Without seeking competitve proposals or considering alternative funding mechanisms, for the past few months, Napa County officials have been in talks with a private corporation, Illumination Technologies, to allow the company to construct twenty-three 60-85 foot monopoles disguised as trees in the County public right of way to be leased as cell towers for private profit, including two near Silverado Middle School and American Canyon High School. In exchange, the County would get eleven poles with fire detection technology.
Due to the health and environmental risks of increased wireless radiation from these proposed cell towers, the fire risk cell towers themselves create, the negative aesthetic impact of large fake trees throughout our county, lower property values for nearby homes and the decreased County budget as a result, and the liability local taxpayers will bear, we ask the County Board of Supervisors to say NO to this proposal.
Instead, the County should fund the fire sensing technology itself, using some of the $34 million dollars PG&E was ordered to pay the County for damages caused by the 2017 wildfires and/or state money the County is expected to receive for firefighting efforts based on a recent announcement from Governor Newsom. In addition, we ask the County to work with the State to go after billions of dollars owed by the telecom companies due to the Irregulators v. FCC lawsuit to install broadband fiber to remote areas in Napa County, bringing safe and reliable internet and telephone service to these areas.
In addition, the County should update its telecom regulations to include a requirement that the applicant provide hard data showing the need for a new cell tower and a science-based setback (1,640 feet) from homes, businesses, and schools.
1. "Scientific Studies," Americans for Responsible Technology, https://www.americansforresponsibletech.org/scientific-studies.
2. "How 5G Could Dramatically Alter Our Natural World," Americans for Responsible Technology, https://8a6b8cd0-359b-4b1b-b042-cdb0cdb8be26.filesusr.com/ugd/2cea04_00d3c4115e824aed85a3047fbb06949f.pdf.
3. "Cell Towers, Antennas Problematic for Buyers," Realtor Magazine, https://magazine.realtor/daily-news/2014/07/25/cell-towers-antennas-problematic-for-buyers.
4. "Electromagnetic Field Insurance Policy Exclusion Are the Standard," Environmental Health Trust, https://ehtrust.org/key-issues/electromagnetic-field-insurance-policy-exclusions/.