Accommodations

Accommodations and Requests

 

  • Accommodations Letter on Wireless Infrastructure

    If you qualify, citing the Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Amendments Act to your municipality as a reason not to install antennas nearby has been recommended by lawyers. The earlier you can make this request, the better, because requests before installation of wireless infrastructure are more likely to be addressed satisfactorily. If able, and even if you have an ordinance, send a letter requesting  in your vicinity zero close proximity antennas, including so-called "small cell towers" and antennas attached to utility lines.

    Including a relevant position statement from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine may be useful (see aaemonline dot org).

    Kirstin Beatty, co-chair, has shared a letter, below, which she sent to her municipality to show how easy this can be.

     

    Wireless Accommodations Request Letter

    Week of 10 May 2020

    RE: Reasonable accommodation for my disability and medical conditions pertaining to cell towers, close proximity antenna installations, wireless devices, and WiFi in the City of Holyoke

    Under the Fair Housing Amendments Act and/or Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title 10, in addition to other state and federal laws against discrimination, it is unlawful discrimination to deny a person with a disability a reasonable accommodation of policies, procedures, and activities, where necessary to avoid discrimination if such accommodation may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises or equal access and/or participation in programs and services.

    I am a qualified individual with a disability and medical condition as defined by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504, Title 10, as well as other related state and federal discrimination laws.

    Wireless exposures cause my disability and aggravates my other medical conditions. I am informing you, so that you can be sure to attend to accommodations and take due care to prevent any further harm to my health or rights of access.

    According to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, local governments cannot deny wireless infrastructure based on environmental health concerns. Local governments do, however, have some control over placement. Additionally, telecommunication providers clearly also have this control. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodations must be provided to prevent access barriers.

    Therefore, I want you to know that I need accommodations to allow continued travel throughout Holyoke, nearby towns, and for travel to the State House in Boston. I have noticed increasing difficulty with travel as wireless levels have risen over the past year. As result, I have tried to change my driving routes and have limited my travel to limit deleterious effects. However, I can’t go on indefinitely limiting my travel or changing driving routes – I must have some accommodation.

    Secondly, I am concerned about the exposures to my own residence, which sits near the major interstate 91 and is high enough on the side of Mt. Tom to receive many of the signals sent to the highway and sent from transmitters atop Mt. Tom. Clearly, direct exposures to my residence are also a problem. Therefore, not only do I need attention to where transmitters are placed, but if installations are permitted, then attention that these transmissions are not aimed at me, including my place of residence and where I spend time.

    Thirdly, I cannot attend or participate in many events, because of the use of WiFi or wireless devices. I must limit all of my activities so as to avoid wireless exposures. A third accommodation request is to limit use of wireless devices and WiFi in Holyoke municipal buildings and to request that others put devices into airplane mode.

    One of my accommodation requests for Holyoke local government is to deny all issuance of permits for new wireless infrastructure. I realize this may seem unreasonable, but I’d like to point out that wired infrastructure works and works well – and it is not as if wireless providers cannot afford to pay for wired infrastructure as profits are extreme. Also, Holyoke and nearby towns already have hundreds of antennas and towers which are not only adequate to the task, but excessive for telecommunications.

    Here is an additional list of accommodation requests:

    1) For Holyoke City Council and Holyoke Gas & Electric:  Please fully meter and account for energy costs of wireless infrastructure, rather than leaving this burden to taxpayers. If there are permits issued, please insure these transmit away from my residence and where I spend time. Please do not issue permits or rent utility or other poles for any new wireless infrastructure in Holyoke, in particular within a mile of my home as well as by:
    • Route 5,
    • near Interstate 91,
    • near the Holyoke Medical Center,
    • in residential areas,
    • at Ocean State Job Lot,
    • at the Stop & Shop grocery stores,
    • at the Holyoke Library,
    • at the Holyoke Post Office,
    • along Dwight Street,
    • by Holyoke Community College, and
    • en route to South Hadley or Easthampton via Route 141.
    2) Holyoke Gas & Electric: Please stop requiring an additional payment to read the meter, since in any case the reason for disabling the wireless emissions is my disability and it does not seem right to require a payment to avoid harm. Please also reinstall analog meters for the entire town, instead of adding to the levels of wireless radiation in homes and along streets with high-powered transmissions from the utility meters. I do notice these meters are a problem when walking, and I do not want to visit homes with these meters – these are an access barrier as well.
    3) Holyoke City Council: Please make an effort to cut wireless exposures and reduce exposures as much as possible, including at City Council meetings – please regularly request that visitors put cellphones in airplane mode so as to establish a habit of turning off transmissions, and please insure that microphones, filming equipment, etc., are all wired. Please also limit police use of transmitters, avoiding wireless surveillance devices for example.
    4) Holyoke Telecom [Gas & Electric]: Please limit use of hotspots by hard-wiring systems. If installing a fiberoptic system, please do so with respect to reducing transients, harmonics, and wireless emissions. For example, apparently fiberoptic connectors can leak excessively and be more of a problem than cable leakage – cable leakage is already a pretty bad problem, capable of causing interference with airplane systems. If relevant, please also make efforts to reduce dirty electricity, or transients and harmonics (see following number).
    5) Holyoke Gas & Electric: Dr. Sam Milham wrote an interesting book called Dirty Electricity which discussed his initial findings on dirty electricity, or transients and harmonics, on health, as well as discussing the problem of ground current. As a municipally-owned telecom and utility system, Holyoke could be a leader in reducing harmful electromagnetic exposures, thereby improving not just the lifetime of electronics, but the lifetime of people. As awareness and research continues to increase on this issue, action on this could also make Holyoke even more attractive to outside investment as well as to residents if Holyoke took preemptive action to reduce such exposures.
    6) Holyoke Waterworks: Please research how to change to an analog meter to gauge water usage.

    A benefit of heeding my accommodation request is reduced liability for all concerned. Although local and state governments have been told that environmental concerns cannot be considered with regard to permits, any use of municipal property for wireless communications subjects local governments to liability. Close proximity wireless infrastructure poses an even greater liability risk due to proximity to residences and businesses equating to higher exposures and likely greater harm.

    Environmental health risks of non-thermal radiation, including wireless, have been demonstrated in copious laboratory and epidemiological (statistical) research – the Bioinitiative has organized some sample studies, as has Dr. Joel Moskowitz online at SaferEMR dot com. At least one study, by the U.S. National Toxicological Program, indicates that higher levels of exposure increase health risks. Many peer-reviewed studies show harm resulting from wireless exposures. The great majority of scientists in the field accept biological effects are caused by exposure, and merely study rather than deny effects. Denial appears to exclusive to persons outside the field or to well-paid industry consultants, the latter such as described by journalists of Investigate Europe. To deny risks and fail to act is negligent in the extreme.

    I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter and look forward to any helpful response.

  • Wireless Utility Meter Opt Out Letter

    A sample letter for opting out of wireless meters is available from ElectrosmogPrevention dot org (see "No smart meters campaign" > Legal > ADA Accommodations . . . ).

    The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has position statements online (see aaemonline dot org) regarding wireless or electromagnetic exposures that could be included in such a letter.