Building a coalition / TCA and preemptions / NEPA

Subject: Building a coalition / TCA and preemptions / NEPA
From: Newtons at Fruitlands <>
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 07:25:59 -0500
Dear Bird Advocates,

        We are part of a neighborhood alliance here in rural Vermont
and members of the  EMRNetwork.  We are working  diligently with
members of Congress and  state and local bodies across the country to
redress many of the damaging effects of the Telecommunications Act 1996.  We
strongly believe in the rights of states and localities to follow their
planning and environmental regulations, especially for structures like
commercial towers.  We also have an appeal before the Second Circuit Court
of Appeals in New York.  This appeal  raises constitutional issues and
especially targets the inadequacy of the standards which the FCC has adopted
on the premise that they protect the health and safety of citizens and the
        We are currently beginning a campaign to counter the efforts that
will be made in the new Congress to preempt state and local authority in the
name of competition and "safety."  The E911 Bill that raised its head in
Senator McCain's Senate Commerce Committee and also in the House, has a
provision that would give telecom companies free access to all federal
properties within 60 days of application and perhaps state lands in states
that accept grant monies associated with this Bill.  This includes national
parks to
your local PO.  It might not be too far out to imagine a cell site on the
Statue of Liberty...even if "stealth."
Senator Leahy, Jeffords, Congressman Sanders and many cosponsors are
ready to fight this unprecedented attack of the Federal government through
the FCC and industry on the historical rights of states and localities to
plan their communities and protect their environments.  One strong hand in
this fight will be to demand the Environmental Impact Study - NEPA - that
should have been done with the TCA 96. Although the Audubon Society and
others have called for this study, our contact at the Administrative Law
Division of the FCC has told us that this study is not going forward.        
        I am writing to you after finding the incredible bibliography on   We have been sending out articles and
research on the impact of towers on birds, but we have never had as many
powerful indicators at our disposal as are represented in this bibliography.
Perhaps many of you are already familiar with these studies.
        Many environmental groups have been slow to accept this issue as
important to their usual focus. Long-term exposures to RFR's, even if at
very low levels, are increasingly thought as having harmful effects on human
health. A growing community of scientists from around the globe are forming
these studies.  We are trying to find effective ways to bring individuals
with your expertise and perspective into this arena.  We view this as a
global issue with the potential for devastating impacts for all species.
After all, man would have little to look forward to with the prospect of a
"birdless" world.  Our food supplies, for one thing, would soon disappear.
        Please consider helping us with our own education on these issues
and with our attempts to educate Congress and the public.  With the buildout
of 150,00+ towers and the new HDTV towers which can be up to 2,000' tall, we
cannot act too quickly.  We know from reading the CTIA website that these
preemption efforts will be back in full force in January.  They have the
money, but we all believe that there is no more "special" interest than the
interest we have in determining the future of our communities at the local
level and the thoughtful protection of our global environment.

                                        Dale Newton

Thistle Hill Neighborhood Alliance
Member of - EMR Network
506 Thistle Hill Road
Marshfield, VT 05658
802-426-3030 fax


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