Localities Can Adopt “Smart Planning” Provisions to Protect Their Residents
Adopt “smart planning” provisions for all Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) infrastructure application processing that
- provides clarity and guidance to applicants;
- minimizes the total number of WTF infrastructure antennas and the volume of related equipment required to obtain provide carrier-specific wireless telecommunications coverage in the WTF target search ring;
- uses zoning laws to establish effective protections in residential zones to preserve the quiet enjoyment of streets, privacy, public safety and the residential character of residential zones.
- ensures consistency with the following federal acts: the 1996 Telecommunications Act (1996-TCA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act (RA).
- requires that each WTF installation strictly adhere to all City-adopted building, electrical, fire safety and fall-zone codes and that all applications are reviewed and stamped by independent professional engineers that have licenses in each required specialty: structural, electrical and RF microwave radiation; ensure that for each WTF proposed or currently operating in the City, that all five hazards listed Article 90.I(C) of the National Electric Code (NEC) and conducted emissions (dirty electricity) are sufficiently mitigated: (1) shock, also known as electrical contact, (2) thermal effects, (3) overcurrent, (4), fault current and (5) overvoltage.
- require that WTFs of any size or any “G” pass a city-specified needs test that proves with substantial evidence in the public record that the WTF is needed to fill a proven significant gap in telecommunications service and that the WTF is the least intrusive means to fill that proven gap.
- require WTF applicants and operators to provide a full copy of the firm’s commercial liability insurance policy proving that it has sufficient insurance to cover future claims of injury, illness or death related to RF microwave radiation exposures, naming the local government as the additional insured. In lieu of a full copy of the firm’s commercial liability insurance policy, the applicant or operator can place in escrow, $5,000,000 per WTF that the City can use to cover any future claims of injury, illness or death related to RF microwave radiation exposures.
- require a Comprehensive Wireless Signal Strength evaluation every six months, as described below in Written Evidence — Wireless Antenna Need Test — In Telecommunications (WE-WANT-IT).
Written Evidence — Wireless Antenna Need Test — In Telecommunications (WE-WANT-IT)
WE-WANT-IT tests require a Comprehensive Wireless Signal Strength Test to be conducted every six months by an independent RF Engineer, who will meter the Wireless signal-strength levels in dBm (decibel-milliWatts) of every carrier-specific licensed and unlicensed wireless frequency that is being transmitted to the streets [locality] tied to GPS coordinates from the measurement sites. This requires a spectrum analysis of all frequencies from 100 MHz to 60,000 MHz throughout the city. The full data file for each WE-WANT-IT test will be placed in the [locality’s] public record for anyone to view, analyze and verify and will serve as the basis for local decisions, regarding:
- the need for any additional wireless infrastructure for wireless telecommunications coverage
- the placement, construction, modification and operations of WTFs of Any size or any “G” in the City
The Cost for each WE-WANT-IT test can be paid by existing antenna operators in the City on a prorated basis: based on the share of each Wireless Company’s antenna capabilities, meaning the percentage of the sum of the calculated maximum Effective Radiated Power that could be transmitted by each antenna that is operating within the authority’s borders
Attorney W. Scott McCollough on Mar 29, 2022:
What Local Jurisdictions Can Do → https://youtu.be/eU14NCdEy-Q?t=1054
Attorney W. Scott McCollough Interview (Part 1), Mar 29, 2022
Attorney W. Scott McCollough Interview (Part 2), Mar 29, 2022
Interviewer: “Petaluma, CA did that.”
Interviewer: “The telecommunications service.”
Who Told The Petaluma City Council About the Need for a 1,500 feet setback from any Wireless Telecommunications Facility to Residential Zones?
Local Residents did — in the public record — in 2018!
Proof of No Significant Gap in Verizon Wireless Telecommunications Coverage in Petaluma, CA — Feb 4, 2018
Petaluma City Council, July 16, 2018
The videos above are very timely and valuable advice from INFORMED RESIDENTS AND one of the top Telecom Attorneys in the USA, W. Scott McCollough, the attorney selected to argue at the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit twice in 2021:
Link to Case 20-1025: Children’s Health Defense, Environmental Health Trust et al. v FCC → https://youtu.be/E3jsLvaLC3g?t=6465
- . . . a ruling in which the judges remanded in part, FCC Order 19-126, as arbitrary and capricious (i.e. unlawful) and then ruled the following:
“. . . 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.”
Link to Case 21-1075: Children’s Health Defense et al. v FCC → https://youtu.be/ZfSwOxuz8JY?t=1863
- McCollough’s Closing Statement: “We are talking about really, really ugly [and] powerful antennas authorized by this rule [change]. Instead of a porch light, we are talking about stadium lights that emit out to a mile [or more]. Instead of a television speaker, we are talking about talking about a large rock band playing in a stadium, with people who can hear it out to a mile. The old rule dealt with consumer-end equipment, [which is] not very powerful and with lower emissions. This rule [change] directly allows for carrier base stations with up to 3x [to 300,000x] the power level. Starry Internet plans to put up to three base stations at each location, covering 12,000 households with a one-mile radius, 360-degrees. They could not do that under the old rule. That is a material change.“
- Case 21-1075 ruling, in which the judges wrote: “a regulation can no more preempt a federal statute than a federal statute could preempt a provision in the Constitution.”, including, but not limited to the 1996 Telecommunications Act (1996-TCA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act (RA).
- McCollough’s Case 21-1075 — Appeal Conclusion and Prayer: “The Commission is not just “skating on thin ice.” C.f. Slip op. p. 12, n6. The Order’s skate blades have no solid support in §303. Yet the amendment affects a hockey-style blindside, stick-swinging, sucker punch on the Petitioners and all those similarly situated. The FCC is knowingly, callously and purposefully putting Petitioners’ lives at risk, driving them from their homes and forcing them to once again search – probably in vain – for a new place of refuge from involuntary toxin-induced suffering they have made every effort to avoid. The Court must blow its whistle, signal the penalty and end this administrative tyranny.”
Prefer infrastructure and services that provide public benefits and equal access to all who live work, and study in [locality] and to use the fastest, most secure, most privacy-protecting, most energy-efficient and least hazardous hardware and software options to communicate with individuals, businesses and institutions.
Require that any hardware and software used for Telecommunications Service and Information Service in [locality] promote the safety of life and property (which is the very purpose of the FCC itself, Title 47 U.S. Code § 151)
A. Require that any Telecommunications Service and Information Service provider adhere to the Article I, Section 1 of the California constitution and to the 2019 CA Supreme Court ruling in T-Mobile v San Francisco by ensuring that the hardware and software deployed in [locality] preserves residents’ lives, liberty, privacy, public safety and the quiet enjoyment of streets:
California Constitution, Article I Declaration of Rights, Section 1
“All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.”
2019 CA Supreme Court Ruling in T-Mobile v San Francisco
“. . . the City has inherent local police power to determine the appropriate uses of land within its jurisdiction. That power includes the authority to establish aesthetic conditions for land use . . . . the word “ ‘incommode’ means ‘[t]o give inconvenience to; to give trouble to; to disturb or molest in the quiet enjoyment of something, or in the facility of acquisition.’ ” . . . Obstructing the path of travel is one way that telephone lines could disturb or give inconvenience to public road use. But travel is not the sole use of public roads; other uses may be incommoded beyond the obstruction of travel. . . . For example, lines or equipment might generate noise, cause negative health consequences, or create safety concerns. All these impacts could disturb public road use, or disturb its quiet enjoyment.“
B. Maximize city revenue from any fiber optic and other wired infrastructure installed in the [locality’s] public rights-of-way (ROW) by claiming ownership of any such infrastructure that was installed with any ratepayer and other public funds.
C. Explore the recovery of any ratepayer funds that were diverted by Telecom companies from the installation of fiber optic and other wired infrastructure to the placement, construction or modification of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs).
D. Conduct a full investigation and audit of all equipment, cables and wires installed in the public rights-of-way to determine, its accurate, up-to-date valuations and to determine if sufficient tax revenue was collected by the [locality]; collect all back taxes and penalties.
ATTACHMENT 1 TO GORDON OPPOSITION
Tony P. Simmons, PE
PO Box 571300
Las Vegas, NV, 89157-1300
To: Chairman Jennings and Members of the Planning Commission
Recommendation to DENY Planning Resolutions 2148 and 2149 based on inadequate proof of mitigation of recognized electrical safety hazards.
Planning Resolution 2048 is Agenda Item 5.H of the Commission Agenda Report prepared for the June 7, 2021, Commission Meeting. This is for:
Wireless Communications Facility No. 20-010. Coastal Development Permit No. 20-028. Variance No. 20-017 and Site Plan Review No. 20-041 — An application for an upgraded wireless communications facility on a new replacement wooden utility pole in the public right-of-way. This WCF is located at 31557.5 Pacific Coast Highway.
Planning Resolution 2149 is item 5.1 of the Commission Agenda Report prepared for the June 7, 2021, Commission Meeting. This is for:
Wireless Communications Facility No. 20-011. Coastal Development Permit No. 20-029. -Variance No. 20-018. and Site Plan Review No. 20-040 — An application for an upgraded wireless communications facility on a new replaæment wooden utility pole in the public right-of-way. This WCF is located at 6213.5 Kanan Dume Road.,
Issue 1: The Agenda Reports prepared for both installations do not contain the consultant’s report.
The first sentence under the heading on the first page of both Commission Agenda Reports states:
“This application was reviewed by City staff and the City’s wireless communications facility consultant for compliance with all applicable codes and regulations in effect at the time the application was deemed complete. This agenda report provides site and project analyses of the proposed wireless communications facility project, including attached project plans, visual demonstration exhibits, alternative site.”
The record submitted by the Planning Department does not include the report prepared by the City’s wireless communication facility consultant and therefore is incomplete. Consequently, I cannot confirm that the five recognized hazards associated with the use of electricity have been properly mitigated by the design professional in responsible charge.
The Five Hazards Associated with Using Electricity
The National Electric Code NEC recognizes five hazards associated with using electricity that must be mitigated. Article 90.1(A) of the NEC states: The purpose of this code is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from use of electricity. This Code is not intended to be a design specification or a construction manual for untrained persons.
Article 90.I(C) of the NEC specifies five hazards associated with using electricity that must be mitigated, (1) shock, also known as electrical contact, (2) thermal effects, (3) overcurrent, (4), fault current , and (5) overvoltage. Each hazard is based on different principles of physics. No one consideration, other than not using electricity, mitigates all hazards associated with electricity.
Electrical contact may stop the heart or cause a reaction that imperils the life or health of the shocked person or other nearby individuals. This hazard is mitigated by ensuring conductors (wires) are insulated or isolated from casual or inadvertent contact by people and that step potential hazards are mitigated. The design professional must select electrical components that are properly insulated for the site-specific environment, that are properly protected from site specific risks to the insulation, and that are appropriate for site specific for environmental conditions.
(2) Thermal Effects
There at least three independent thermal effects to be mitigated.
- (a) Electrical equipment is rated for a specific ambient temperature and altitude and must be derated for higher elevations and higher ambient temperatures.
- (b) Electric equipment and conductors produce heat when conducting electricity and need adequate air flow to ensure proper cooling.
- (c) A fault current may produce an arc flash that can instantly cause third degree burns.
Overcurrent is the when actual current exceed the design current. As an example, a circuit is designed to safely carry 20 Amps. The circuit breaker protecting the circuit is faulty and allows 40 amps to flow. The wires will create more heat than can be dissipated. The temperature of the wire and insulation will increase and eventually cause the insulation to fail, which in turns leads to a fault current, which can create an arc, which can cause a fire.
(4) Fault Current
Fault current occurs when the insulation system has failed and allows the current to travel along an unintended path. Fault current can lead to an electric arc which can start fires, vaporize metal, and cause third degree burns. The fire report on the collapse of an WCF at Otay High School in Chula Vista, California stated that an electric arc was the heat source responsible for the collapse.
All electrical equipment is designed to operate within a specified voltage range. Overvoltage describes a condition when the actual voltage exceeds the voltage range specified for a component in an electrical system. In 2015, 5,800 electric so-called “smart” meters and an unknown number of customer-owned electrical appliances in Stockton, CA, catastrophically failed when the voltage exceeded the specified voltage range. 80 fires resulted from the overvoltage condition. This incident started when a vehicle struck a power pole carrying transmission and distribution conductors. The transmission and distribution conductors made contact. PG&E lost control of the voltage.
SCE power poles near Malibu Canyon Road and Harbor Vista Drive carry transmission and distribution circuits. The pole 250 feet west of Harbor Vista Drive along Malibu Canyon Drive is not protected against being struck by a vehicle. A vehicle striking this pole may cause the proposed WCF to catastrophically fail.
The City of Malibu retained an outside expert to ensure that electrical, structural and other hazards are mitigated prior to approval by the City. The report analyzing each hazard is missing. These omissions alone are grounds to DENY both resolutions until the missing report is provided.
Issue 2: 14 of 15 engineering documents are marked “PRELIMINARY NOT FOR CONSTRUCTION”.
Fourteen of the fifteen engineering documents in each application are marked “PRELIMARY NOT FOR CONSTRUCTION”.
Thirteen of the documents were not certified by the responsible design professional. The design professionals responsible for these engineering documents told the world the documents were not finished.
There is no requirement that preliminary engineering documents be sealed by a design professional. Nonetheless, the Planning Commission must require that all engineering documents be certified as “ready for construction” by the design professional in responsible charge.
“PRELIMINARY NOT READY FOR CONSTRUCTION” engineering documents alone are grounds to DENY both resolutions.
Issue 3: The engineering documents do not include evidence that the overvoltage hazard has been analyzed.
The overvoltage event in Stockton, California exposed the reality of a hazard recognized in the NEC. The applications provide no evidence that this hazard has been analyzed and mitigated. This alone is grounds to DENY both resolutions until the missing report is provided.
Issue 4: Sheet E-3 SINGLE LINE DIAGRAM Is Blank in the Application for the Kanan Dume Installation.
The one-line diagram is the industry standard method to demonstrate that the fault current and overload protective devices are in the correct position in the electric circuit. Without the information provided in the one-line diagram, it is not possible to determine that the overcurrent and fault current hazards have been mitigated.
A more complete but imperfect example of a one-line diagram is shown on the next page. It was taken from the application for the WCF at 31557.5 Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). This one line shows that the WTR device protects the breaker box and the 10 Amp circuit breakers in the breaker box protect each power supply.
It is possible to analyze the one-line diagram at PCH for errors and omissions. It is not possible to analyze the one-line diagram for Kana Dume due to errors and omissions. The missing one-line diagram alone is grounds to DENY resolution 21-49 until the missing report is provided.
Issue 5: The wrong power supply may have been specified at Kanan
Block 5 on Sheet A-6 for the Kanan Dume WCF shows a PSU AC 08 power supply. The same detail is used in the application for the WCF at 31557.5 Pacific Coast Highway. The WCF at Kanan Dume has a battery backup while the WCF at PCH does not. The detail does not include the electrical specifications.
Fortunately, the application for the WCF at 3956.5 Cross Creek Road also specifies PSU AC 08 and includes the electrical specifications for the power supply.
PSU AC 08 requires input energy from a 100-250 VAC system.
Further research found the table below. The table lists five AC power supplies and two DC power supplies. The table was not taken from the manufacturer’s website. It is indicative and not authoritative. It is possible that an AC power supply has been selected for use on a DC battery backup system. The missing report should resolve this question. This alone is grounds to DENY Resolution 21-49 until the missing report is provided.
- The absence of the consultant’s reports, the unfinished engineering documents, and absence of the overvoltage studies each provide grounds to DENY both resolutions until the missing reports are received.
- The missing one-line diagram and the uncertainty of the power supply provide two additional grounds to DENY Resolution 21-49.
Based on the information provided in the materials before the Planning Commission, I cannot confirm with engineering certainty that the five recognized hazards associated with the use of electricity have been properly mitigated by the design professional in responsible charge.
The unsigned, unsealed engineering documents submitted on behalf of Verizon do not demonstrate with engineering certainty that the five hazards associated with using electricity have been fully evaluated and mitigated for these two installations.
The record before the Planning Commission does not support adoption of the proposed findings in Section 3 of the draft Resolutions related to code compliance and general safety and welfare, including but not limited to A.I, B.2, B.4, B.9, C.4, C.5 and E. 1-4 in Resolutions 2148 and 21-49.