Grassroots Environmental Opposes SB.649

August 9, 2017

The Honorable Lorena Fletcher Gonzalez
Chair, Assembly Appropriations Committee
State Capitol, Room 2114
Sacramento, California 95814

In Opposition to SB 649 Wireless and Small Cell Telecommunications Facilities (as amended 7/18/2017)

Dear Assembly Member Gonzalez Fletcher,

Grassroots Environmental Education is a non-profit environmental health organization with a mission to inform individuals and lawmakers about the links between common environmental exposures and human health impacts. Our award-winning work has helped New York State adopt legislation prohibiting pesticides on school grounds and banning hydraulic fracking for natural gas

We are strongly opposed to statewide legislation in any state which takes away from local decision makers the ability to protect their constituents from harm. The telecommunications industry, one of the most powerful and profitable industries in the country, is spearheading the national effort to consolidate decision-making about 5G technology at the state level so as to avoid the cost and potential delay that might be caused by individuals and organizations that put health ahead of profits. We proudly count ourselves as one of them.

Scientific and medical researchers have established strong correlations between exposure to “regular” wireless radiation (i.e., 2G, 3G, and 4G) and biological impacts, including interference with normal brain development, problems with implanted medical devices and debilitating physical and neurological problems in some individuals. The telecommunications industry hides behind the skirts of the FCC, using long-outdated exposure standards to claim their technology is “safe,” while refusing to address the hazards from RF/MW radiation concluded by the growing body of peer-reviewed studies.

Early studies on the effects of exposure to 5G technology, which uses an entirely different kind of waveform to transmit data (millimeter waves, or “mmW”), suggest much stronger and more dangerous impacts. These waves are known to penetrate the skin, and affect the eye’s cornea. Indeed, the ability of mmW to inflict pain on individuals has prompted the military in several countries, including the U.S., to develop weapons for crowd control using this technology.

Despite this power, the waves used for 5G transmissions don’t travel very far, and are diminished by trees, rain, and other objects. To overcome this problem, the wireless industry proposes to deploy a dense array of antennas, placing them on buildings and poles at short intervals along our streets and backyards, in every city, town and village in the country.

Are we so desperate to download a movie in a few seconds that we are willing to risk the public’s health by deploying a new, untested technology in a massive, nationwide experiment? Are state legislators comfortable passing industry-sponsored legislation that prevents local decision makers from having any control?

Certainly, the charge for public officials to protect the health and safety of all our citizens demands that the telecommunications industry be required to provide proof of safety before any conscientious legislator is asked to vote to antidemocratic preemption legislation which is now before you.

Link to 2017-0809-SB649-Grassroots-Environmental-Opposition-Letter.pdf