In 1996, President Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act (the Telecom Act) into law. The Wireless Industry helped craft this Act.
Section 704 of the TCA states that no health or environmental concern can interfere with the placement of telecom equipment such as cell towers and antenna.
If the corporation believes that your city officials took health into account when denying them a permit, then your city can be sued.
If your city takes too much time to process a telecom corporation’s application to install equipment, then the city can be sued.
According to the Act, your town can only refuse to permit installation of wireless equipment for how ugly it looks or how it decreases home values.
Learn more about this issue at the Electronic Silent Spring website
Learn about the litigation started to deal with the TCA starting in the 90’s at the Council on Wireless Technology Impacts site.
Whitney North Seymour Jr. who served as US Attorney for New York, past new York Senator, co-founder of Natural Resource Defence Council drafted an amendment to the Telecommunications Act, section 704. We can talk to our elected officials calling for a similar amendment to allow communities to stop cell towers based on health and environmental concerns.
Read his published article Dollars, lobbying, and secrecy: how campaign contributions and lobbying affect public policy in Reviews of Environmental Health.
Talk to your Congressperson about Amending the Law
Call for the U.S. Congress to repeal limitations on state and local authority imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and permit state and local governments to regulate the placement, construction, and modification of telecommunications towers and other personal wireless services facilities on the basis of the health and environmental effects of such facilities.
The full Act is posted on the FCC web site
Quoted below is the key statement of interest from that Act, with the most important paragraph highlighted in red:
`(II) shall not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the
provision of personal wireless services.
`(ii) A State or local government or instrumentality
thereof shall act on any request for authorization to
place, construct, or modify personal wireless service
facilities within a reasonable period of time after the
request is duly filed with such government or
instrumentality, taking into account the nature and
scope of such request.
`(iii) Any decision by a State or local government or
instrumentality thereof to deny a request to place,
construct, or modify personal wireless service
facilities shall be in writing and supported by
substantial evidence contained in a written record.
`(iv) 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