Cell Tower Activist Voted “Firefighter for Life” by Dept


Firefighters’ advocate wants 1996 Telecommunications Act repealed because of First Amendment violation
July 16, 2010 – An advocate for the health and safety of firefighters, who failed to get a national moratorium on the placement of cell towers on fire station property, is now trying to get the 1996 Telecommunications Act Sec. 704 repealed.

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. resident Susan Foster says that the act violates freedom of speech because at siting hearings she says the public is forbidden to complain about health effects relating to cell tower radiation.

With respect to cell tower siting, local governments can only consider the potential health effects of radiofrequency emissions within the limits of the Communications Act.

The Act provides that no local government may regulate siting based on the effects of radiofrequency emissions if the facility complies with the FCC’s regulations on the issue.

Accordingly, local governments that deny a siting request based on health concerns beyond the FCC’s regulations will find their decisions overturned by the courts.

Therefore, in most municipalities officials will not allow the public to discuss the contentious subject at their hearings.

A local government can respond to community concerns without putting its zoning decisions at risk. Local governments can both urge Congress to grant it further authority in this area, and call upon the FCC and other agencies to revisit regulations with respect to cell tower radiation.

Foster, however, doesn’t agree and wants residents to start a movement, based upon a First Amendment violation, to petition on a federal level to have the Act repealed.

In 2004 she was honored as “Firefighter for Life” by the San Diego Fire Department for her efforts in assisting the International Association of Firefighters to introduce Resolution 15, which called for a moratorium on the placement of cell towers on fire stations.

Foster believes that the reason President Clinton signed the Act was because the wireless industry gave candidates “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

The medical social worker said that radiation from towers is a serious problem and information is being concealed by the telecommunications industry.

“If this were benign, why has a wireless executive living in Rancho Santa Fe sheathed his entire house in copper? Copper and lead are the only two metals through which RF radiation does not penetrate,” she told The Coast News.

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