EMF/RF/5G Massachusetts: Historic Sudbury and Lenox – On the Wrong Side of History?

By Patricia Burke of Safe Tech International, Image courtesy Floris Freshman

Some time may pass before the next chapter of the wireless zoning debacle unfolds in historic Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Unlike the board game ‘Clue,’ it wasn’t the butler in the pantry with a candlestick; it was the town’s elected board, with a pro-industry consultant, at the annual town meeting.

Even though many residents may not yet be aware of what transpired, it could be a very rude awakening for trusting citizens, when the consequences of the town’s mis-informed vote become apparent.

Cell Tower on a School Property?

Wireless concerns could ignite in Sudbury if families return after summer vacation to learn that a cell tower has been approved on a school property, as has occurred in many communities, because the new zoning regulations adopted by the town do not include a setback from schools.

Recommendation given to Sudbury MA regarding placement of a cell tower – on a school property, for “safety”

“Small Cell” Antenna 20 feet from a Driveway?

Or, awareness of what unfolded during the May Sudbury town meeting might be drop-kicked into public awareness if a 5G “small cell” antenna is installed 21 feet from the wrong driveway, near someone who would rightfully question the ‘science’ informing the town’s policies.

Health Effects Studies on Cell Tower Radiation  – Environmental Health Trust (ehtrust.org)


Or, unfortunately, a neighborhood might become involved because someone (or a group) experiences a dramatic downturn in health following installation of wireless infrastructure near a home or business.

(See 4 studies co-authored by Dr. Lennart Hardell showing the development of microwave sickness in people after 4G or 5G small cell towers were installed in close proximity to their work or homes:

What Happened to Sudbury? The Voters Gave Away the Farm, Believing That They Were Being “Protected Against the FCC” By the Elected Board’s Use of a Pro-Industry Consultant

https://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/cistwn/twnidx.htm and https://cdn.sudbury.ma.us/wp-content/uploads/sites/358/2023/04/Sudbury-2023-Annual-Town-Meeting-Warrant.pdf?version=889162b2fca85834e34d033950e821d9

The official guide to MA town meetings states, “The purest form of democratic governing is practiced in a Town Meeting. In use for over 300 years and still today, it has proven to be a valuable means for many Massachusetts taxpayers to voice their opinions and directly effect change in their communities. Here in this ancient American assembly, you can make your voice heard as you and your neighbors decide the course of the government closest to you.”

Hidden in the 100 pages of the warrant for the Sudbury Town Meeting was a bylaw change approved by voters.

ARTICLE 40. GENERAL BYLAW FOR THE PLACEMENT OF SMALL WIRELESS FACILITIES IN THE PUBLIC WAYS To see if the Town will vote to amend the Town of Sudbury General Bylaws by inserting a new article, [ ] for the placement of Small Wireless Facilities in the public ways

SWF is a small wireless facility. The “public way” is the sidewalk or street. Historically, Sudbury has endeavored to hide wireless infrastructure in church steeples and other stealth locations, protecting the historical flavor and appearance of the town but not giving credence to health and environmental concerns.

Voters were told by the town’s administration that if they did not approve the bylaw change, “they would not have as much protection from the FCC’s small cell installations” implying that they were approving a protective bylaw.

Instead, they approved a bylaw that rolls out the red carpet for industry. For example, the recommendation of a 20-foot setback from an existing driveway contrasts dramatically with recommendations for a setback of 500 meters.

  • The review paper entitled “Limiting liability with positioning to minimize negative health effects of cellular phone towers” reviewed the “large and growing body of evidence that human exposure to RFR from cellular phone base stations causes negative health effects.” The authors recommend restricting antennas near homes, and restricting antennas within 500 meters of schools and hospitals to protect companies from future liability (Pearce 2020).
  • An analysis of 100 studies published in Environmental Reviews found approximately 80% showed biological effects near towers. “As a general guideline, cell base stations should not be located less than 1500 ft from the population, and at a height of about 150 ft” (Levitt 2010).)
  • A review published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health found people living less than 500 meters from base station antennas had increased adverse neuro-behavioral symptoms and cancer in eight of the ten epidemiological studies (Khurana 2011))

The residents of Sudbury, like those in Lenox, will be dealing with the consequences of decisions by public servants about which experts to consult.

The Farm?

Speaking about giving away the farm, many communities are extremely concerned about evidence of harm from radiofrequency radiation on pollinators and the food supply, including informed Sheffield voters.

Microwave News | Review of EMF and RF Effects Flora and Fauna

As reported by ProPublica,

The FCC Is Supposed to Protect the Environment. It Doesn’t. — ProPublica

Appearance-Only #Science and Deranged Corporatchik Mumbo Jumbo

Individuals who were not paying attention to what transpired during the May Sudbury annual town meeting might, at some point, become painfully aware of what Soviet-born substack author Tessa Lena (Tess Fights Robots) wrote.

“This letter is a word of warning for my people—the city intellectuals—who haven’t somehow noticed that Reason at their altar has been long replaced by an effigy made from scraps of establishment garbage. What’s passing for reason is a mix of appearance-only #science and deranged corporatchik mumbo jumbo.” “My dear proud people, please stop smugly calling hypotheses that make you uncomfortable “conspiracy theories” without doing in-depth research, which means looking at the data from different sides of the debate. It’s okay to be agnostic. It is okay to change your mind back and forth as you look at new information. It is okay to reject hypotheses based on a thorough investigation—but it is not okay to go, “I know that they are wrong because it’s obvious to any educated person.” ”That logic is the lazy logic that I remember from my Soviet childhood. It is the logic that went down in flames when the empire fell, and the dissidents were proven sane.”

The operating hypothesis fueling the military-industrial complex is that the only mechanism of harm from non-ionizing radiation is thermal.

Real world indications are that the outdated theory is wrong.

“Exposure limits for RF radiation are based on numerous assumptions; however, research studies published over the past 25 years show that most of those assumptions are not supported by scientific evidence.” – SOURCE

The FCC: Regulating Growth by Ignoring Safety

From 2013-2019, the Federal Communications Commission collected commentary on the adequacy of its theoretical exposure guidelines, which are technically not standards because they were not derived from actual biological testing.

In 2019, the FCC abruptly closed the proceeding, concluding that there was no need to update its 1996 standards.

In 2021, a circuit court ruled that the FCC decision not to revise its safety guidelines was not evidence-based and was arbitrary and capricious. The court ordered the FCC to reconsider the research and expert science submitted, as well as reported harm, and to show how it made a ‘reasoned’ decision.

The commentary submitted to the court filled 11,000 pages, pictured here in a little red wagon viewed by Sheffield and Great Barrington voters who did not buy industry-fueled narratives about safety.

The FCC has yet to comply with the court remand.

The FCC guidelines remain in effect (albeit on very shaky and nebulous territory).

Now that Sudbury MA approved the pro-industry bylaw based on 1996 guidelines and industry entitlements, it is being leveraged to other communities including Upton as an example of a “good bylaw.”

Protecting the Public

Informed Community Response #1: In Response to Reported Harm, Issuing a Cease and Desist Against the Poorly-Sited Tower Installed in the Residential Neighborhood: Pittsfield

How the FCC Shields Cellphone Companies From Safety Concerns by Peter Elkind

“Orsi and the Pittsfield board decided to try to do something about Verizon’s tower. They quickly discovered that they would get no help from federal regulators. The Federal Communications Commission, which has responsibility for protecting Americans from potential radiation hazards generated by wireless transmitters and cellphones, has repeatedly sided with the telecom industry in denying the possibility of virtually any human harm.

Worse, from Orsi’s perspective, federal law and FCC rules are so aligned with the industry that state and local governments are barred from taking action to block cell towers to protect the health of their citizens, even as companies are explicitly empowered to sue any government that tries to take such an action. It turned out that Verizon, in such matters, has more legal rights than the people of Pittsfield.

Still, the lawyers for Orsi and her colleagues thought they saw a long-shot legal opening: They would argue that the FCC’s exclusive oversight role applied only to approving cell tower sites, not to health problems triggered after one was built and its transmitters switched on. In April 2022, the Pittsfield Health Board issued an emergency cease-and-desist order directing Verizon to shut down the tower as a “public nuisance” and “cause of sickness” that “renders dwellings unfit for human habitation.”

See the MA Association of Health Board’s commentary in support of the injured abutters, including families driven from their homes, here.

Informed Community Response #2: Provide the Best Possible Protection for People, Not Industry: Hilltowns

Communties across the United States recognized the demand to update their wireless bylaws to account for challenges posed by small cell installation, pole attachments, and 5G. They created protective ordinances to the extent allowed in accordance with FCC regulations in their jurisdiction. (This is not what happened in Sudbury and Lenox.)

Example of Engaged, Informed Zoning and Bylaw Advocacy in Massachusetts from Hilltown Health

Learn about other pro-active efforts from Americans for Responsible Technology here.

TOOL KIT | Americans for Responsible Technology

Informed Community Response #3; Confront the FCC About the Health/ Safety/Environment Lawsuit; Sheffield and Great Barrington

Some communities are taking their activism a step further in challenging the FCC to respond to the 2021 court ruling about safety, including Sheffield and Great Barrington, prior to the installation of additional 5G infrastructure.

This is a very reasoned response to addressing the challenges posed by the FCC, a captured agency.

The concept of regulatory capture, according to a book by Professors Carpenter and Moss: Preventing Regulatory Capture: special interest influence and how to limit it, published in 2014, SOURCE

A citizen’s initiative in Millis MA to call attention to the FCC lawsuit demonstrated that citizens can be opposed by local officials who assume, incorrectly, that the federal govt. is “doing its job.” The Chair of the Public Health Board graciously explained the need for communities to ask politicians to take action, because the court ruling against the FCC has not been addressed.

https://millismedia.org/videos/spring-town-meeting-5-3-2023 at 2:01.30

Calling for Course Corrections – Fueled by Informed Citizens

Many more communities, groups, and organizations can and should join the chorus calling on the FCC to address the court ruling.

Questioning Lenox Planners in Bed with Industry

See the letter where a Lenox resident called out the administration for hiring a pro-industry consultant. “Let an independent, specialized attorney who understands the nuances and loopholes of telecom law point out and resolve any issues now. Because if not, there is no recourse or resolution if you wake up to a pole being constructed outside your door.” Letter: Second set of eyes needed on Lenox wireless bylaw

“For nearly two years, residents have been asking the Lenox Planning Board to meet with an independent telecommunications attorney who specializes in wireless zoning bylaws to site cell towers correctly.” “The Planning Board has refused.”  Letter: Lenox wireless zoning bylaw is too important to not get it right

Confronting Cherry-Picking Accusations

An article from the Pittsfield Eagle reported, “At the Planning Board’s Oct. 11 session, (a consultant) suggested that “opponents might derail the proceedings” by bogging the town down in efforts to discredit existing federal safety standards, which are under court-ordered review. Instead of relying on “cherry-picked science,” he recommended staying with the “very safe standard,” which shows that cell towers emit a very low level of radio frequencies. “The Board is in no position to create or adopt its own radio-frequency safety standards or wait for new ones to appear,” [ ] “Pursuit of these issues will delay completion of the board’s important work. Moreover, such delays invite unintended consequences. I encourage the Board to maintain its current laser focus on bylaw revisions that best balance the competing interests of the townspeople.” Can’t get a cell signal in Lenox? Town planners aim to bring a wireless policy bylaw to voters next month

Many independent non-industry experts would challenge the claim that cell towers emit a very low level of radio frequencies. The quote as written implies that the FCC guidelines are in fact under some sort of court-ordered review process.

Instead, the federal regulatory gap has allowed the court order to languish.

Cell Towers: Everything You Need To Know – Environmental Health Trust (ehtrust.org)

The implication by the Lenox planning board consultant is that the Circuit Court made its determination of the basis of cherry-picking, and that FCC guidelines are protective.

Let’s be clear, the industry can’t actually cherry pick data about the safety of 5G because they haven’t even conducted any safety research, at all.

Previous determinations about safety, including smart meters, relied on the assumption that the antiquated FCC guidelines were protective.  As the court ruled in 2021, scientific uncertainty exists regarding the current FCC guidelines which are based entirely on theoretical guidelines, and do not protect against current exposures, including pulsed signals, peak exposures, simultaneous sources, cumulative effects, and vulnerable populations. In addition, as the court ruled, FCC guidelines do not protect the environment.

As Sudbury residents may learn belatedly, bylaw provisions that are portrayed as “best balancing competing interests” for Sudbury offer a set-back of 20 feet for occupied homes. Gullibility and/or collusion of the town’s elected officials is guiding the consultation process. Not science.

Many town budgets include new investments in wireless infrastructure, for example, Millis MA $68,000 for a school Wi-Fi upgrade on the basis of FCC guidelines that may be inadequate. Who compensates communities that base decisions about financial investments in wireless technology on ineffective federal safety regulations?

Massachusetts also faces the pending deployment of wireless electric utility meters by investor-owned utilities, despite the fact that installation has resulted in symptom onset and significant harm to a portion of the population.

The MA DPU and administration could and should pause the deployment until the FCC court remand is addressed, to protect the public against stranded assets. This is the only responsible course of action.

State Legislation

Like other states, there are attempts underway to pass EMF-related Bills into Law in Massachusetts. These attempts are being driven by engaged, informed citizens, many of whom have experienced direct harm.

At the same time, some politicians are introducing even more fast-track pro-industry, pro-growth initiatives. Rather than submitting health and safety science, the industry shows up with a checkbook. See: “Telecom companies are among the nation’s biggest spenders on lobbyists, with the industry shelling out $117 million last year to influence lawmakers and administration officials.” – SOURCE

Massachusetts residents are encouraged to join MA4SafeTechnology to stay informed about statewide efforts. Groups in other areas are listed here.

Harm is Emerging

Meanwhile, more reports of harm are unfolding. Case Report: A 52-Year Healthy Woman Developed Severe Microwave Syndrome Shortly After Installation of A 5g Base Station Close to Her Apartment (acmcasereport.com)

Speaking of Town Meetings, Questioning Williamsburg’s Clickers

See the letter, where a Williamsburg resident questioned the town’s $26,000 purchase of 1,000 electronic clickers to be used for voting at town meeting: Letter: Night of the Living Voting Clickers.

First: The cost of the devices is $26,000 for 1,000. Williamstown, actually has more poverty than Lanesboro, and I’m sure 26 needy families could make good use of $1,000. The devices appear to be of Asian origin and are identified as SunVote M30 Response Keypads. Other towns in New England have begun using these or similar devices. Williamstown appears to be gung-ho to jump on the bandwagon. They are designed to work via Bluetooth radio waves. The keypads use two lithium CR2032 batteries each. They employ two-way RF 2.4GHz digital communication technology. Some questions are: Are they safe to use for everybody? Could they affect anyone’s medical devices? Could having 1,000 keypads simultaneously pressed have cumulative, unpredictable consequences?

We are All Riding in a Runaway Bus 

In some fortunate communities, someone looked away from their cellphone.


Martin Pall reflected, “We are taking risks of the sort that no rational society on earth should take.”

Everyday citizens, everywhere, upon learning of the abysmal safety testing techniques and outdated theories governing wireless technologies, are pressuring their elected officials to address the federal regulatory gap and to hold the FCC accountable for the court’s remand.

See: Assumptions underlying exposure limits for RF radiation and the scientific evidence demonstrating that these assumptions are not valid.

Scientific evidence invalidates health assumptions underlying the FCC and ICNIRP exposure limit determinations for radiofrequency radiation: implications for 5G | Environmental Health | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)

Historic Sudbury and Lenox could change course and undo the damage that has been created by inviting the fox to watch the hen house.

In his book The People of the Lie, the Hope for Healing Human EvilW. Scott Peck defined mental health as “the on-going process of dedication to reality at all costs.”  There is a dividing line between lack of awareness, and being actively engaged in the process is misleading others. Dedicate yourself to reality and help steer the bus to safety.

“I knew what they were after; that I had alarmed the country all the way up” Paul Revere

Source: Safe Tech International

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