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Strong Opposition to 5G Halts Small Cell Bill in Montgomery County Maryland & Verizon Drops Applications in Burlington

Oct 25, 2018


Update from the East Coast on 5G

Strong Opposition to 5G Halts Small Cell Bill in Montgomery County Maryland

Verizon Withdraws Small Cell Applications in Burlington, Massachusetts after Small Cell  Recertification Requirements Established

(Montgomery County MD) Strong opposition finally halted a proposed a zoning amendment that would enable 5G small cells in close proximity to homes in Montgomery County Maryland neighborhoods. Citizens, medical experts and community organizations worked in coalition raising concerns about health, environment, property values and aesthetics after the measure was put forward. They testified in public hearings and objected most to the provision that citizen’s rights to a public notice and hearing would have been removed if a utility pole were in the front of their homes

The Montgomery County 5G Small Cell zoning amendment was being pushed by the Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett (who notable had previously states that cell towers were bad for the environment), County Council President Riemer and Councilwoman Nancy Floreen.

In the final Council deliberations Montgomery County Councilman Hucker brought forward an amendment to the regulation that would give public notice and hearings to homeowners with a utility pole in front of their homes. The  County staff told him this was not allowed under law and that the county would be preempted. However Councilman Hucker the presented documentation that in fact the county had the authority to regulate both the approval procedure and the setbacks for small wireless facilities to be placed in its ROW and in residential zones.

The Council was set to vote on the complete amendment at the next meeting and to discuss another proposed amendment that would ban small cells near schools. However, the Council President then removed the vote and discussion from the next Council meeting and issued a statement that, “Unfortunately amendments were introduced that essentially sought to obstruct deployment of wireless infrastructure in the future.”

Thus, the passing of the amendment that gave citizens notice and a hearing tainted the otherwise industry friendly bill and was no longer acceptable to industry as it would have forced them to give public notice and hearings.

The Washington Post article, “Montgomery County lawmakers cancel vote on ‘small cell’ bill to regulate 5G network” headlines that “The council couldn’t agree on how close to allow antennas and equipment to be installed near homes.”

(From Cecelia Doucette in Ashland Massachusetts) Meanwhile in Burlington, Massachusetts,  Verizon withdrew their small cell applications upon learning of newly established annual recertification requirement and associated fees  as they did not wish to establish a precedent for recertification fees.

The Burlington, Massachusetts Small Cells Committee had proactively developed criteria in a new policy for reviewing small cell applications which included an annual recertification of equipment installations, with a fee assessed to the telecommunications vendor to pay for town employee time to oversee the recertification process. The town established a website to share with the public each of the small cell applications, letters of concern, staff comments and reports.  

Burlington Cable Access Television covered the story at “Verizon Drops Small Cell Wireless Booster Application in Face of Fees”


Get the Facts on 5g at EHT’s 20 Quick Facts About 5G to get updated on the issues.

Download a PDF of    EHT Factsheet on 5G and Health. The factsheet is hyperlinked (blue text) to research and sources. It is a great resource for policymakers. Read the research on 5G and health here.

What is the alternative? A safe wired solution is the future. Read “Re-Inventing Wires: The Future of Landlines and Networks”. 

Read also “WIRELESS SILENT SPRING” BY CINDY RUSSELL, MD. in Santa Clara Medical Association Magazine.

Briefing by Dr. Martin Pall:  “5G: Great risk for EU, U.S. and International Health! Compelling Evidence for Eight Distinct Types of Great Harm Caused by Electromagnetic Field(EMF) Exposures and the Mechanism that Causes Them”