By B.N. Frank
American environmental groups have been calling for caution with all cell tower deployment (including 5G) for years. American 5G opposition in general has also been ongoing for years due to various significant risks associated with it including environmental (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) and health risks (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). In fact, since 2018 there have been reports of people and animals experiencing symptoms and illnesses after it was activated (see 1, 2, 3, 4). Of course, in 2019, telecom executives testified that they had NO scientific evidence that 5G is safe. Some researchers have even suggested that deployment may be contributing to COVID-19 infections while some say it isn’t. Regardless, research has determined there are exposure risks associated with 5G, 4G and other sources of wireless Wi-Fi radiation (see 1, 2, 3) and Electromagnetic Fields (aka “Electrosmog”). In fact, last year, a federal court ruled in favor of organizations and petitioners that sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for NOT adequately protecting Americans from wireless radiation exposure (including 5G).
Despite all of the above, American parks have been and continue to install Wi-Fi to use as a “selling point” to visitors. Now the National Park Service (NPS) has made it even easier for cell towers and 5G to be installed in parks. Since much of the U.S. 5G expansion is already being funded by the Biden Administration (see 1, 2), perhaps it will be funded in the parks too. Why the heck not?!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Jeff Ruch (510) 213-7028 [email protected]
Park Service Eliminates Public Notice of New Cell Towers
Public Shut Out of Review of Telecom Expansion as 5G Era Dawns
Washington, DC — The National Park Service is no longer required to inform the public about applications for new cell towers or provide basic information about visual impacts or signal strength, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Ironically, NPS made these policy changes without public notice or involvement.
Besides rescinding public notice requirements for new wireless telecommunications facilities, such as cell towers, the revised NPS policies –
- Repeal requirements that applicants make available information about signal coverage or strength or conduct balloon tests to assess visual impacts of new towers;
- Allow modifications, including expansion, of existing permits without public notice or environmental review; and
- Block the public from appealing right of way approvals for cell towers or other facilities.
The NPS’ stated rationale for this stealth rewrite was: “The revisions found herein were necessitated by outdated information and guidance that is confusing, inconsistent with best practices and processes, and out of step with current technology…”
“Under its new rules, the Park Service gives telecom companies prerogatives it denies to the public,” stated Pacific PEER Director Jeff Ruch, pointing out that emergence of 5G technology will put even more pressure on parks to approve new and expanded current wireless capacity. “The public should be able to review details of any plans to convert their national parks into outdoor cybercafes before the deals are cut behind closed doors.”
These rules were issued in the final days of the Trump administration. A further irony is that they developed in response to a critical 2019 report from Interior’s Office of Inspector General that recommended NPS take steps to improve public notice and involvement in park wireless decision-making. Yet, after concurring with this recommendation, NPS proceeded to do the opposite by repealing the very public notice rules the IGral found parks were ignoring.
PEER is asking the new NPS Director Chuck Sams to review the Trump midnight changes and to restore public participation and transparency to the process.
“Before national parks surrender their serenity values, viewsheds, and soundscapes to commercial operators, the public should have the opportunity to meaningfully weigh in,” added Ruch, noting that the new rules also allow wireless and tower conpanies without FCC licenses to obtain park rights of way. “The quality of park management is this realm has left a lot to be desired and undoubtedly will not improve with less scrutiny and greater secrecy.”
Activist Post reports regularly about cell towers, Wi-Fi, 5G and other unsafe technology. For more information visit our archives and the following websites.
- Americans for Responsible Technology
- Wireless Information Network
- 5G Information
- 5G Space Appeal
- Safe Tech International
- Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
- Environmental Health Trust
- Physicians for Safe Technology
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