Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
The DAS system proposal to locate 25 cell phone antenna nodes in the three up-Island towns has profound implications - economic, visual, and environmental. Unfortunately, due to very restrictive FCC regulations (all slanted to protect the cell phone industry) we are not allowed to consider environmental issues when reviewing cell tower installations, and DAS. Isn't the system - which allows me to testify that locating a cell phone antenna node near my property will lower its value but forbids me to mention that the same node location puts my grandson's health and well-being at risk - morally, ethically and legally wrong?
I am a Chilmark landowner and a West Tisbury resident. I would be glad to provide more information, and residents of Aquinnah, Chilmark, and West Tisbury, please contact your local town hall and selectmen to get more information about the project and the proposed locations, including the one which would be located between Halcyon Way and Dr. Fisher Road in West Tisbury. You have until May 4 to comment, and please don't hesitate to speak out.
Virginia Crowell Jones
Inconclusive and undebatable
To the Editor:
Regarding your published report about the DAS meeting held in Chilmark on April 6, 2009, I am writing to clarify the difference between what you reported that I said and what I actually said. In your report on the DAS project, I did say: "Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 states that no state or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the commission's regulations concerning such emissions. Thus, it is out of order for the public to argue that this technology is safe, but by the same token it may also be out of order for the industry to argue that it is entirely safe."
I was not commenting on any study that the American Tower Company ( ATC ) did on emissions, as you reported. In fact, if there is such a study I would like to have the chance study it before we all decide to install the system. As for the emissions of the RF being 10 times below the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) safety standard, I am confused and as long as you brought it up, I would hope that you would try to clarify these figures. Is the figure ATC declared the maximum permissible emissions at each node, as mandated by the FCC, or is that figure 10 times less than the emissions of a 350-foot pole, which is much stronger and higher and further away from the public? Or is the tower company "voluntarily" using a lower maximum emission at each node, because they are trying to be good neighbors?