Verizon Retaliates against City’s Board of Health for Issuing Emergency Order to Turn Off Cell Tower That’s Making Residents Sick

By B.N. Frank

In August 2021, 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 from cell towers (see 1, 2) and other sources.  Despite the ruling, the FCC (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) as well as other government and state agencies and committees (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) continue to promote and fund the deployment and densification of both 5G and 4G cell towers and other infrastructure.  Not good, right?

Residents of Pittsfield, Massachusetts have been reporting significant as well as life-threatening health issues ever since a Verizon 4G cell tower was activated near their homes.  In October 2021, the Board of Health asked Verizon to remove the tower but the company refused.  In February, the BOH voted unanimously to issue the company a “Cease and Desist” Order.  Between February and April, several health experts provided supporting testimony to validate residents’ complaints (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and to ask the state to better protect residents.  City council members also asked state lawmakers to introduce legislation to better protect residents.  On April 6, the BOH voted to send the order to the company (see 1, 2).   Now Verizon has taken legal action against the city.

From Environmental Health Trust:


Verizon Files Legal Action Against Pittsfield Board of Health for Cell Tower Emergency Order

Verizon has filed against the City of Pittsfield in federal court! 

Read Verizon’s Legal Filing here. 

Verizon is asking for a declaratory judgment from the U.S. District Court in Springfield against the city of Pittsfield after the Board of Health issued an emergency cease-and-desist order against the company for a cell tower the Board has determined to be impacting the health of numerous Pittsfield residents.

Verizon claims that federal law, the Telecommunications Act (TCA) of 1996 prohibits state and local governments from regulating cell towers based on health effects from radio-frequency emissions so long as the radiation levels comply with the Federal Communications Commission regulations.

“The Emergency Order stems from the Board’s conclusion that ‘RF/EMF – even if emitted at levels within the FCC emissions guidelines – can be injurious to health or cause common injury to the significant portion of the public who are electromagnetic sensitive’ and that such emissions are ‘a cause of sickness’ (emphasis added). Simply stated, the Board’s conclusion is both contrary to applicable federal law and specifically preempted by the TCA.”

Read Verizon’s Legal Filing here. 

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