By B.N. Frank
Last month, the Sierra Club DC Chapter Chair, Mark Rodeffer, provided testimony to Councilmember Mary Cheh of the DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment about his concerns about how 5G small cell tower installation will affect DC’s tree canopy. Excerpts include:
DDOT’s Draft Small Cell Design Guidelines state that “trees shall not be removed or have their critical root zones damaged for the installation of Small Cell infrastructure.” It’s a good thing that DDOT has thought about the effect that small cell technology will have on the trees of DC. However, deeper consideration of the issue is needed. Specifically, the District of Columbia must ensure that street trees are not aggressively pruned as DC moves toward small cell infrastructure. This technology requires a direct line of sight between small cells. That could require chopping off large portions of tree branches – which could kill some of the District’s largest and most majestic trees. These are trees that have been enjoyed by District residents and visitors for decades.
The Sierra Club requests that before the deployment of small cell technology, the District government undertake a study of how this infrastructure will effect DC’s trees. We ask that the DC government develop a plan to ensure maximum protection of our trees and our tree canopy. Not just making sure the trees aren’t cut down and protecting the roots – but also protecting tree branches from heavy pruning.
We cannot and should not try to prevent the advancement of 5G technology in the District. But we must ensure our trees and our tree canopy are protected for future generations – for your granddaughter, for millions of others and for the future of the climate.
5G is a source of wireless radiation. Research has already proven that trees are harmed by exposure to wireless radiation. If The Sierra Club DC Chapter really wants to protect trees, they can and should try to prevent the advancement of 5G. Other environmental groups have including The Environmental Working Group, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Sierra Club California chapter whose concerns were about trees and more:
These “small cell” installations not only can cause an aesthetic blight, but can release levels of radiation that we don’t yet know conclusively the health impacts they can impose on humans, especially developing bodies and minds of children. These small cell boxes could pop up anywhere: grocery stores, outside school, playgrounds, communal places, with no requirement to mitigate effects or understand potential environmental and health hazards.
In Washington DC, the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions are taking notice of the push to install 5G Small Cells in their neighborhoods. Washington DC has issued draft guidelines on small cells that would fast track small cell deployment. In response, the DC Advisory Neighborhood Commissions have begun deliberating on the issue and we now have the first resolution issued by ANC3/4G that brings health concerns to the forefront. We expect more ANC’s to follow calling for more protective regulations as citizens learn about health issues, property devaluations and aesthetic issues posed by unfettered 5G small cell deployment.
7 – Because of these concerns, ANC 3/4G urges the Mayor, the Council, and the Attorney General to oppose the imposition of small cell wireless and 5G technology on the District unless scientifically reliable studies demonstrate that they pose no undue health risks for residents or their pets and that those installations will have no damaging consequences for people or the natural environment. This opposition should include, but is not limited to, adoption of legislation or initiation of lawsuits that will protect District residents and our environment from untested and unproven 5G technology.
Again – there is plenty of research that has determined exposure to cell towers and all other sources of wireless WiFi radiation is harmful. This includes 5G. The additional e-Waste that will be created by 5G is also environmentally harmful. All things considered, you can’t have 5G and have healthy trees or anything else.
For more information, visit the following websites:
- Wireless Information Network
- Americans for Responsible Technology
- Center For Safer Wireless
- Center For Electrosmog Prevention
- Citizens for Safe Technology
- Ecological Options Network
- EMF Safety Network
- Environmental Health Trust
- Generation Zapped
- In Power Movement
- Last Tree Laws
- My Street, My Choice
- Our Town Our Choice
- Physicians for Safe Technology
- Scientists for Wired Tech
- We Are The Evidence
- Wireless Right to Know