U.S. House Bill Seeks to Eliminate Environmental Review for Many Wireless Telecommunications Facilities

Adapted from an article by B.N. Frank<, Apr 23, 2020 | Original Activistpost article here.


A terrible new House bill that was introduced by lame duck John Shimkus (R-MI) (in exchange for a parting payment from the Telecom industry?) is just bat-shit crazy


HR.6648 counters the important Aug 9, 2019 Ruling from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down a NEPA exemption for so-called "small" Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) in Case No. 18-1129 — Keetowah et. al v. FCC.

This Wireless industry-friendly bill has been introduced in the US House of Representatives says that the FCC does not need to perform any environmental review for Densified 4G and 5G and sWTF under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Language from Bill HR.6648.

The FCC shall not be required to perform, and may not require any entity regulated by the Commission to perform, any review under such Act or division as a condition of permitting the placement and installation of a communications facility if the new facility —

  • will be located within a public right-of-way; and

  • is not more than 50 feet tall or 10 feet higher than any existing structure in the public right-of-way, whichever is higher;

  • the placement and installation involve the expansion of the site of an existing facility not more than 30 feet in any direction.

The bill, HR 6488, will undo last year’s historic ruling that vacated the FCC’s decision to do away with NEPA review of small cell deployments. Representative John Shimkus of Illinois introduced the bill which has now been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Natural Resources.

This bill would directly reverse the August 2019 decision by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit which halted the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to expedite the deployment of 5G technology. The FCC had issued an order in March 2018 eliminating environmental and historic preservation review for Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) of any G and of various sizes. The FCC had reasoned that even though the industry planned to deploy as many as 800,000 of these 50-foot (or taller) towers in neighborhoods and historic districts around the country, it was not in the public interest to review their potential impacts. The Natural Resources Defense Council, several Native American Tribes and intervenor Edward B. Myers appealed FCC Order 18-30 and won. In 2019 the Court found that the FCC had failed to adequately address the harms of its deregulatory efforts and failed to address the benefits of environmental and historic preservation review.

This 2020 bill seeks to reverse that historic win.

What can you do?

  1. Take action and contact yours and other responsible US Senators and House Representatives.
  2. Tell your representative what you think about stripping environmental review from the Densified 4G/5G deployment process.

Many scientists – including some who have worked for the American Government (see 1, 2) – have already warned about environmental risks from sources of pulsed, data-modulated, Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) exposures from wireless infrastructure and devices. Additional warnings have been issued more recently by scientists for the nonsense and over-hyped propaganda re: the alleged “Race to 5G” (see 1. 2, 3).

Opposition to Densified 4G/5G Deployment in the U.S. and worldwide continues to grow because of catastrophic risks to biology of living organisms (see 1, 2, 3. 4) and environmental health (see 1, 2. 3. 4) and as well as risks to public safety, cybersecurity (see 1, 2), privacy (see 1. 2), and more. Many cities and countries have taken action already including banning it, issuing moratoriums, and passing protective Wireless ordinances (see 1, 2).

Activist Post Topics: 5G, BN Frank, FCC &Telecom