The Telecommunications Act of 1996
In 1996, President Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act (the Telecom Act) into law. The Wireless Industry helped craft this Act.
Section 704 of the TCA states that the citing of towers cannot be regulated “on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emission…” so long as FCC limits are met. Case law in some (not all) Circuit Courts then interpreted it to mean “health concerns” cant be used in the citing of a cell tower.
What This Means For Us
If the corporation believes that your city officials took health into account when denying them a permit, then they state this means your city can be sued because of the Telecom Act.
Q: What Can We Do?
A: Get Informed on the Telecom Act and Showcase How iIt Fails the American People.
Whitney North Seymour Jr. who served as US Attorney for New York, past new York Senator, co-founder of Natural Resource Defense Council drafted an amendment to the Telecommunications Act, section 704 several years ago. Read his published article Dollars, lobbying, and secrecy: how campaign contributions and lobbying affect public policy in Reviews of Environmental Health.
We can talk to our elected officials about how this Act ignored our health. It showcases the power of industry.
Telecom Act of 1996
TA Section 704
The full Act is posted on the FCC web site
(II) shall not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services.
(ii) A State or local government or instrumentality there of shall act on any request for authorization to place, construct, or modify personal wireless service facilities within a reasonable period of time after the request is duly filed with such government or instrumentality, taking into account the nature and scope of such request.
(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.
(iv) No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emissions.