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CELL TOWERS: Environmental reviews needed

| September 23, 2022 1:00 AM

People are cajoled into believing wireless devices are essential to life in our modern-day world. Fortunately, the environmental and health hazards of cell towers, smart meters and wireless devices are finally coming to light. What many municipalities ignore is the federal requirement for a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review prior to cell tower placement.

An August 2019 federal court ruling examined the requirement for a Federal review prior to placement of 5G small cell towers under NEPA. This decision has given cities a viable means to deny 5G “small cell” or macro towers, and maintain local control in their placement, on the grounds that there has been no NEPA review for 4G and 5G cell towers for both historic preservation as well as impacts on the human environment.

The FCC declared that “Every individual Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF) application must undergo NEPA review.” Therefore, every WTF application in the USA is incomplete until the applicant places substantial written evidence of a NEPA review in the public record.

In neighboring Sandpoint, a cell tower is located in a park where for the past 30 years the osprey came to nest. But this is no longer the case. Residents of Sandpoint have also noticed an eerie absence of birds migrating through the city.

As people also migrate to North Idaho for its beauty and wish to preserve the natural environment, demanding a NEPA review prior to any new WTFs being erected must be enforced.

INGRI CASSEL

Hayden

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