Recent Fires in Illinois, Pennsylvania Add Urgency to Calls for Moratorium Wireless Radiation Protection Coalition Center for Safer Wireless, StopSmartMeters.Org, Maine Smart Meter Safety Coalition, Naperville Smart Meter Awareness, Maryland Smart Meter Awareness, We the People Are the 9-12 Association, Inc., W4AR (Michigan), Cellular Phone Task Force, Spruce Creek Patriots, Wireless Education Action, Florida Coalition for Health Against Smart Meters, Vermont Stop Smart Meters! Contact: Joshua Hart, Spokesperson Friday, September 21st, 2012 National Campaign to Stop Smart Meters (831) 421 0822/ firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, DC- Citing thousands of instances of ‘smart’ meter fires, health problems, and violations of privacy laws, the National Campaign to Stop Smart Meters and Wireless Radiation Protection Coalition are calling for a National Day of Action on October 4th to demand an immediate moratorium on “smart meter” installations. ‘Smart’ meters are digital devices that monitor utility usage and maintain continuous two-way communication between the customer’s property and the utility company. Utilities are replacing traditional analog meters on homes and businesses all around the country as a supposed energy-saving measure.
Campaign organizers say that these energy savings are failing to materialize, and point to the need for massive new data storage facilities, energy consumption of the meters themselves, and the need for frequent replacement as evidence that “smart” meters are not so “green.” They say smart meter mesh networks are in fact consuming significant energy as part of their routine operation, sending out pulses of microwave radiation day and night, and subjecting residents to health problems, increased risk of fire, rising energy bills, and even power disruption.
The wave of demonstrations in early October is timed to coincide with “GridWeek,”a conference being held in Washington, DC by industry and government proponents of the smart grid. In addition to Washington, DC, other demonstrations are being planned throughout the United States to coincide with the Washington event.
“We are calling for a moratorium on the installation of “smart” meters, and for utilities to remove existing “smart” meters already in place on homes and businesses.” says Joshua Hart, spokesperson for the Campaign, “Like any defective product, whether automobile, food or drug, these meters require an immediate product recall. Analog meters were safe, accurate, and lasted for 80 or more years. My grandmother used to say, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Utilities and governments now need to take responsibility and fix the mess they’ve created.”
Coalition members protesting on October 4threpresent the nationwide groundswell of opposition groups from more than a dozen different states, challenging smart meters in a wide variety of regulatory and legal venues.
“Smart” meters emit strong bursts of microwave radiation that the World Health Organization labeled a Class 2b carcinogen in May of 2011. This is the same category as lead, DDT, and chloroform. The meters are widely reported to be impacting human and environmental health. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has warned people with a number of medical conditions to avoid them. Thousands of people have reported ringing in the ears, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, nausea, heart irregularities, memory loss, and anxiety after a smart meter was installed on their home. Despite this, utilities in many parts of the country are forcing smart meters onto private property and unlawfully disconnecting people’s essential services for refusing to accept a smart meter.
A series of 26 smart meter fires in Pennsylvania forced PECO to suspend further installations in August, and this has sparked inquiries in Washington, DC, Maryland, and other states. Problems with wiring, lack of UL certification, and unprofessional, shoddy installations have been suspected as causes of these and other fires, which have already caused millions of dollars in damages. Yet installations continue in many areas. Public safety advocates are demanding an immediate moratorium on these unsafe, untested devices.
According to a Congressional Research Service Report [February 2012], the Department of Energy determined smart meters can reveal people’s daily schedules, the use of individual appliances, whether they use certain medical equipment and other personal information. “Smart meters are an invasion of privacy. They are a detailed and warrantless information gathering devices attached to our homes and businesses,” said Ed Friedman lead plaintiff in a smart meter case that has been remanded to the Maine Public Utilities Commission after a victory in the Maine Supreme Court.
The National Campaign to Stop Smart Meters and Wireless Radiation Protection Coalition are urging members of the public to do the truly smart thing: plan your own event to demonstrate against ‘smart’ meters on October 4! See http://actiondaytostopsmartmeters.org for materials and more information on planning an event, and for locations and times of events being planned around the country and internationally.
The main demonstration in Washington DC begins at 10:00 am Oct. 4th at the GridWeek conference outside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place N.W., Washington, DC 20001. For other demonstrations around the country, see http://actiondaytostopsmartmeters.org
On December 20, 2011 the opening brief was filed in an appeal involving the rights of people disabled by electromagnetic radiation. The reply brief was filed February 21, 2012.
The case, Firstenberg v. City of Santa Fe, was originally filed in state district court in New Mexico to assert the rights of people with disabilities whose lives are threatened by the proliferation of cell towers.
The rights at issue are fundamental. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires municipalities to consider the needs of people with disabilities in zoning decisions. The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution guarantees to every person the equal protection of the laws, and says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Read more…
On December 30, 2011 a group in Naperville, Illinois filed a federal lawsuit asking for a permanent injunction against the mandatory installation of Smart Meters in the city of Naperville. They are alleging violations of the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. The lawsuit states that by installing Smart Meters without consent, the City of Naperville is invading citizens’ privacy and taking their property without due process of law. The complaint, Case No. 11-cv-9299 in United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, can be read here: http://napervillesmartmeterawareness.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Complaint-for-Injunctive-Relief-11-cv-9299.pdf
A law that was due to go into effect on January 1, 2012 would have made it illegal to sell 100-watt incandescent lilght bulbs in the United States. 60-watt incandescent bulbs would have been illegal on January 1, 2013, and all incandescent bulbs would have been illegal one year later. At the last minute, in late December, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, a nine-month delay in the effectiveness of that law. At present the ban on 100-watt bulbs is due to become effective on October 1, 2012. A similar ban in Canada has been delayed until January 1, 2014.
On November 15, 2010, the world’s most powerful commercial satellite, called Lightsquared, was launched into orbit, promising to provide North America with ubiquitous 4G wireless broadband service (and nationwide radiation). That particular venture by billionaire Philip Falcone quickly ran into legal trouble, and is not up and running. In fact Sprint, which entered into an arrangement to build the terrestrial part of Lightsquared’s network, will pull out of the deal on March 15 if Lightsquared does not secure FCC approval to use the frequencies allotted to it for land-based towers as well as for its satellites. The FCC has withheld permission because of potential interference with global-positioning systems. Read more…
This Saturday at 10 a.m. a reporter from CBS News will be in Green Bank, West Virginia to interview people with electrical sensitivity (ES). Green Bank has attracted international media attention in recent months because increasing numbers of people with ES are taking refuge in that small town in order to escape rapidly worsening electromagnetic pollution everywhere else in the United States. Green Bank is the location of the world’s only Radio Quiet Zone with official protection from most radio frequency radiation. Cell phones will never work in Green Bank, and there will never be Smart Meters there – not as long as the West Virginia zoning ordinance protecting Green Bank’s radio astronomy observatory remains in force. Read more…
With the opening of the school year in Israel, the Education Ministry issued new guidelines limiting the use of mobile devices by students. The guidelines were issued following an appeal by two lawyers, Vered Cohen and Raanan Bar-On. The new guidelines allow use of cell phone in schools only in designated areas.
By Dafna Liel, for Israel Channel 2. http://norad4u.blogspot.com/2011/09/israeli-ministry-of-education-is-going.html
Students are not allowed to speak on their cell phone while in school: new guidelines published by the Ministry of Education on August 30th, 2011, significantly restrict cell phone use by students on school grounds.
According to the new guidelines, students should refrain from talking on their mobile devices on school grounds and if necessary they should use only text messaging or headphones. Read more…
On July 20, 2011, three Green Party members of the Belgian Parliament introduced a resolution recognizing electro-hypersensitivity – full article contains full resolution and link to PDF file.
On May 27, 2011, the 47-nation Council of Europe adopted a resolution warning of the potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment. Among its many recommendations the Council advised member states to “pay particular attention to ‘electrosensitive’ people who suffer from a syndrome of intolerance to electromagnetic fields and introduce special measures to protect them, including the creation of wave-free areas not covered by the wireless network.”
Founded in 1949, the Council of Europe promotes cooperation among all the countries of Europe in the areas of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Its resolutions are influential in policy-making and its decisions have often been adopted through conventions and treaties.
The resolution may be found on the organization’s Web site at http://assembly.coe.int/Documents/AdoptedText/ta11/eRES1815.htm, and the Cellular Phone Task Force has made this resolution available for download as a PDF here.
The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP) has issued a resolution, published April 2011, addressing the urgent problem of cell phone use by children.
The document cites studies showing that since 2000 the rate of nervous system disorders among 15 to 17 year olds has increased by 85%, epilepsy has increased by 36%, mental retardation has increased by 11%, and blood and immune disorders have increased by 82%. In children less than 14 years old nervous system disorders have increased by 58%, and blood and immune disorders have increased by 64%.
The RNCNIRP states that “For the first time in human evolution, the brain is daily exposed to modulated EMF at all developmental stages.” The Russian agency recommends that urgent measures be taken, including:
- all cell phones carry a label indicating that RF radiation is being emitted
- the instruction manuals be required to state that cell phones are a source of harmful RF radiation
- children under 18 years old not use cell phones
- pregnant women not use cell phones
- advertisement of cell phones for children be prohibited
The complete RNCNIRP resolution is here: iemfa.org/images/pdf/RNCNIRP_Resolution_2011.pdf
DRAFT RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
On April 11, 2011, a committee of the Council of Europe unanimously adopted a resolution calling for immediate action to protect the public from the harmful effects of cell phones, WiFi, baby monitors, and other wireless technologies. The resolution will be considered for adoption by the council’s full Parliamentary Assembly on May 27. Read more…
The FCC is proposing to take the first specific steps toward the elimination of landline telephones. Comments from the public were due on or before April 18, 2011.
Briefly, the FCC believes that the switched telephone network (i.e. telephone lines and switching centers) is obsolete and should be dismantled. Therefore FCC’s policy is to phase out telephone lines during the coming years and replace them with broadband service. In other words, the FCC wants ordinary telephones to be entirely replaced with cell phones and computers (voice over Internet). The first step is to take money that is now being used to subsidize rural telephone service and subsidize broadband (i.e. Internet) services instead. Read more…
We had a major precedent-setting victory in Santa Fe Wednesday January 19, 2011. The Board of Adjustment denied AT&T a permit to hide a new base station in a church chimney because it violated a section of the City Code that requires remedies for the health and safety impacts of communication towers. The City Attorney’s office tried to tell the Board members that they didn’t have jurisdiction over health and safety because of federal law, but the Board stood firm. We had approximately 100 people show up in opposition, and everyone spoke about health. We told the board that the Telecommunications Act is not the only federal law they have to obey. There is also the ADA and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. In the end they quoted the city’s own code. AT&T is expected to appeal this decision to the City Council, where a bill for a six-month moratorium on antennas and towers has just been introduced. It’s getting pretty exciting in Santa Fe.
In a related matter, the Justice Department is proposing to revise some of its ADA regulations. Read the comments of the Cellular Phone Task Force to the Justice Department.
About 100 people attended the October 25 meeting on four proposed new AT&T cell towers.
Many more applications from cell phone, WiMAX and utility companies are being submitted to the city, so many and so rapidly that it will be difficult to fight them all one by one (see list in full article). We need the force of sufficient numbers of citizens, acting together, to accomplish a change in city policy. Read more…
During the months before July 2010, more than 100 electrically sensitive people, living in cars and RVs, converged on the Forest of Saoû, the world’s first refuge from electromagnetic radiation. Located in a remote region of the French Alps, this isolated 8-square-mile nature reserve sits in a bowl, almost completely shielded from radio waves by the surrounding cliffs. After arriving here, many of the refugees were able to sleep through the night, and wake up rested and pain-free, for the first time in months or years.
But their respite was short-lived. On July 30, 2010, this convoy of refugees was served with an eviction notice… Read more…