Parents, Neighbors, and Students Against Cell Towers on School Property
Full Disclosure of Risks
Response from the Dr. Maxwell: "PGPS does not possess a written summary recording or transcript of the community meetings held by milestone Corp. Accordingly, we do not have any documents in response to this request." The CEO then directed us to contact Milestone. Milestone has stated he will not send any written response to our questions.
Community Concerns: 6 Hours a day of a radiation that the World Health Organization has classified as Possible Human Carcinogen seems an important thing to tell parents.
Response from Dr. Maxwell: PGCPS continues to rely on the FCC's position that cell phone towers have not been proven to be a health hazard". (short version of several paragraphs.)
Response from PGCPS: No (in several paragraphs) .
Citizen Concerns: If our FCC standards are being reassessed and Scientists have submitted scientific reports to the FCC with grave concerns about current standards. Why would we go ahead and place cell towers on schools where children would be exposed? Shouldn’t we wait?
The FCC NOI states it , “is not a health and safety agency, we defer to other organizations and agencies with respect to interpreting the biological research necessary to determine what levels are safe. As such, the Commission invites health and safety agencies and the public to comment on the propriety of our general present limits and whether additional precautions may be appropriate in some cases, for example with respect to children. .. In the Inquiry we ask whether any precautionary action would be either useful or counterproductive, given that there is a lack of scientific consensus about the possibility of adverse health effects at exposure levels at or below our existing limits. Further, if any action is found to be useful, we inquire whether it could be efficient and practical.”
They are asking if precautions would be "efficient or practical?" They seem concerned about the impact on corporations if we did set safer limits? They seem concerned that corporations will suffer if we change regulations to protect children.
What is more important? Our children's health or a corporation's ability to sell products?
Most parents would respond that "of course it would efficient and practical to protect children!"
What do you think?
The 2010 paper, “Biological Effects from Exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation Emitted by Cell Tower Base Stations and Other Antenna Arrays” co-written by award winning medical/science journalist and author B. Blake Levitt bioelectromagnetics researcher, Henry Lai, PhD. Dr. Lai details concerns.
Read all About it HERE.
PGCPS Response: No. In several paragraphs.
PGCPS Response: In short "No".
Citizen Concerns: There was not adequate premarket safety testing to even know this 30 years ago. The EPA has not even reviewed this issue in full! The EPA does not say it is safe.
7. Were parents told that the compound will contain hazardous materials such as lead acid batteries and diesel fuel?
Response: In short.. No because PGCPS does not have records of what Milestone does so PGCPS does not know.
Citizen Concerns: Do we want Hazmat materials on our playgrounds? We do not see this information on the information presented to the community.
Response: In short. No because PGCPS does not have records of what Milestone does so PGCPS does not know.
BOE Vote on the Cell Tower Deal
Citizens Concerns: Was the BOE Agenda the only way for the public to have known? Is that sufficient for such an important issue as this? In seconds, the BOE voted on this issue. The lease was not signed until 2011. How could the public know what to comment on without the lease to look at and without knowing they should even look at the agenda?
2. Where is the Milestone Master lease online for public comment? Where are the Tasker and Charles Flower leases online for public comment?
3. How were the Tasker School parents and neighbors notified?
8/21/14 Update from Demetria Tobias for Dr. Maxwell
"The website for Benjamin Tasker appears to be under construction and the posting regarding the project does not appear on the site currently. The archived item can be accessed as follows via computer:
Go to the search box in the upper right hand corner and search “Tasker Cell Tower”
When the search results appear, click on “Attention Benjamin Tasker Parents: Verizon Wireless has identified…"
Additional Response from Demetria Tobias on behalf of Dr. Maxwell.
Notices were mailed in keeping with the procedures outlined in the “Prince George’s County Telecommunications Transmission Facility Coordinating Committee Application Instructions and Review Process”. Milestone also enhanced the notification mailing list for both sites, notifying significantly more residents in the communities surrounding these sites than mandated by regulation.
Please see the following excerpt from the Instructions and Review Process (2010):
“For any application for a new monopole, tower, or other antenna support structure, pursuant to CB- 34-2007, 30 days prior to filing a TTFCC application notice of the proposed new structure must be sent to the adjoining property owners, County Council member, civic organizations registered with the M-NCPPC and located within one mile of the location, and any municipality within one mile of the location. The mailing must inform the parties of the right to request a community briefing on the proposed facility. If a briefing is requested, the briefing will be conducted by the carrier or its representative and attended by the TTFCC Chair or designee.”
Our Response: Why were the adjoining property owners unaware? Something has gone wrong in the notification system.
Response from Dr. Maxwell on Tasker notification
1/6/14 Coordination with Principal and PTA President re: notifications
1/10/14 www.taskerschoolwireless.com Website “live”
Required Notification Mailer with Milestone Enhanced Notification
sent via USPS Certificate of Mailing.
Required Mailing Actual Mailing
35 Total 114 via USPS Certificate of Mailing
1/13/14 School notified ok to start their outreach, including
- E-alert directing parents to School webpage to view posting
- Web page posting of one-page notification sheet
1/21/14 Presentation to City of Bowie Mayor and City Council scheduled but
cancelled by Bowie due to snow.
1/30/14 Community Meeting held
One Bowie resident attended, Mr. Lee, Program Chair of Bowie Senior
Computer Club, who invited Maureen Smith to be a speaker regarding
cellular technology at an upcoming meeting (April 17).
2/3/14 Presentation to City of Bowie Mayor and City Council (Televised)
2/20/14 Notice for balloon fly prints in Bowie Blade-News.
2/25/14 SHPO Balloon fly held. NOTE: Published public notice given in Bowie
Why has the webposting dissapeared from the site? parents we talk to say they never saw it.
Balloon test: Many neighbors missed this! How big was the notice? How would they know of such an important notice if they did not read the Gazette? Many neighbors right near the school say they had no idea of this balloon test.
Response 8/21/14 from Dr. Maxwell
Citizen Concerns: We already have one example of HOA letters going to the wrong address and residents who state they heard much later.
1. Dr. Kevin Maxwell signed the lease for the Tasker tower. Did he have signing authority for the Board? Please provide documentation.
Response: Dr. Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer, serves as Secretary/Treasurer for
the Board of Education and has legal authority to sign a contract on the Board’s
behalf once it has been duly approved by the Board. As authorized by Maryland
Code, Education Article section 4-205(d): “A contract made by a county board is
not valid without the written approval of the county superintendent.”
Citizen Concern: This code does not match the question.
How was the contract approved by the Board? When did they review it and vote on it? The contract was not signed until 2011. The vote was in 2010 but they did not have the lease in front of them?
2. Why are the towers not going through the special exception process? They are in residential zones. Shouldn’t this qualify as a special exception?
See Code Sec. 27-445.04.
8/21/2014 Response: Per the Zoning Ordinance for Prince George’s County, the facility at Benjamin Tasker Middle School is a permitted use in a Residential Zone. Please see excerpt below from the Prince George’s County Zoning Code below, with relevant references in bold print: