Responding to local concerns about 5G cell towers in the 47th District, State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, has filed legislation to provide an avenue for worried residents to have their voices heard during the rapid 5G implementation process.
To draft the legislation, Mazzochi and staff spent the last several months attending multiple meetings with local residents and officials, researching options available at the local level and pinpointing areas of concern involving possible health impacts and close deployments of small cell towers by schools and homes.
“It is critical that we look at every possible door to see what we can pry open to give our residents more control and input over what goes on in their neighborhoods,” Mazzochi said.
As wireless demand increases, implementation of small cell wireless is forecasted to create nearly 100,000 jobs and bring in nearly $9 billion in investment to Illinois over the next several years.After a six-year review process, the FCC recently limited review timing and permit fees for placement and ruled that its current radio frequency exposure safety limits [put in place over 20 years ago] remain appropriate even in the face of 5G networks.
The director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health said that “the available scientific evidence to date does not support adverse health effects in humans due to exposures at or under the current limits.”
Many local residents disagree and have been sponsoring seminars discussing the latest medical literature to raise awareness on the issue.
“I take the health and well-being of our residents very seriously, especially after what they went through with Sterigenics,” Mazzochi said. “As small cell tower deployment rapidly increases, residents are understandably caught off guard and feeling like they have zero say in this process.”
Mazzochi’s legislation, House Bill 4653, creates the Local Control, Protection, and Empowering Law in the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act.
“Our goal is to give our residents as strong of an opportunity to be heard, and object to pole placements and locations within the narrow space we have available under the federal guidelines,” she said.