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To: NY State Legislature Energy and Telecom Committees

New Yorkers Demand Safe Utility Meter and Broadband Policies

Petition Text

New Yorkers are being exposed to an unprecedented level of radio frequency radiation (RFR) from a combination of wireless antennas, smart meters, wifi networks, cell phones, game consoles, sensors, and more. This radiation is not safe for humans or the environment. New York State residents have already been injured from this radiation. Unbelievably, thousands of scientific studies provide evidence that this radiation is posing an existential threat to the health of humans and our ecosystem.(1) The World Health Organization has classified this radiation as a possible human carcinogen in the same category as DDT and lead.(2) Since then studies, such as from the National Toxicology Program, and the Ramazzini Institute, have only corroborated the evidence that the classification did not go far enough.

Therefore, we call on New York State legislators and policy makers, who are our only line of defense for health, safety and property rights to immediately shift direction, beginning with these steps:

1. Hold hearings with community members;

2. Review clinical studies from independent sources on the effects of RFR and recommended levels that should be adhered to for public safety;(3)

3. Inform constituents on these findings and provide direction on protective measures that can be taken to minimize sources of RFR in their homes and neighborhoods.

4. Revise ordinances to comply with the broadband requirements of the community;

5. Eliminate barriers to entry for fiber optics operators, as well as other wired technologies, to provide service to residents that is demonstrably superior to wireless infrastructure;

6. Halt all deployment of wireless antennas until (1) through (4) have been met; and

7. Preserve NYS residents’ rights to retain our analog meters without incurring any surcharges to keep the reliable services we’ve had for decades.

These actions are of the highest urgency. 5G wireless antennas and smart meters are being installed every day throughout New York State. In an ominous experiment, thousands of 5G “monopoles” are going up in New York City, and a “beyond 5-G” outdoor laboratory called COSMOS is being rolled out around Columbia University, encompassing much of West Harlem.

Why is this important?

In addition to urban areas, residents of small towns and rural areas throughout the state are also seeing a blight of wireless antennas and smart meters, without public notice, hearings or informed consent.

The voices of the residents of NYS are being drowned out and our local officials are not listening. The telecom industry spent $328 million on congressional lobbyists in 2021.(5) The utility industry spent over $111 million.(6) Local officials are under the misconception that they are powerless to create regulations protecting the public. This is not true. They have control over the placement of any wireless structures, which is a right reserved by Congress to local government.(7) Residents are being subjected to environmental contamination and an assault on their right to health, privacy, and property. Insurance companies will not insure for injuries from this radiation because it has been categorized as a pollutant.(8)

The telecom and utility industries can no longer claim they are in compliance with any measure of safety based on the radiation exposure limits not updated by the FCC since 1996, which, even at that time were not based on human or environmental hazards. Who would want to buy a car, or board a plane, whose safety regulations have not been updated since 1996? The FCC was admonished by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on August 13, 2021 for the FCC’s “complete failure to respond to comments concerning environmental harm caused by RF radiation” below the 1996 limits, and remanded those 1996 limits back to the FCC for reconsideration.(9) The same court in August 2019 vacated the FCC’s 5G wireless deployment order because of the FCC’s failure to conduct environmental review in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. We are now living in a vacuum, with no official standard of safety from exposure to RFR. The public is at great risk.

Fiber optic networks are superior to wireless because they are faster (offering symmetrical download and upload speeds of at least 100 Mbps in many parts of the U.S.), safer without human or ecological hazards, more reliable, more affordable and not subject to cyber-attacks. Even Tom Wheeler, former FCC Chairman and past promoter of 5G, has called for a “fiber first” policy, and wireless only as a last resort. As Wheeler stated, fiber is future-proof, with a lifespan of 25-50 years, compared to up to 5 years with wireless. Fiber networks have met with success in areas such as Chattanooga, TN, which has one of the fastest broadband services in the U.S., if not the world, and is affordable municipal broadband. Fiber optics networks in New York State will also create thousands of high paying jobs. This is how funds from the federal infrastructure bill must be appropriated, rather than for wireless networks.

It is incumbent on all policy makers to fulfill their fiduciary duty and protect their constituents by enacting laws and ordinances in their interest, not the self-serving telecom and utility industries.

Footnotes

(1) See https://ehtrust.org/science/, https://www.americansforresponsibletech.org/scientific-studies, and http://www.telecompowergrab.org/science.html
(2) IARC Classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields as Possibly Carcinogenic to Humans, 2011, https://www.iarc.who.int/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pr208_E.pdf
(3) Independent sources include Environmental Health Trust, The BioInitiative, and The Building Biology Institute.
(4) See https://westviewnews.org/2021/12/04/4000-giant-sized-5g-antennas-proposed-for-nyc-opposition-grows/web-admin/, and https://newyorkers4wiredtech.com/cosmos-innovation-zone-in-west-harlem/
(5) See https://www.techdirt.com/2021/07/22/telecom-industry-spends-320000-every-day-lobbying-against-policies-it-doesnt-like/
(6) See https://www.opensecrets.org/Lobby/indusclient.php?id=E08&year=2021
(7) Telecommunications Act of 1996 Section 704(a)(7)(A) “PRESERVATION OF LOCAL ZONING AUTHORITY- `(A) GENERAL AUTHORITY- Except as provided in this paragraph, nothing in this Act shall limit or affect the authority of a State or local government or instrumentality thereof over decisions regarding the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities.”
(8) See https://ehtrust.org/key-issues/electromagnetic-field-insurance-policy-exclusions/
(9) https://newyorkers4wiredtech.com/victory-against-fcc/

How it will be delivered

Via email and in person

New York, NY, USA

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Updates

2022-04-17 00:16:25 -0400

500 signatures reached

2022-03-23 13:17:59 -0400

100 signatures reached

2022-03-21 15:36:54 -0400

50 signatures reached

2022-03-19 16:45:33 -0400

25 signatures reached

2022-03-17 15:18:13 -0400

10 signatures reached