory capture, the incumbents are deregulated from any onerous regulations while new market entrants must jump through high hoops.

The FCC is a textbook example of a captured regulator. The FCC under Ajit Pai went so far as to deregulate broadband and to wash the FCC’s hands of broadband as much as possible by theoretically passing the little remaining regulation to the FTC. It’s hard to imagine an FCC more under the sway of the broadband industry than the last one.

There is no real fix for regulatory capture other than a loud public outcry to bring back strong regulation. But that’s not going to happen as long as regulatory capture is so complete that it’s impossible to seat a fifth Commissioner.

Children’s Health Defense Petitions the FCC

By Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D., Apr 5, 2023 | Original The Defender article is here.

CHD Tells the FCC to Quit Stalling on the 2019 Court Order to Address Harmful Effects of Wireless Radiation

Children’s Health Defense (CHD) on Tuesday petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to “quit stalling” and comply with a court-ordered mandate to explain how the agency determined its current guidelines to adequately protect humans and the environment against harmful effects of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation.

CHD on Tuesday petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to “quit stalling” and comply with a court-ordered mandate to explain how the agency determined its current guidelines adequately protect humans and the environment against harmful effects of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued the mandate on Aug. 13, 2021, when it ruled the FCC failed to consider the non-cancer evidence of adverse health effects related to wireless technology when the agency determined its 1996 health and safety guidelines regarding wireless-based technologies adequately protected public health.

The ruling stemmed from CHD’s historic win in a case challenging the FCC’s decision not to review the 1996 guidelines. The FCC has taken no action to comply with the court’s ruling, prompting CHD to threaten further legal action.

Scott McCollough, lead attorney for CHD’s historic case and author of the petition, said CHD submitted a petition — rather than a request — because a petition “is something to which they must respond,” according to administrative law.

CHD’s petition said:

“The Commission cannot just sit on this matter any longer…Any continued non-action will violate the judgment and mandate and expose the Commission to further judicial review and, ultimately, a mandamus order requiring action.”

In its 2021 decision, the court said the agency must also address the environmental impacts of RF radiation and the “impact of RF radiation on children, the health implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation, the ubiquity of wireless devices and other technological developments that have occurred since the Commission last updated its guidelines.”

McCollough, a telecommunication and administrative law attorney, told The Defender:

“The FCC needs to receive all the evidence and science regarding the biological effects of RF radiation and deal with it in good faith. The agency must recognize that its current guidelines need to be changed to reflect reality.”

The FCC cannot responsibly ignore this science any longer

CHD’s petition is the latest legal move in an ongoing battle stemming from the FCC’s 2019 decision to not update its 1996 RF exposure guideline and to terminate a legal inquiry process of examining the scientific evidence of adverse biological effects of RF radiation.

The FCC maintained that no further inquiry into scientific evidence was necessary and that its 1996 RF exposure — or emission — guidelines were sufficient for protecting the public against harm.

“The best available scientific evidence, including our consideration of the opinions provided by expert U.S. federal health agencies, supports maintaining the existing RF exposure limits,” the agency stated in November 2019.

In response, the CHD and other petitioners, including the Environmental Health Trust, sued the FCC and filed 11,000 pages of evidence of harm from wireless technology, which they alleged the FCC had ignored in rendering its 2019 decision.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in 2021 sided with CHD, calling the FCC’s 2019 decision “arbitrary and capricious” because it failed to consider the non-cancer evidence regarding adverse health effects of wireless technology.

The court noted that the FCC failed to respond to approximately 200 comments on the record by people who experienced illness or injury from electromagnetic radiation sickness.

Moreover, the court said the FCC “completely failed to acknowledge, let alone respond to, comments concerning the impact of RF radiation on the environment…The record contains substantive evidence of potential environmental harms.”

It has now been three years and more than three months since the FCC’s 2019 decision, CHD’s petition pointed out.

“During that period even more scientific evidence has been published and it provides even more proof of a harmful biological response to RF exposures at and under the FCC’s emissions guidelines,” the petition said.

The Environmental Health Trust “arduously” uploaded all recent scientific studies to the FCC case’s docket, “so the FCC is fully aware of these developments,” the petition said.

“The Commission cannot responsibly ignore this science any longer,” it added.

The FCC has to find a better balance

According to the petition, the FCC must address the environmental impact of RF radiation not only to comply with the 2021 court order — but also to comply with a looming deadline issued by the Council on Environmental Equality (CEQ), the federal agency responsible for developing the implementation procedures of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

In 2020, CEQ issued a set of revisions to its Protection of the Environment rules that require the FCC to consult with CEQ on the environmental impact of RF radiation and provide an opportunity for public review and comment by Sept. 14, 2023, the petition said.

McCollough said.

“The FCC’s emission rules [about RF radiation] have always been purely about human exposure. They do not address limits for exposure to birds, bees, trees, et al. But the CEQ rules — which they have to update to match — make plain that NEPA procedures are all about [the] impact to the entire human environment, not just humans. So in order to comply with the CEQ mandate, they [the FCC officials] have to update their emissions rules to reflect [the] impact on the human and non-human aspects of the human environment…and the science is telling us RF is harming not only people but also wildlife, trees and especially pollinators.”

McCollough acknowledged that it will be a big task for the FCC to address the scientific evidence of the biological impacts of RF radiation on humans and the environment. The FCC’s job is to efficiently oversee the radio spectrum as a public resource to deliver communications — but it also has a human safety mandate, he said. The issue is, “How are they going to balance those two priorities?”

NEPA also requires the FCC to assess environmental impact, so that imperative constrains them as well, McCollough noted. McCollough said.

“We’re not asking them [FCC officials] to turn off all the radios. We’re asking them to find that balance where you can still deliver reasonable communication service — but not make people sick and not destroy the environment, not kill all the pollinators. They’ve got to find a better balance.”

Submit FCC Comments for Proposed FCC Order 22-98

Adapted from a Mar 7, 2023 Action Alert from Children’s Health Defense.

Update: The FCC Extended the Deadlines for Reply Comments to Apr 20, 2023

Factor in the Extended Deadline in the Video Instructions That Follow

In FCC Reply Comments to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Public Comment Process for FCC Order 22-98, Tell the FCC to recognize Electromagnetic Sensitivity (EMS) as a disabling condition and Incentivize Fiber Optics to All Premises (FTAP)

First search for the existing comments  to select a comment to which to reply or just make your own regular comment.

Please also read the commenting rules from the FCC web site:

Title 47 | Chapter 1 | Subchapter A | Part 1 | Subpart C – Rulemaking Proceedings | § 1.415 Comments and replies.

§ 1.415 Comments and replies.

(a) After notice of proposed rulemaking is issued, the Commission will afford interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking proceeding through submission of written data, views, or arguments, with or without opportunity to present the same orally in any manner.

(b) A reasonable time will be provided for submission of comments in support of or in opposition to proposed rules, and the time provided will be specified in the notice of proposed rulemaking.

(c) A reasonable time will be provided for filing comments in reply to the original comments, and the time provided will be specified in the notice of proposed rulemaking.

(d) No additional comments may be filed unless specifically requested or authorized by the Commission.

Note: In some (but not all) rulemaking proceedings, interested persons may also communicate with the Commission and its staff on an ex parte basis, provided certain procedures are followed. See §§ 1.420 and 1.1200 et seq. See also __ FCC 2d __ (1980) (i.e., this order).

(e) For time limits for filing motions for extension of time for filing responses to petitions for rulemaking, replies to such responses, comments filed in response to notices of proposed rulemaking, replies to such comments, see § 1.46(b).

[28 FR 12432, Nov. 22, 1963, as amended at 42 FR 28888, June 6, 1977; 45 FR 45591, July 7, 1980; 52 FR 37460, Oct. 7, 1987

Write/Submit a Reply Comment

Tell the FCC to follow the Americans with Disabilties Act, recognize that EMS Electromagnetic Sensitivity (EMS) can impair one or more life activities, accommodate those disabled by wireless signals greater than -85 dBm in areas accessible to people and demand that the FCC incentivize Fiber Optics to All Premises (FTAP).

With the proposed FCC Order 22-98, the FCC wants to ensure everyone has access to high-speed internet, regardless if that access is wired (via Coaxial and Fiber optic cables to each home and business) or is wireless. Despite the evidence already in the FCC’s and DC Circuit’s records that radiofrequency (RF) radiation, at insufficiently regulated signal strengths, is harmful to people and the environment, the FCC is charging forward without recognizing the mandates that the U.S. Courts of Appeals, D.C. Cir. levied on the FCC in its 2019 and 2021 rulings:

  1. Ruling in Case No. 18-1129: United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians v. Fed. Commc’ns Comm’n, 933 F.3d 728 (D.C. Cir. 2019)
  2. Ruling in Case No. 20-1025: Envtl. Health Tr. v. Fed. Communications Comm’n, 9 F.4th 893 (D.C. Cir. 2021)
In Case No. 20-1025 The DC Cir. judges wrote:

“We conclude that it impossible on this record to credit the claim that small cell deregulation will ‘leave little to no environmental footprint.’ Order ¶ 41. The FCC anticipates that the needed ‘densification of small deployments over large geographic areas,’ id., could require 800,000 deployments by 2026, FCC, Declaratory Ruling & Third Report & Order, FCC 18-133 ¶ 126 (Sept. 26, 2018). The FCC failed to assess the harms that can attend deployments that do not require new construction, particularly the cumulative harms from densification. . . We conclude that the FCC fails to justify its conclusion that small cells ‘as a class’ and by their ‘nature’ are ‘inherently unlikely’ to trigger concerns. By ignoring the extent to which it had already streamlined review, the Commission overstated the burdens of review . . . The Commission fails to explain why the categorical exclusions in place did not already minimize unnecessary costs while preserving review for deployments with greater potential environmental impacts . . . We hold that the Order’s deregulation of small cells is arbitrary and capricious because its public-interest analysis did not meet the standard of reasoned decision making.”

In Case No. 20-1025 The DC Cir. judges wrote:

“. . . we grant the petitions in part and remand to the Commission to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that its guidelines adequately protect against harmful effects of exposure to radio-frequency [microwave] radiation. It must, in particular,

  • (i) provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to retain its testing procedures for determining whether cell phones and other portable electronic devices comply with its guidelines,
  • (ii) address the impacts of RF radiation on children, the health implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation, the ubiquity of wireless devices, and other technological developments that have occurred since the Commission last updated its guidelines, and
  • (iii) address the impacts of RF radiation on the environment.”

Wireless radio frequency microwave radiation is bioactive and is currently being insufficiently regulated. Therefore, each state or locality can regulate the maximum power output of microwave radiation from wireless infrastructure antennas that reaches any areas that are accessible to human beings and other living organisms, consistent with the 11,000+ pages of peer-reviewed, scientific evidence that Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense and others plaintiffs placed in the FCC’s public record: Vol-1, Vol-2, Vol-3, Vol-4, Vol-5, Vol-6, Vol-7 Vol-8, Vol-9, Vol-10, Vol-11, Vol-12, Vol-13, Vol-14, Vol-15, Vol-16, Vol-17, Vol-18, Vol-19, Vol-20, Vol-21, Vol-22, Vol-23, Vol-24, Vol-25, Vol-26 and Vol-27.

Before March 21, one can submit reply comments in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for FCC Order 22-98. In the comment, one can

  1. Remind the FCC of the evidence already in its record (use the links cited above),
  2. Tell the FCC that the D.C. Circuit court’s 2019 and 2021 mandates, cited above, are required, not optional
  3. State to the FCC that wireless signal strengths from any licensed or unlicensed frequency that is greater than -85 dBm in areas accessible to human beings violate Title 47 U.S. Code Section 324, in the very statute that authorizes the FCC itself:

Title 47 U.S. Code Section 324 – Use of Minimum Power:

“In all circumstances . . . all radio stations. . . shall use the minimum amount of power necessary to carry out the communication desired.”

One can also send the comments to one’s State and Federal elected repersentatives, who must hold government agencies accountable for their decisions.

What You Can Do
  1. Search for and select a comment to which you wish to reply.
  2. Write a reply comment specific to the selected comment in step 1, save it as a pdf and upload it to the FCC Electronic Comment System web site.
  3. Submit a pre-written comment or copy and paste a customizable prepared response.
  4. Complete the form to email FCC committee decision-makers and your federal elected representatives.
Demand the Following:
  1. Sufficiently Implement the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit’s 2019 and 2021 mandates, cited above.
  2. Prioritize “fiber to all premises” solutions.
  3. Follow the Americans with Disabilities Act: recognize and then accommodate those reporting EMS symptoms by providing, in areas accessible to people, effective relief from the signals from wireless infrastructure antennas.

Appendix A

Federal Communications Commission DA 23-54


Released: January 20, 2023


GN Docket No. 22-69

Comment Date: February 21, 2023

Reply Comment Date: March 21, 2023

On December 22, 2022, the Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on potential rules to address digital discrimination of access to broadband, pursuant to section 60506 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. See Implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Prevention and Elimination of Digital Discrimination, GN Docket No. 22-69, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 22-98(rel. Dec. 22, 2022) (Preventing Digital Discrimination NPRM); see also Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Pub. L. No. 117-58, 135 Stat. 429, § 60506 (2021).

Specifically, in the Preventing Digital Discrimination NPRM, the Commission proposes to

  • (1) adopt a definition of “digital discrimination of access,”
  • (2) revise the Commission’s informal consumer complaint process to accept complaints of digital discrimination of access, and
  • (3) adopt model policies and best practices for states and localities combating digital discrimination.

The Preventing Digital Discrimination NPRM also seeks comment on other rules the Commission should adopt to facilitate equal access and combat digital discrimination, and the legal authority for adopted rules.

On January 20, 2023, a summary of the Preventing Digital Discrimination NPRM was published in the Federal Register. Federal Communications Commission, Implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Prevention and Elimination of Digital Discrimination, Proposed Rule, 88 Fed. Reg. 3681 (Jan. 20, 2023).

Accordingly, comments are due on or before February 21, 2023, and reply comments are due on or before March 21, 2023. Complete comment filing instructions are set forth in the Preventing Digital Discrimination NPRM. Preventing Digital Discrimination NPRM at para. 97.

To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice).

For further information, contact Aurélie Mathieu, Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418-2194 (voice) or e-mail at

Appendix B

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Section 60506

The text below is the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act section 60506.


(a) STATEMENT OF POLICY. — It is the policy of the United States that, insofar as technically and economically feasible

  • (1) subscribers should benefit from equal access to broadband internet access service within the service area of a provider of such service;

  • (2) the term “equal access”, for purposes of this section, means the equal opportunity to subscribe to an offered service that provides comparable speeds, capacities, latency, and other quality of service metrics in a given area, for comparable terms and conditions; and

  • (3) the Commission should take steps to ensure that all people of the United States benefit from equal access to broadband internet access service

(b) ADOPTION OF RULES. — Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall adopt final rules to facilitate equal access to broadband internet access service, taking into account the issues of technical and economic feasibility presented by that objective, including—

  • (1) preventing digital discrimination of access based on income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin; and

  • (2) identifying necessary steps for the Commissions to take to eliminate discrimination described in paragraph (1).

(c) FEDERAL POLICIES.—The Commission and the Attorney General shall ensure that Federal policies promote equal access to robust broadband internet access service by prohibiting deployment discrimination based on—

  • (1) the income level of an area;

  • (2) the predominant race or ethnicity composition of an area; or

  • (3) other factors the Commission determines to be relevant based on the findings in the record developed from the rulemaking under subsection (b).

(d) MODEL STATE AND LOCAL POLICIES.—The Commission shall develop model policies and best practices that can be adopted by States and localities to ensure that broadband internet access service providers do not engage in digital discrimination.

(e) COMPLAINTS. — The Commission shall revise its public complaint process to accept complaints from consumers or other members of the public that relate to digital discrimination.

Berkshire Eagle Opinion Piece Refuted

Adapted from a Berkshire Eagle Opinion piece, Jan 12, 2023 | Original opinion piece here.

First Pittsfield, then Lenox and now Sheffield. Heated debates over the lack of safety of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) of any size or any “G” are igniting in communities across the Berkshires. The rollout of so-called “5th-generation” of WTFs (which is actually 4G/5G densification) is stalling in many places. That is because this attempt to place heavy industrial equipment next to residences, schools, parks, recreation areas or care facilities — is unnecessary, hazardous and running into stiff opposition.

Local residents are informed, organized and confident. They are asserting their political will and asking their local governments to pass protective local telecommunications laws consistent with the federal law: the 1996 Telecommunications Act (1996-TCA). These residents are insisting on the responsible placement of WTFs: only in commercial and industrial zones and only if a significant gap in telecommunications service has been proven with substantial written evidence in the public record.

Telecommunications service is not broadband, as the Wireless industry would like you to believe. It is only the ability to make outdoor wireless phone calls along major roadways. Once that has been achieved, there is no significant gap in telecommunications service and no basis for preemption of local laws.

The big problem for the Wireless industry is that on Friday the 13th in August 2021, the wireless world irrevocably changed due to a landmark ruling in the US Courts of Appeals, DC Circuit in Case 20-1025 Environmental Health Trust v. FCC, 9 F.4th 893 (D.C. Cir. 2021). In that ruling the DC Cir. judges based their ruling on the following substantial written evidence: 11,000+ pages of peer-reviewed, scientific evidence that Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense and others plaintiffs placed in the FCC’s public record: Vol-1, Vol-2, Vol-3, Vol-4, Vol-5, Vol-6, Vol-7 Vol-8, Vol-9, Vol-10, Vol-11, Vol-12, Vol-13, Vol-14, Vol-15, Vol-16, Vol-17, Vol-18, Vol-19, Vol-20, Vol-21, Vol-22, Vol-23, Vol-24, Vol-25, Vol-26 and Vol-27.

The judges in that case ruled:

“. . . we grant the petitions in part and remand to the Commission to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that its [microwave radiation maximum public exposure] guidelines adequately protect against harmful effects of exposure to radio-frequency [microwave] radiation. It must, in particular,

  • (i) provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to retain its testing procedures for determining whether cell phones and other portable electronic devices comply with its guidelines,
  • (ii) address the impacts of RF radiation on children, the health implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation, the ubiquity of wireless devices, and other technological developments that have occurred since the Commission last updated its guidelines, and
  • (iii) address the impacts of RF radiation on the environment.”

This ruling extinguishes the old tale spun by wireless industry propaganda that often fills mainstream media: that there is a debate about the safety of wireless infrastructure. That debate is over. The evidence of biological harms caused by the microwave radiation pollution that spews from WTF infrastructure antennas 24/7 has been

  1. Entered into the FCC’s public record,
  2. Accepted by the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  3. Ruled upon by the D.C. Circuit — and all other Circuits are bound by this ruling.

The judges mandated that the FCC finally address the substantial written evidence of negative impacts of pulsed, modulated wireless radiation from cellular infrastructure antennas on adults, children and the environment. The judges also mandated the FCC to determine whether its RF microwave radiation exposure guideline adequately protects against harmful effects RF microwave radiation microwave radiation. While we are all waiting for the FCC to complete this court-mandated work, no community should allow any irresponsible placements of WTFs close to residences, schools, parks, recreation areas or care facilities. In fact, any locality can deem WTF applications incomplete until the FCC completes this court-mandated work.

The evidence at the links, above, is on the public record at the FCC and at the U.S. Courts of Appeals. This evidence is fueling the citizen action we’ve seen recently at the Pittsfield Board of Health and Lenox Planning Board. Now Sheffield officials are also learning that the wireless industry propaganda holds no water.

Please note that any person or media outlet that claims that there “is a dearth of comprehensive scientific evidence on the long-term health impacts of exposure to microwave transmissions” is wrong and woefully uninformed. The 11,000+ pages of evidence at the links, above, inform everyone.

Similarly, any person or media outlet that alleges there is “little procedural wiggle room:” is also uninformed about the legislative intent of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, expressed in the 1996-TCA conference report cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 in City of Rancho Palos Verdes v. Abrams, 101 Cal.App.4th 367, 124 Cal. Rptr. 2d 80 (Cal. Ct. App. 2002)

​Justice Breyer, with whom Justice O’Connor, Justice Souter and Justice Ginsburg join, concurring

“Congress initially considered a single national solution, namely a FCC wireless tower siting policy that would preempt state and local authority. Ibid.; see also H. R. Conf. Rep. No. 104-458, p. 207 (1996). But Congress ultimately rejected the national approach and substituted a system based on cooperative federalism. Id., at 207-208. State and local authorities remain free to make siting decisions.

The Legislative intent of the 1996-TCA is stated clearly in the 1996-TCA Conference Report:

“The conferees also intend that the phrase ‘unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services’ will provide localities with the flexibility to treat facilities that create different visual, aesthetic, or safety concerns differently to the extent permitted under generally applicable zoning requirements even if those facilities provide functionally equivalent services. For example, the conferees do not intend that if a State or local government grants a permit in a commercial district, it must also grant a permit for a competitor’s 50-foot tower in a residential district.”

In 1996, localities were granted the power to locally regulate the operations of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) of any size or any “G” in order to ensure public safety. Sheffield’s cell tower controversy, like the ones before it and those that will inevitably follow, underscore that localities are not sufficiently informed about cooperative federalism and are overly-influenced by Wireless industry propaganda.

Any person or media outlet that alleges there is a need for “a more robust and thoroughly updated regulatory framework that town planners and health boards can rely on when wireless facility opponents press their public safety case in town meetings and tower permit hearings” is reading straight from the Wireless industry propaganda playbook. There are no such needs. The Federal law, the 1996-TCA is clear: localities have the final say in zoning matters to restrict WTF placement in order to deliver actual public safety to its residents.

Although, the Berkshire Eagle has expressed its “skepticism about far-reaching claims of myriad health problems caused by the [RF microwave] emissions from cell towers and that such claims should “require evidence demonstrating not just correlational but causal links.” . . . nothing in the 1996-TCA requires such causal links. That is just more Wireless industry propaganda.

The 1996-TCA says in Title 47 U.S. Code §332(c)(7)(B)(iii)

“Any decision by a State or local government or instrumentality thereof to deny a request to place, construct, or modify personal wireless service facilities shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record.

The “substantial evidence contained in a written record” are the 11,000+ pages of evidence, cited in the links, above. Any locality can cite that evidence to substantiate its decision to deny any irresponsible placement of a WTF in its community. Full stop.

The Fourth Circuit Determines That Section 230 Is Not a License to Do Whatever One Wants Online

By Jason Fyk, Nov 18, 2022 | Original The Federalist article here

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals just fixed 230(c)(1), creating a conflict with the Ninth Circuit Court. Will the Supreme Court finally address the breadth of Big Tech immunity?

On Nov. 3, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rendered a decision in Henderson v. Private Data that could revolutionize the internet, concluding that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act does not immunize “all” online publication decisions. The Fourth Circuit Court just determined Section 230(c)(1) no longer protects a service provider when it acts upon third-party content (i.e., as a secondary publisher or content provider), especially if those substantive contributions are unlawful.

We now have the conflicting circuit court precedents in the Fourth and Ninth Circuits. The Supreme Court needs to consider the Fourth Circuit’s arguments and address this split between the circuits.

As I’ve also discussed in Human Events and The Gateway Pundit, Section 230 has two distinct problems.

  1. Section 230(c)(1) is untenable “as applied”
  2. Section 230(c)(1) is unconstitutional “on its face.”

Prior to the Fourth Circuit Court’s Henderson decision, most courts, relying on longstanding precedent like Zeran v. AOL inc., wrongly believed that Section (c)(1), not 230(c)(2), “shields from liability all publication decisions, whether to edit, to remove, or to post, with respect to content generated entirely by third parties.” This statement, taken out of context, is wrong.

Courts have consistently misapplied 230(c)(1)’s protection to content moderation decisions more fitting the 230(c)(2) paradigm. Section 230(c)(1) was read and applied so broadly that 230(c)(1) became absolute sovereignty and 230(c)(2) became redundant protection.

Under such reasoning, the California courts came to the arbitrary conclusion that I was treating Facebook as “a publisher” of my own content, and that their “content development” actions (i.e., substantive contributions) did not rise to the arbitrary level of an “information content provider.” They dismissed my case without truly considering my argument.

The CDA Can’t Protect All Publication Decisions

Over the past 51 months, my attorneys, Jeff Greyber and Constance Yu, and I have been arguing that 230(c)(1) cannot logically immunize “all publication decisions.” In fact, we argued Section 230(c)(1) cannot logically apply to any active content moderation decisions. However, we have not had much success convincing the courts that their longstanding precedent is fatally flawed.

Mere days before we petitioned the Supreme Court, things took a strange turn. Another Ninth Circuit case, Enigma vs. Malwarebytes, concluded the “Good Samaritan” general provision of the CDA located in Section 230(c), does not immunize anticompetitive content blocking. Anticompetitive blocking was the exact cause of action I had advanced in the California courts. My result, however, was different than Enigma’s.

We hit a unique crossroads. Do we go back to the Northern District of California (NDCA) to argue the Enigma panel conflict and forgo our eminent Supreme Court filing, or do we press ahead, include Enigma in our Petition for Writ of Certiorari, and argue it in the Supreme Court? Since our petition was essentially ready to file, it made far more sense to go forward rather than backward.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court declined to take up our case, likely because the conflicting decisions were within the same circuit court. It seems we were a little ahead of our time, as now the conflict is between circuits as well, with the Fourth Circuit’s November decision.

A Constitutional Challenge to Section 230

We also began working on a Constitutional Challenge of Section 230 and a motion 60(b) for the NDCA to overturn my original incorrect judgment. It took roughly two and a half months to file our motion 60(b), and a little over a year to file our constitutional challenge.

Seven months after filing motion 60(b), the district judge (who had retired) rendered a cursory two-page dismissal stating: “The Order that Fyk seeks to vacate based its conclusion on 47 U.S.C. 230(c)(1). By contrast, the Ninth Circuit’s Enigma opinion did not involve the application of 230(c)(1); instead, the court examined 230(c)(2)” (citations omitted).

In other words, the judge essentially said, ignore the typical canons of statutory construction, like reading a statute as a whole text or harmoniously, and just consider 230(c)(1) as a completely separate statute, exclusive of 230(c)(2). He essentially said Section 230(c)’s “Good Samaritan” “general provision” (i.e., formally known as an “Intelligible Principle”), does not apply “generally” to the whole statute. Absolutely bizarre!

We thought we might have a little more luck with the Ninth Circuit Court, because a circuit court “should” be inclined to fix its own conflicting decisions. We appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court calling into question whether Section 230’s “general provision” applies “generally” or whether it only applies exclusively to 230(c)(2). Conversely, we also argued, if the general provision is not somehow the statute’s “intelligible principle,” the statute (per Jarkesy v. SEC) is unconstitutional on its face. It was a catch-22 argument. Either way, my case should have surpassed dismissal.

Rather than grant me justice, the Ninth Circuit Court dismissed my case yet again, erroneously claiming we did not file in the NDCA within a “reasonable time,” even though neither Facebook nor the NDCA court ever mentioned “timeliness.” Thinking the Ninth Circuit must have missed something in our timeline, we filed a motion for reconsideration on Nov. 2. Almost as if by divine intervention, the very next day, a decision came down that would change everything.

A Decision that Could Change Everything

On Nov. 3, after more than two decades of confusion, the Fourth Circuit Court finally clarified the proper interpretation and application of its own 1997 decision in Zeran v. AOL Inc. They correctly held CDA’s 230(c)(1) does not stretch (i.e., read within context) to include “actions” such as content moderation that exceed basic formatting or procedural publishing functions (i.e., passive hosting functions).

Simply put, 230(c)(1) only applies to passive hosting, not content moderation. Big Tech’s glass house has finally cracked! Section 230(c)(1) “is not license to do whatever one wants online.”

To be clear, 230(c)(1) does not immunize “all publishing decisions.” “Formatting or procedural functions” are not “active” publishing decisions. They are the passive service functions of a publishing service, not the active publishing function of an Information Content Provider.

The Fourth Circuit Court distinguished between the two types of publishing functions: passive procedural/service functionality, and active publishing/content moderation functionality. In other words, put simply, 230(c)(1) does not apply to a service provider’s publishing decisions — content moderation.

When Big Tech Becomes a Publisher

The Fourth Circuit Court went on to say: “An interactive service provider becomes an information content provider whenever their actions cross the line into substantively altering the content at issue in ways that make it unlawful.”

Because the Fourth Circuit took the time and care to consider Section 230 “de novo,” something the Ninth Circuit failed to do in my case, Section 230(c)(1) should no longer misapply to the service provider’s own “substantive alteration” or content moderation actions. In other words, the provider or user can, in fact, be treated as “a publisher” for their own actions, but they cannot be treated as “the publisher” for the publishing actions of another. The Fourth Circuit just fixed 230(c)(1), and in doing so, created a conflict with the Ninth Circuit Court.

We could not have made it any clearer to the court, we were not treating Facebook as “the publisher” (i.e., as Fyk), we were treating Facebook as Facebook for its own substantive unlawful alterations, such as unpublishing, soliciting a high-paying owner, and republishing the exact same content.

In fact, the Fourth Circuit Court went a step further, clarifying 230(c)(1) does not apply when there is no content at issue, which was plainly stated in Fyk v. Facebook, “this case is not about content.” The provider or user cannot logically be “cast” (i.e., treated) as someone else, for someone else’s offensive content, if there is no content at issue.

Heading Back to the Supreme Court

It was no surprise to learn the Ninth Circuit Court denied our motion for reconsideration yet again, but not before we “timely” filed the Henderson decision as supplemental authority that contradicts the Ninth Circuit’s interpretation of 230(c)(1). I now have a circuit court conflict as I head back to the Supreme Court.

Recall the Supreme Court maxim: “[W]e hold the general rule to be that, where a federal court of Appeals sua sponte recalls its mandate to revisit the merits of an earlier decision denying [constitutionally protected] relief to a [punished party], the court abuses its discretion unless it acts to avoid a miscarriage of justice as defined by our [constitutional] jurisprudence.”

Recently, the Supreme Court decided to take up two Section 230 cases. We hope that they might also consider our imminent petition because what the California courts have done here is a willful disregard for justice and a blatant violation of their oath to uphold the Constitution. We formally notified the California courts that in denying me all remedy was to deny me of my rights, yet they did it anyhow. Remember, “To take away all remedy for the enforcement of a right is to take away the right itself.”

We respectfully submit that the Supreme Court should reconsider our previous petition, and if the Supreme Court wants a true comprehensive analysis of Section 230, it should also consider our constitutional challenge.

Lenox, MA: A Less Protective Wireless Bylaw Amendment Is Up for Community Vote on Dec 8, 2022

Debate intensifies as opponents insist on actual public safety

Adapted from an article by Clarence Fanto, Nov 16, 2022 | Original The Berkshire Eagle article here.

LENOX — It’s down to the wire for the town’s efforts to gain voter approval of a new telecommunications bylaw that seeks to improve cell reception in underserved areas. An opposition group has been speaking out at Planning Board and Select Board meetings, voicing opinions about health hazards of radio-frequency emissions from cell installations.

A recent consultant’s study found widespread spotty cell reception in much of Lenox, including downtown, the southeast section and the village of Lenox Dale, among other areas. The residents have entered data that shows otherwise.

The Planning Board has been wrapping up details of a telecommunications zoning bylaw for action by voters at a special town meeting Dec. 8. A two-thirds supermajority is required for approval. A legally required public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 29 in person at Town Hall or via Zoom at

On Thursday, Lenox Citizens for Safe Cell Siting will hold its own session at Town Hall and via Zoom to hear speakers “explain what rights Lenox should retain to ensure that our new bylaw will protect the beauty of our town, our health and our property values,” according to a statement from the organizers.

A leading opponent, Courtney Gilardi of East Street in Lenox and a former resident of southeast Pittsfield, summed up the group’s opposition at a recent Select Board meeting. Gilardi has been among residents of the Pittsfield neighborhood involved in extended litigation against the city over a Verizon cell tower off South Street, but within the residential area.

She stated that her home, and those of several neighbors, “have been rendered uninhabitable due to radio-frequency emissions” from the adjacent cell facility less than 500 feet from her house on Alma Street.

Gilardi urged town leaders to postpone action on a new wireless zoning bylaw. “All I want is to go home and be safe in my home,” she told Select Board members, “and all I want is to prevent what happened in Pittsfield from happening again in Lenox.”

Gilardi called for “a strong wireless zoning bylaw” including a “substantial setback for our schools or a school exclusion zone” and “protection for our health, safety and property values.”

She asserted that “nobody is against better connectivity” but objected to towers 250 feet or less from residential properties. “Take your time and do this right,” she said. A review by outside legal counsel is needed, Gilardi added, “so everyone in Lenox is connected and protected.”

Guest speakers at Thursday’s forum organized by opponents include:

  • Kent Chamberlin, emeritus professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of New Hampshire’s College of Engineering and Physical Science. He served on the New Hampshire State Commission that researched health and environmental impacts of wireless communication.
  • Theodora Scarato, executive director of Environmental Health Trust, a nonprofit that focuses on wireless radiation.
  • Scott McCollough, described as a telecommunications attorney.
  • Andrew Molnar, a citizen involved in rewriting a wireless zoning bylaw for Ithaca, N.Y.

The session will be hosted by Jonathan Mirin of Hilltown Health, a grassroots environmental group based in Huntington, serving communities west of Greenfield. The one-hour presentation, following by a half-hour Q&A session, with questions to be submitted in advance, begins at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Town Hall Auditorium, 6 Walker St.

Questions can be submitted via email to

According to the citizens’ group, the following issues will be discussed:

  • Adverse Health effects from electromagnetic RF microwave radiation exposures from cell towers/antennas at levels hundreds of thousands of times lower than the unprotective FCC RF microwave exposure guideline
  • What the FCC’s 1996 Telecommunications Act tells municipalities that they can and can’t do; and – Examples of protective wireless zoning bylaws that are already in place.

A similar forum was held in October 2020, when the Lenox Housing Authority was considering an application for a low-power cell antenna to be installed within the chimney of the Curtis subsidized housing complex in the center of downtown. The proposed project was sidelined after Curtis residents and opposition groups entered evidence of harms from RF microwave radiation exposures at public meetings.

How the FCC Protects Wireless Carriers and Ignores Public Safety

Adapted from an article by By Peter Elkind | Original ProPublica article (

The wireless industry is rolling out millions of new wireless antennas/transmitters amid 11,000 pages (27 volumes) of scientific evidence that was accepted by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and served as the basis for how the U.S. Courts of Appeals, D.C. Circuit ruled on Friday the 13th, 2021 in Case 20-1025, Environmental Health Trust, et al. v FCC — the day the Wireless world irrevocably changed.

The US Courts of Appeals, DC Circuit ruled in Case 20-1025, Environmental Health Trust, et al. v FCC — a lawsuit that challenged the legality of the FCC’s attempted de facto rule-making, a sneaky maneuver that tried to extend its current RF microwave radiation exposure guidelines to frequencies above 6,000 MHz, without any reasoned decision-making. The judges caught the FCC and remanded FCC Order 19-126 back to the FCC, invalidating the Order.

The DC Circuit judges ruled the following in Case 20-1025:

“. . . we grant the petitions in part and remand to the Commission to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that its guidelines adequately protect against harmful effects of exposure to radio-frequency [microwave] radiation. It must, in particular,

  • (i) provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to retain its testing procedures for determining whether cell phones and other portable electronic devices comply with its guidelines,
  • (ii) address the impacts of RF radiation on children, the health implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation, the ubiquity of wireless devices, and other technological developments that have occurred since the Commission last updated its guidelines, and
  • (iii) address the impacts of RF radiation on the environment.”

Jump to the links to 11,000+ pages of peer-reviewed, scientific evidence that Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense and others plaintiffs placed in the FCC’s public record — at the bottom of this web page.

In short, the scientific evidence and the courts have established that the FCC RF microwave radiation exposure guideline is not protective of people or the environment. So how can Federal regulators continue to say there’s nothing to worry about and how could they ignore the court’s 2021 mandate and continue to rely on the scam of a RF microwave radiation exposure guideline that considers only the rate of exposure, not the total exposure over time?

The evidence of adverse health effects started rolling in within weeks of the activation of a new cellphone tower in August 2020 in Pittsfield, an old factory town in Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains. Seventeen residents reported headaches, dizziness, insomnia or confusion. A few children had to sleep with “vomit buckets” by their beds.

Like many people, Bobbie Orsi had never paid close attention to questions about the evidence of health effects of RF microwave radiation from Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTF) antennas. She mostly viewed it as an issue that had long ago been put to rest. But after becoming the chair of Pittsfield’s Board of Health as the evidence was presented by those injured, Orsi, a 66-year-old registered nurse who had spent much of her career in public health, decided to educate herself.

She combed through a stack of research studies. She watched webinars. She grilled a dozen scientists and doctors. Over several months, Orsi went from curious to convinced. She concluded that

  • RF microwave radiation exposure from Verizon’s 115-foot 4G tower were to blame for the problems in Pittsfield
  • The established evidence concludes significant adverse biological effects and harms from RF microwave radiation from Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTF) antennas at RF Microwave radiation power levels that are hundreds of thousands of times, if not millions of times lower than the non-sensical FCC RF microwave radiation exposure guideline
  • Everything from effects re: fertility and fetal development, DNA damage, to associations with cancer — has been downplayed in the U.S.

Orsi and the Pittsfield board decided to try to do something about Verizon’s tower and they quickly discovered that they would get no help from federal regulators. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has responsibility for protecting Americans from RF microwave radiation hazards generated by wireless transmitters, has repeatedly sided with the telecom industry in denying the possibility of virtually any human harm.

Worse, from Orsi’s perspective, federal law and FCC rules are so aligned with the industry that only the most astute state and local governments comprehend that they are NOT barred from taking action to block Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) of any size or any “G” to protect the health of their residents.

Orsi, her colleagues and her attorneys identified a legal opening: They argued that the FCC’s exclusive oversight role applied only to approving cell tower sites, not to adverse health effects triggered after a Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF) was built and its operations were initiated. Under the 1996 Telecommunications Act, local governments are full participants in the cooperative federalism scheme that the US Supreme Court affirmed in 2005 (in Palos Verdes vs Abrams) and therefore, it is very clear that the regulation of the operations of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) was never preempted from local zoning authority.

In April, the Pittsfield Health Board issued an emergency cease-and-desist order directing Verizon to shut down the tower as a “public nuisance” and “cause of sickness” that “renders dwellings unfit for human habitation.” (Several families had abandoned their homes.) The order was the first of its kind in the country.

But, almost as quickly as the battle began, it ended. On May 10, Verizon sued the city in federal court. The company contended that the Pittsfield residents’ medical complaints were bogus, completely side-stepping the facts no one needs to establish medical claims in court under the Americans with Disabilities Act, to which all Wireless Carriers are subject. Those negatively impacted merely need to show that the operations of a WTF near their homes results in a significant impairment of one or more life activities, as established in the language of the 1996-TCA itself:

Relevant Citations of 1996-TCA

(b) MANUFACTURING– A manufacturer of telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment shall ensure that the equipment is designed, developed, and fabricated to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable.

(c) TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES– A provider of telecommunications service shall ensure that the service is accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable.

(d) COMPATIBILITY– Whenever the requirements of subsections (b) and (c) are not readily achievable, such a manufacturer or provider shall ensure that the equipment or service is compatible with existing peripheral devices or specialized customer premises equipment commonly used by individuals with disabilities to achieve access, if readily achievable.

(e) GUIDELINES– Within 18 months after the date of enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board shall develop guidelines for accessibility of telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment in conjunction with the Commission. The Board shall review and update the guidelines periodically.

(a) PURPOSE- It is the purpose of this section–

  •       (B) public telecommunications network interconnectivity, and interconnectivity of devices with such networks used to provide telecommunications service; and
    • (2) to ensure the ability of users and information providers to seamlessly and transparently transmit and receive information between and across telecommunications networks.

(b) COMMISSION FUNCTIONS- In carrying out the purposes of this section, the Commission–

      • (1) shall establish procedures for Commission oversight of coordinated network planning by telecommunications carriers and other providers of telecommunications service for the effective and efficient interconnection of public telecommunications networks used to provide telecommunications service; and

      • (2) may participate, in a manner consistent with its authority and practice prior to the date of enactment of this section, in the development by appropriate industry standards-setting organizations of public telecommunications network interconnectivity standards that promote access to —

      •       (A) public telecommunications networks used to provide telecommunications service;

      • (B) network capabilities and services by individuals with disabilities; and

(1) NO IMPLIED EFFECT– This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall not be construed to modify, impair, or supersede Federal, State, or local law unless expressly so provided in such Act or amendments.

In any case, Verizon argued, the cease-and-desist order was barred because federal law gave the FCC the sole power to regulate wireless-radiation.

Caving to the Wireless industry saber-rattling propaganda that a David-and-Goliath battle would be prohibitively costly, Pittsfield’s City Council refused to fund the fight. A month later, the Board of Health withdrew its cease-and-desist order.

The build-out of a new generation of wireless networks, densified 4G and 5G, is amping up the stakes of this conflict for localities across America. The industry repeatedly says that it will require an estimated 800,000 to 1,000,000 new WTFs, including both towers and densely spaced “small wireless facilities” transmitters mounted on rooftops and street poles. That means more than tripling the current number of WTFs, and many of them will be unnecessarily and dangerously placed far too close to residences.

The FCC has held firm to its position that there’s no problem. In a statement for this article, a spokesperson said the agency “takes safety issues very seriously” but declined to make officials available for on-the-record interviews. The FCC is an improbable organization to serve the role of protecting humans. It specializes in technical issues that make the communications system function, not in health and safety. Indeed, it has no expertise in these matters.

Edwin Mantiply dealt with cellphone-radiation issues before retiring from the agency four years ago. He said:

“At the FCC, they feel like this is really not their problem. It’s not their job to do this kind of thing. They might have a token biologist or two, but that’s not their job. [The FCC] doesn’t really want to deal with uncertainty, ”

The result, Mantiply said, was that in situations where the science isn’t black and white — and it isn’t when it comes to cellphones — the agency tended to listen to the telecom industry, which vehemently insists that cellphones are safe. In the view of Mantiply, there’s more than enough evidence about RF microwave radiation harms from wireless infrastructure antennas — and some of the strongest evidence comes from the federal government itself.

In 2018, a massive, nearly-two-decade study by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), part of the National Institutes of Health, found “clear evidence” that cellphone radiation caused cancer in lab animals.

“We’re really in the middle of a paradigm shift,” said Linda Birnbaum, who was director of the NTP until 2019. It’s no longer right to assume cellphones are safe, she said. “Protective policy is needed today. We really don’t need more science to know that we should be reducing exposures.”

The FCC rejected the need for any such action when it reviewed its standards on cellphone radiation in 2019. The agency decided it would continue to rely on exposure limits it established in 1996, when Motorola’s StarTAC flip phone was considered cutting edge. The way the FCC went about reexamining its standards so dismayed a federal appeals court that, in 2021, it excoriated the agency for what it called a “cursory analysis.” The court accused it of “brushing off” evidence of established harms from RF microwave radiation exposures and failing to explain its reasoning.

The agency’s “silence,” the court said, left unclear whether the FCC even “considered any of the evidence in the record.” The appeals court ordered the agency to revisit the adequacy of its safeguards.

All this has left Orsi frustrated. Petite and intense, she has been through these sorts of fights before. Years ago, with the eventual support of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), she helped push General Electric to clean up the toxic chemicals it had dumped in Pittsfield.

Orsi said:

“The Board of Health has a mandate to protect the citizens of Pittsfield . . . If a company can come in and do something to make people sick, and the Board of Health has no authority to act, that’s ludicrous.”

To see how completely the U.S. telecom industry has prevailed in the rhetorical war [propaganda, plain and simple] over cellphone safety so far, consider this example. In February 2019, near the end of a hearing largely devoted to extolling the wonders of 5G technology, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., asked representatives of two wireless industry trade groups what sort of research the industry was funding on the biological effects of densified 4G/5G, which remains largely untested.

“There are no industry-backed studies, to my knowledge, right now,” replied Brad Gillen of the CTIA (originally called the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association). “I’m not aware of any,” replied Steve Berry of the Competitive Carriers Association. Wireless companies maintain that cellphones and base stations operating within the FCC’s exposure limits pose no proven risk, yet the evidence proves otherwise . . . yet the evidence proves otherwise (see the links to the 11,000 pages, referenced above).

A CTIA spokesperson wrote in a statement, “The consensus of the international scientific community is that radiofrequency energy from wireless devices and networks, including 5G, has not been shown to cause health problems.” . . . yet the evidence proves otherwise (see the links to the 11,000 pages, referenced above).

In a September 2021 meeting with Pittsfield’s Board of Health, for example, Verizon’s chief expert was a University of Pittsburgh theoretical physics professor named Eric Swanson. He testified that wireless radiation is far too weak to cause cancer or any of the problems the Pittsfield residents were reporting. He suggested they have psychological problems. Fears of radio-frequency radiation, Swanson alleged in the videotaped meeting, are based entirely on “fringe opinion,” backed only by cherry-picked evidence. Swanson said he’d spotted one such study on “an Alex Jones website” and voiced exasperation:

“This is the kind of stuff I have to deal with.” Concerns about wireless radiation, he said, are at odds with the overwhelming scientific consensus. “All international bodies,” he said, “declare cellphones to be safe.” The FCC has been similarly scornful.

In a June 2020 Washington Post op-ed, Thomas Johnson, general counsel for the agency during the administration of President Donald Trump, wrote:

“Conjectures about 5G’s effect on human health are long on panic and short on science.”

Johnson has since decamped to a law firm that represents telecom companies. (Johnson declined requests for comment.)

“It’s a slog at the moment to convince people this isn’t just crazy stuff,” said Louis Slesin, an MIT-trained environmental policy Ph.D. and the editor of Microwave News, an industry newsletter that has chronicled the wireless-radiation debate for four decades. But a growing body of international research establishes biological harms from RF microwave radiation exposurefs — many of them unrelated to cancer.

Henry Lai, an emeritus professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington, has compiled a database of 1,123 peer-reviewed studies published since 1990 investigating biological effects from wireless-radiation exposure. Some 77% have found “significant” effects, according to Lai. By contrast, an earlier review by Lai found that 72% of industry-sponsored studies reported no biological effects.

One branch of research has studied radiation impacts on test animals, mostly rats and mice, but also guinea pigs, rabbits and cows. Another has examined epidemiological patterns, looking for health effects on human groups, such as heavy long-term cellphone users or people living near cellphone towers. Studies have found impacts on fertility, fetal development, DNA, memory function and the nervous system, as well as an association with an array of cancers.

Several investigations reported a significantly increased risk of brain tumors, called gliomas, among the heaviest cellphone users. And the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, in 2011 classified wireless radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

In 2009, Ashok Agarwal, director of research at the Cleveland Clinic’s American Center for Reproductive Medicine, found that exposing human semen to cellphone radiation for an hour caused a “significant decrease” in sperm motility and viability, impairing male fertility. He advises patients to avoid carrying phones in their pants pockets.

Epidemiological studies show a rise in behavioral disorders among children whose mothers were heavy cellphone users while pregnant, while lab research found hyperactivity and reduced memory in mice exposed in the womb to cellphone radiation.

“The evidence is really, really strong now that there is a causal relationship between cellphone radiation exposure and behavior issues in children,” said Dr. Hugh Taylor, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Yale School of Medicine and past president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

The period of fetal brain development is a “very vulnerable time,” he said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has written that the FCC’s safeguards “do not account for the unique vulnerability and use patterns specific to pregnant women and children.”

It urged the agency to adopt measures “protective of children,” warning that their thinner skulls leave them “disproportionately impacted” by cellphone radiation, and called for better consumer disclosure about exposure risks.

Though both the FCC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) websites dismiss the existence of any special health risk to children . . . the evidence proves otherwise (see the links to the 11,000 pages, referenced above).

And the agencies don’t counsel people to limit their exposure. Instead, they list safety steps, while insisting they’re really not necessary. The FCC’s “Wireless Devices and Health Concerns” page, for example, notes that “some parties” recommend safety measures, “even though no scientific evidence currently establishes a definitive link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses.”

It then states, in bold: “The FCC does not endorse the need for these practices.” Only then does it list “some simple steps that you can take to reduce your exposure” to radio-frequency energy from cellphones. Efforts in the U.S. to promote awareness of wireless-radiation problems have sparked fierce industry resistance.

In 2014, the CDC added this modest language to its website: “Along with many organizations worldwide, we recommend caution in cellphone use.” An influential industry consultant emailed the CDC within days, as a public-records request later revealed, complaining that “changes are truly needed” in the CDC’s language.

The agency quickly softened its warning, which now says: “Some organizations recommend caution in cellphone use.”

The industry’s main trade group, CTIA, has beaten back local consumer-disclosure measures. For example, in 2015, CTIA sued Berkeley, California, after its City Council passed an ordinance requiring retailers to post a safety notice warning customers that carrying a cellphone tucked in a pocket or bra might expose them to excessive radiation. A five-year legal battle, including a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court, ensued. It ended after the FCC weighed in, saying the ordinance interfered with its exclusive authority by “over-warning” consumers and frightening them “into believing that RF emissions from FCC-certified cellphones are unsafe.” With that, the judge ruled against the city.

“The industry doesn’t want you to pay any attention to that stuff because that just creates anxiety among users,” said Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California-Berkeley, who advised the city in its fight. “They want you to think these devices are perfectly safe.” . . but evidence proves otherwise (see the links to the 11,000 pages, referenced above).

By contrast, more than 20 foreign governments have adopted more protective measures.

      • France requires new phones to be sold with headsets and written guidance on limiting radiation exposures; it also bans phones marketed to small children and ads aimed at anyone younger than 14.

      • Greece and Switzerland routinely monitor radio-frequency radiation levels throughout the country. Britain, Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, India and South Korea urge citizens to limit both their own exposure and cellphone use by children.

      • The European Environment Agency does too, noting: “There is sufficient evidence of risk to advise people, especially children, not to place the handset against their heads.”

When the FCC’s rules on radio-frequency emissions from phones and transmitters were adopted 26 years ago, just 1 in 6 Americans owned cellphones, which they typically used for short periods. Today, 97% of adults own a cellphone, and they use the device for an average of five hours a day. More than half of children under 12 own a smartphone.

Then and now, the FCC’s rules targeted just one health hazard: the possibility that wireless radiation can cause immediate “thermal” damage, by overheating skin the way a microwave oven heats food. Most experts agree that risk is nonexistent under any but the most unusual circumstances.

Meanwhile, the FCC doesn’t even consider “biological” impacts: the possibility that wireless exposure, even at levels well below the FCC limits, can cause an array of human health problems, as well as harm to animals and the environment. The FCC’s approach matches the industry’s long-standing position: that wireless radiation is simply too weak to cause any non-heating damage.

Of course, the wireless industry has every incentive to take this position. Going back to the 1990s, the industry has recognized the financial peril posed by health effects caused by RF microwave radiation, and it has pressed the public and government to reject them altogether.

In 1994, for example, Motorola swung into action when it learned of troubling research by Lai and a University of Washington colleague, Narendra Singh, who found that two hours of exposure to modest levels of wireless radiation-damaged DNA in the brains of lab rats. Such changes can lead to cancerous tumors.

Motorola’s then-PR chief described a strategy to discredit the findings in a pair of memos that were later leaked to Microwave News. Motorola’s approach would serve as a template for the industry’s response to troublesome research over the three decades that followed.

The researchers’ methodology would be challenged for raising “too many uncertainties” to justify any conclusions. The scientists’ credibility would be questioned and their findings dismissed as irrelevant.

Finally, friendly academics, “willing and able to reassure the public on these matters,” would be recruited to rebut the findings. (At the time, Motorola defended its conduct as the “essence of sound science and corporate responsibility” and affirmed that there was “a sound scientific basis for public confidence in the safety of cellular telephones.”)

Doubters in the government would be neutralized too. As the FCC moved toward adopting wireless-radiation limits in 1996, EPA officials, whose experts had conducted the most extensive government research on wireless-radiation risk, affirmed their problems of biological harm from RF microwave radiation exposure in a presentation to the FCC.

They urged the FCC to follow a two-stage strategy: to meet a looming congressional deadline by first setting interim limits covering known thermal effects; then to commission a group of experts to study biological risks and develop permanent exposure guidelines. But the FCC never pursued “Phase 2.” Instead, just months later, Congress completed a multiyear defunding of the EPA’s wireless-radiation group, sidelining the agency from researching the issue.

At the EPA, a lone radio-frequency radiation expert named Norbert Hankin remained, periodically rankling the wireless industry by publicly rebutting “the generalization by many that the [FCC] guidelines protect human beings from harm by any or all mechanisms.”

Going forward, the FCC, which has no in-house health or medical expertise of its own, would increasingly rely on the FDA and industry-influenced technical organizations. (The FDA itself has collaborated with the CTIA, the wireless industry trade group, to study cellphone safety. That research found “no association” between exposure to “cell phones and adverse health effects.”)

Still, there was enough awareness among government scientists from multiple agencies that, in 1999, the FDA asked the NTP to “assess the risk to human health.”

The NTP conducts detailed lab studies, typically on rodents, to evaluate environmental hazards. Its findings, widely regarded as the gold standard for toxicology work, routinely prompt federal public-health actions. The FDA requested that the NTP conduct its own animal experiments, which were “crucial” to assess cancer risk because of the long delay between human exposure to a carcinogen and a tumor diagnosis. As an FDA memo put it, “There is currently insufficient scientific basis for concluding either that wireless communication technologies are safe or that they pose a risk to millions of users.”

The NTP study was the biggest the agency had ever conducted and lasted over a decade. It used an unusually large number of rats and mice — some 3,000 — and involved both setting up a lab in Chicago and designing and constructing special radiation-exposure chambers for the rodents in Switzerland.

The final report was released in November 2018. The results were dramatic.

      • The study found “clear evidence” of rare cancerous heart tumors, called schwannomas, in male rats; “some evidence” of tumors in their brains and adrenal glands; and signs of DNA damage.

      • The percentage that developed tumors was small, but, as the study’s authors noted earlier, “Given the extremely large number of people who use wireless communication devices, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure” could have “broad implications for public health.”

The federal government’s scientists had spoken. But the parts of the government charged with following the science and protecting people responded (in the case of the FCC) by publicly ignoring the results or (in the case of the FDA) pooh-poohing them. The study changed nothing, said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, and the chief official advising the FCC on wireless issues, in a statement at the time of the study’s release.

Shuren disputed several key findings and asserted that the study “was not designed to test the safety of cellphone use in humans,” even though his own agency had commissioned it specifically for that reason. He added: “We believe the existing safety limits for cellphones remain acceptable for protecting the public health.” (An FDA spokesperson said Shuren declined to comment.)

The NTP findings, combined with similar results that year from the Ramazzini research institute in Italy and other studies, demanded a strong response, according to three long-time former government experts who spoke to ProPublica.

“It should have been the game-changer,” added Moskowitz, the Berkeley public-health researcher.

The former government officials believe the NTP findings should have led to a detailed statistical risk assessment by federal health agencies, spelling out the possible incidence of cancer in the general population; development of stricter FCC limits to address biological risks; prominent user warnings detailing simple steps people should take to minimize their exposure; and dramatically increased research funding. None of that happened.

“Their conclusion was, ‘Oh, there was nothing going on,’” said Birnbaum, the NTP’s then-director and a toxicologist. “Many of us found that very hard to believe.”

Today Birnbaum, who retired in 2019 after 40 years with government health agencies, is tempered in her assessment of the evidence.

“Do I see a smoking gun? . . . Do I see smoke? Absolutely. There’s enough data now to say that things can happen.”

Birnbaum said the NTP results should have triggered a consumer advisory akin to “the black-box warning on a drug, to say this has been associated to possibly cause cancer.”

Even as the NTP study was happening, the FCC in 2013 had been prodded by a Government Accountability Office report to review its radio-frequency exposure limit, unchanged since 1996.

“We recognize that a great deal of scientific research has been completed in recent years and new research is currently underway, warranting a comprehensive examination,” the FCC wrote, in opening its inquiry. Over the six years that followed, 1,200 comments poured into the FCC’s docket, including scores of studies (and a briefing on the NTP findings); appeals for stronger protections signed by hundreds of international scientists; and 170 personal accounts of “electro-sensitivity” radiation sickness, similar to the complaints in Pittsfield, resulting from neighborhood cell towers.

An Interior Department letter voiced awareness of the adverse impacts of radiation from towers on migrating birds, noting that the FCC’s limits “continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today.”

The FCC was overwhelmed by the flood of comments, according to Mantiply, the agency official most involved in radio-frequency issues during this period. “We didn’t have the resources to even read all the comments,” he told ProPublica. Mantiply thought higher-ups were ignoring the issue.

“There was really nothing being done on it,” he said. “The inquiry was just on a back burner, and the back burner was turned off.”

So Mantiply, a soft-spoken physical scientist, decided to take action. In 2017, as the FCC’s review of its wireless standards entered its fourth year, he said, he and three colleagues proposed hiring an outside consulting firm to conduct an environmental assessment, a detailed formal examination, of the submissions on the radiation safety limits.

But their boss, Julius Knapp, the head of the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology, summarily rejected the proposal, according to Mantiply.

“He said, ‘No, we’re not going to do that.’ He let us know in no uncertain terms. He just rejected it in a single meeting.”

(Knapp, who is now retired, declined to comment on the record. FCC officials, through a spokesperson, declined requests to discuss the matter. Former FCC engineer Walter Johnston, one of the colleagues Mantiply identified as backing his proposal, said he didn’t remember it ever being presented as a “formal recommendation.”)

Mantiply’s proposal came at a time when the Trump White House and FCC commissioners were aggressively promoting 5G. FCC leadership was “not really thrilled with us pushing these inquiries,” Mantiply said. “They just felt like it’d get a lot of attention, that it would be in The Washington Post.”

On his final day at the FCC in August 2018, as he was retiring after 42 years in government, Mantiply raised the issue with FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel during a brief courtesy visit.

Mantiply told Rosenworcel.

“Don’t dismiss all this stuff because you’re hearing from industry, and they’re dismissing it. There’s uncertainty, and we don’t know what’s going on. It’s a very, very difficult problem.”

Rosenworcel, he said, listened politely. Fifteen months later, the FCC voted unanimously to shut down its review after six years. There was no need to change anything, the commissioners concluded. After examining the record, the FCC declared in a written order, it had seen no evidence that the science underlying its standards was “outdated or insufficient to protect human safety.”The U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, disagreed.

Responding to a pair of lawsuits filed by the Environmental Health Trust and other advocacy groups, the court ruled in August 2021 that the FCC had failed to meet “even the low threshold of reasoned analysis” in finding that its limits “adequately protect against the harmful effects of exposure to radiofrequency radiation unrelated to cancer.”

It was a striking rebuke, given the judiciary’s practice of offering agency decisions a high degree of deference, especially on technical matters.

The court wrote that it was scornful of the FCC’s heavy reliance on three “conclusory” statements from the FDA about safety. In oral argument, one judge also challenged the FCC’s claim that an interagency working group was closely monitoring the adverse effects of RF microwave radiation exposure on the FCC’s behalf; in fact, the group hadn’t met since 2018.

The FCC’s actions, the court wrote, waved off any acknowledgement of the protections for children and ignored “substantive evidence of environmental harms.”

And the FCC had said nothing about the impacts of the many technological changes, including 5G, that had taken place since 1996. “Ultimately,” the court wrote, “the Commission’s order remains bereft of any explanation as to why, in light of the studies in the record, its guidelines remain adequate.”

With that, the court sent the issue back to the FCC, for either a fresh review of its 26-year-old standard or better explanations to justify it. In the 15 months since, the FCC, now led by Rosenworcel, who was elevated by President Joe Biden, has taken no formal action.

In its statement to ProPublica, the FCC said it is exploring “next steps” with its “federal partners.” However, the FDA, the FCC’s chief partner on health matters, said in its own statement that it is not currently working with the FCC on any response to the court ruling. There’s been no visible sign of any preliminary FCC steps, according to four lawyers and representatives of the environmental groups that brought the court challenge.

In the past few years, with the appearance of more neighborhood cell towers and transmitters, pressure has begun to rise on this issue beyond environmental groups, longtime advocates and officials in liberal jurisdictions. In November 2020, a bipartisan state commission in New Hampshire charged with investigating Densified 4G/5G issued a detailed report concluding that wireless radiation “poses a significant threat to human health and the environment.”

Among its recommendations: that all new cell towers be at least 1,640 feet (500 meters) from any residence, school or business.

And in April, Mark Gordon, the Republican governor of Wyoming, wrote to Rosenworcel, urging the agency to reexamine its radiation limits based on “current scientific research” to make sure “the health and safety of our citizens is prioritized.”

In Pittsfield, Orsi and her colleagues on the board have grown resigned to their inability to take action against Verizon. Reactions have varied around town. One group of affected neighbors is waging its own separate legal battle with the company.

“It’s very natural for the FCC to listen to the industry,” said Mantiply, the former agency staffer. “That’s their audience and who they deal with most of the time.”

But, he added, “They’re answering to industry more than anything.”

End Notes: Place This Evidence in Your Town’s Public Record ASAP

Extra credit: make your City Clerk print out every page. It’s the City Clerk’s job to do so.

Here are the links to 11,000+ pages of peer-reviewed, scientific evidence that Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense and others plaintiffs placed in the FCC’s public record: Vol-1, Vol-2, Vol-3, Vol-4, Vol-5, Vol-6, Vol-7, Vol-8, Vol-9, Vol-10, Vol-11, Vol-12, Vol-13, Vol-14, Vol-15, Vol-16, Vol-17, Vol-18, Vol-19, Vol-20, Vol-21, Vol-22, Vol-23, Vol-24, Vol-25, Vol-26 and Vol-27.

US Congress Is Moving Forward On Classified 6G Wireless

By, Oct 27, 2022 | Congressional Record Source

Congress is moving forward on classified 6G wireless communications systems, even though microwave irradiating infrastructures (3G/4G/5G and now 6G) are vigorously opposed by communities around the nation and worldwide, due to their hazardous pollution emissions continuously contaminating the environment, and the built-in, unwarranted surveillance this technologhy enables.

The federal government 6G push is led by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). These agencies are members of the UN International Telecommunications Union (UN ITU).

According to microwave weapons expert Barrie Trower, 5G and wireless radiation constitutes weaponry.

More and more communities are putting the brakes on these harmful antenna systems.

A recent study by The International Commission on the Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (ICBE-EMF), entitled “Scientific evidence invalidates health assumptions underlying the FCC and ICNIRP exposure limit determinations for radiofrequency radiation: implications for 5G,” confirmed that FCC and ICNIRP guidelines, set in the 1990’s are not protective of human health or the environment.

According to the NTIA, the UN ITU sets the global standard for 5G. The UN ITU is focused on implementation of Agenda 2030. LINK

**RELATED: The International Telecommunication Union: The Most Important UN Agency You Have Never Heard Of

Link To Congressional Record

Lenox, MA Wireless Bylaw Update

By Clarence Fanto, Eagle correspondent Oct 10, 2022 | Original The Berkshire Eagle article here.

Lenox Cell Tower
The 120-foot cell tower behind Lenox Fit on Route 7/20 is the only full-strength cellular antenna in Lenox.

The 120-foot cell tower behind Lenox Fit on Route 7/20 is the only full-strength cellular antenna in Lenox.

LENOX, MA — For more than 10 years, residents, visitors and first responders have suffered from marginal cellphone signals in much of the town. Now, armed with evidence from a consultant who confirmed the widespread, spotty reception, town planners are pushing to put the finishing touches on their draft of a wireless communications zoning bylaw.

The aim is to protect the town’s scenic and historic character while meeting the needs for modern wireless facilities. The proposal seeks to abide by local, state and federal regulations while minimizing environmental and visual impacts by setting up standards for locations and installations, with a strong preference for placing any new facilities on existing structures.

MA State Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, said on Monday:

“Lenox has to do something, purely from a public safety standpoint and a business standpoint. I think the town is being left behind. If you’re trying to be in business in the center of the business district, it’s near impossible.”

Downtown cell service in the busy town is marginal to poor. Pignatelli noted that he has had dropped calls while at the post office. Pignatelli cited complaints from police officers who can’t make urgent cellphone calls and from residents who can’t call 911 in an emergency.

Another reason for investments in broadband and cellular service: The arrival of residents during the pandemic who can work remotely, he pointed out.

Limits on antenna heights and 300- or 500-foot buffers from residential properties are among the key issues to be settled as the bylaw is set to be fine-tuned at a hybrid Planning Board meeting Tuesday evening at 6 in Town Hall. A final decision is not likely until a follow-up meeting on Oct. 18.

The goal is to have a bylaw proposal ready for debate and a decision by voters during a special town meeting set for Nov. 17. A two-thirds majority would be needed for approval.

The problem may be potential pushback from some opponents of cell installations who claim health hazards from antennas in their neighborhoods, as in a section of south Pittsfield where a legal battle continues over a Verizon tower in a residential neighborhood. A proposed low-power antenna in the chimney of the state-owned Curtis subsidized housing complex in the heart of the Lenox business district went nowhere last year after some apartment residents, many of them elderly, voiced opposition. Several activists attended meetings on the proposal.

As one town official commented informally, “Everybody wants a better signal, but nobody wants a tower near them.” And in Lenox, most potential antenna locations are in or adjacent to residential areas.

Based on a “drive test” technical study conducted in May by consultant David Maxson of Isotrope LLC, who traveled about 100 miles of local roads, much of the town has “marginal” or “poor” service, especially downtown, along portions of Route 7 & 20 and in the Southeast section, including Lenox Dale.

The town’s single existing cell tower, at 90 Pittsfield Road (Rt 7 & 20), less than two miles north of downtown, has all three carriers on it — Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. But the “drive test” measured poor or marginal signals more than 80 percent of the time, with Verizon the worst performer, with only about 10 percent of reception areas ranked as excellent or good, meeting design-standard goals.

With only one tower, Maxson, the consultant, wrote in his report, “the town is primarily served from cell sites outside the town. The two most likely areas of potential wireless facility development are the center of town and the southeast portion of town between Housatonic Street and the Lee line,” including Lenox Dale.

The Planning Board’s draft bylaw emphasizes location preferences:

  • New facilities on existing structures unless it can be demonstrated that shorter, less visible towers or facilities may be preferable.
  • Locations along denser commercial and industrial corridors.
  • New towers as far from residential areas as possible so that their height does not “loom over” neighbors.
  • New towers at sites that “do not pierce valuable scenic and historic views, although towers that ‘blend into’ hillside forests in an aesthetically unobtrusive way may achieve the purposes.”
  • Municipal locations or other public sites that fit in with the bylaw’s other requirements.

The draft bylaw includes, as the top priority, choices including concealed installation at an existing wireless location, attachment to an existing tower without a substantial change, or a small wireless facility. The lowest priorities include substantial modification to an existing base station or tower, a new camouflaged or concealed tower or, at the bottom of the list, a “naked” new tower.

Applications for any new towers would require a mailed notification to all property owners within at least 300 feet, or possibly 600 feet, of the proposed site. The draft bylaw suggests the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals would consider administrative approvals, special permits or variances, depending on the nature of a wireless facility application.

“Lenox is in the enviable position to be pro-active and identify where it wants something and guide how this infrastructure will look,” Land Use Director and Town Planner Gwen Miller said Monday.