Property values have also been known to drop once a cell tower is erected, due to the perceived risk of negative health effects. Cellular phone frequencies have also seriously disrupted local emergency and law enforcement radio communications.
Massachusetts lawyer Mark Berthiaume, opposing placement of a cell phone tower, said “Municipalities …. are being bullied every day by providers of wireless telephone service who use their financial clout and the federal (law) to intimidate the communities into allowing them to place large towers in inappropriate locations.” 17
Some Questions and Answers
But don’t we need and depend on cell phones?
Of course. No one is saying not to have cell phones and towers, but to make them safer. If Austria can have levels 10,000 times more protective, then so can we. It is just more expensive to the companies. Also, we don’t have to let these cell towers go anywhere and everywhere the industry wants them. We can require that they erect the minimum number required to provide adequate coverage, and be put in the safest places possible.
Why don’t we just oppose the construction of cell towers in our county?
In a strategic move, the cell phone industry has tried to make it illegal for citizens to oppose the towers based on health concerns. In the Telecommunications Act of 1996, state and local rights were seriously limited with regard to opposing towers based on health concerns. The constitutionality of this Act has been challenged in the Supreme Court, and a long legal battle is sure to follow. But it will take years, while the public continues to be exposed to chronic, cumulative radiation with each new cell tower.
So what CAN we do?
The Telecommunications Act prevents citizens from opposing the towers based on concerns about RF emissions, but we can oppose them on numerous other valid grounds. There are still rights we and our local elected officials maintain, that allow us local control of the number, size and placement of cell towers, while still providing for adequate cell phone coverage. Numerous communities have called for moratoriums on tower construction, allowing them needed time to study the issue, and enact strict ordinances that require the industry to respect community desires, such as building the minimum towers necessary, in appropriate locations. During these moratoriums, communities are preparing non-industry biased studies of cell phone tower need, and creating cell tower Master Plans, to help protect the rights and health of citizens, while complying with the law. 18, 19, 20
Siting of cellular towers is an important function of our elected officials. Protection of citizens’ health and property rights should be foremost in the responsibilities of local government. We urge our elected officials to protect the health and welfare of the citizens who live here, rather than big-money interests with profit as their bottom line.
Egypt, Cairo: city limits,
Trinidad and Tobago, Port-of-Spain,
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte,
Port Augusta South Australia
Oxnard California USA
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