If not amended a whitewash is likely, but Massachusetts bill S.186 to investigate electromagnetic exposures from technology could be redesigned to promote transparency & better representation, as suggested below — it is still possible for a whitewash, but less likely
The following are 6 proposed S.186 amendments, for which feedback is welcome (esp. #V, VI). These could be submitted as one amendment with a complete text or in parts as presented below:
I. Correct language and scope: [Mr.] [Ms.] moves to amend the bill S. 186 by striking out lines 2 and 3 and inserting in place thereof the following new text:-
“special commission to research the environmental and public health impact of non-ionizing radiation generated by technologies and, if any harm exists, propose potential solutions.”
Why? This is amended to remove electromagnetic radiation, which refers to all kinds of radiation including ionizing like X-rays; to remove RFR as this is to narrow; to use non-ionizing radiation since this includes new technologies like LiFi; eliminate ‘consumer protection’ in favor of solutions; and add environmental health.
II. Insure transparency as follows: [Mr.] [Ms.] moves to amend the bill S.186 by inserting before line 35 the following new paragraph:-
“The commission’s meeting notes, meeting transcripts, other communications, meeting attendance, votes of each member that votes, and member conflicts of interest shall be recorded and made available to the public. Records shall be freely available and immediately accessible for public viewing online as well as included in any commission report(s), with the exception, if more than one report is submitted, that meeting notes, attendance, and communications may be split among reports according to relevant time period.”
III. Illuminate transparency of conflicts of interest to insure recusal from voting as follows: [Mr.] [Ms.] moves to amend the bill S.186 by inserting between line 34 and 35 the following new paragraphs:-
“All commission members with conflicts of interest due to industry or employment shall be prohibited from participating as voting members, but shall be called non-voting members. Any commission member deemed a non-voting member shall recuse himself or herself from any commission votes to decide or influence the the outcome of commission reports and commission decisions, and shall instead serve only to assist the commission. Chairmanship, legislative and policy decisions for reports to the Commonwealth shall be decided by vote only of all members with voting status. Only members deemed voting members may author commission reports.
Certain members of the commission shall automatically be stipulated as non-voting members who attend to assist but may not vote. Non-voting members shall include any member appointed whose livelihood with conflicts of interest, but who nevertheless is a required appointment according to the list of defined members, such as any member appointed by virtue of government position but who has conflicts of interest.
In contrast, all other voting members of the commission must be free of conflicts of interest, and for this reason any nominee shall recuse himself or herself from nomination if conflicts of interest exist or provide evidence of elimination of conflicts of interest before appointment, such as placement of a relevant investment portfolio into a blind trust.
Conflicts of interest of a commission member shall be defined as a current investment portfolio in or a history or present livelihood depending upon the telecommunications, energy, IT, or utility industry, as well as to related industries such as to the medical device industry. Conflicts of interest of a member shall extend to the member’s family, including the member’s spouse and relatives within the second degree of consanguinity and affinity.
All commission members, both voting and non-voting members, must file a statement detailing any relevant conflicts of interest and continue to do so in the two years following the commission’s final report. These statements must be filed with the Secretary of State promptly during the commission period and in the two years following closure of the commission, and must be freely and immediately accessible to the public online.”
IV. Address the problem of environmental and public health simply and holistically, rather than carving out any special treatments: [Mr.] [Ms.] moves to amend the bill (Senate, No. 186) by striking out lines 20 through 34 and inserting in place thereof the following new text:-
“Through public hearings, invited speakers, and literature review, the commission shall conduct an investigation including but not limited to the following topics:
(a) identify past and present factors which may obscure relevant scientific findings, including but not limited to study conditions and methodology (such as but not limited to frequency pulsing and polarization), sources of funding, economic interests, FCC regulations, historic events, and industry compliance;
(b) utilize the knowledge gleaned from subsection (a) to further critically evaluate scientific research, conclusions, and hearing testimony;
(c) based on research, identify:
- gaps in knowledge;
- common and potential exposures in the past as compared to the present and expected future;
- known, likely, and potential impacts of existing and future exposures, particularly in relation:
- i. to the reproductive, neurological, and immune systems; and
- ii. to agriculture, ecosystems, and the continued viability of the human race;
d. if legitimate concerns exist to justify limiting exposures, then:
- identify potential guidelines or solutions for safer technology, including with respect to telecommunications, utilities, IT, and building wiring and technology use
- identify recommended action steps in the short- and long-term to limit harm from exposures in the arena of private and public buildings, transportation, utilities, workplaces, education, emergency services, medical care, medical devices, building wiring, manufacturing, and government services.
- identify solutions to limit negative economic impacts upon the general populace and small businesses, including with regard to retirement funds, funding safer technology, and reports of disability or disease caused by exposures.”
Here are the reasons for replacement:
- (i) we know it will cost industry and investors – wastes time to examine costs;
- (ii) better to outline how the state can freely and apolitically and through established government systems educate consumers than to rely on private sources for education;
- (iii) this investigation requires industry research be examined but does so without caveat as if it’s equal to non-industry research;
- (iv) this is basically the same as the previous clause;
- (v) the point of this is not clear;
- (vi) creating detailed guidelines for quality research may be beyond the scope and expertise of this commission and should not be a requirement;
- (vii) – at this point it is probably best just to start over and the point is not clear – “examining the impacts of premarket safety testing procedures for wireless technology”;
- (viii) – at this point it is probably best just to start over and it is not necessary to state – “reviewing national and international regulatory best practices that address the impact of EMR and RFR radiation on technology, consumer protection, and public health”
V. Remove excessive extraneous parties and telecommunication representation as follows: [NOTE ** THIS SECTION, ESPECIALLY IF PART VI IS REVISED, COULD BE FURTHER EDITED**]
[Mr.] [Ms.] moves to amend the bill (Senate, No. 186) by striking out lines 10 through 19 and inserting in place thereof the following new text:-
“Society, ideally a neurology or cardiac specialist; a scientist nominated by the Environmental Health Trust; and a non-voting member with ten years of work experience in the field shall be appointed by the governor, who shall be an engineer with expertise in wireless network engineering, technology, and knowledge of non-ionizing radiation.”
Why? Deleting a telecommunications representative, telecommunications lawyer, and wireless medical device expert is possible because the telecommunications commissioner is on the committee and can invite these persons or provide information when useful. Non-industry is added. Neurologists and cardiac specialists work with frequencies (EKG, EEG) which should be helpful for understanding some of the research literature.
In addition, some changes are being removed to prevent the governor from having too much control of the commissions make up due to controlling not only executive branch nominations but substantial other commission nominations.
VI. Add these parties to the commission, nominated by the respective organizations and not the governor or the executive commissioners to distribute responsibility and influence:
THIS SECTION IS STILL IN DRAFT AS I’D LIKE TO HEAR BACK FROM THE ORGANIZATIONS BEFORE INSERTING – HELP IS APPRECIATED CONNECTING.
[Mr.] [Ms.] moves to amend the bill S.186 by striking line 9 and inserting the following new text:-
“Regulation or his designee; one of whom shall be a telecommunications worker nominated by the Communications Workers of America; one of whom shall be a nominee of the Massachusetts Coalition of Police; . . . . . ; one of whom shall be a member of the Massachusetts Medical”
Including big organizations is another way to shine a light and bring pressure to bear on the issue. At the bottom of this blog page on investigative commissions, some more ideas were listed for groups in a draft amendment previously created.