Alert On S 3157 – An Important Bill For Everyone To Oppose

Alert On S 3157 – An Important Bill For Everyone To Oppose


The Federal government is once again trying to take away local authority over cell towers. Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act (S.3157)

S.3157  is an attempt to make Congressional law consistent with FCC actions. In 2017 and 2018, Telecom managed to get the FCC to pass sweeping regulations that strip local municipalities of local zoning rights, and remove environmental and historic reviews. Now Telecom seeks to tighten up Section 704 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act (TCA) as it’s inconsistent with these new FCC rulings. Basically, S.3157 is a rewrite of Section 704 with respect to wireless facilities.

For a detailed look at how S.3157 would alter Section 704 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, stripping municipalities and the public of our rights, please see:

Here’s a simple description and easy template to take action to oppose S.3157.

Overview of S.3157 written by the National League of Cities

The National League of Cities (NLC) opposes S. 3157. They wrote, “Despite urging from NLC and other local government advocates during the bill’s drafting phase, many preemptive provisions remain in the bill, including limiting the actions local governments can take on small cell wireless facility siting in an effort to make deployments cheaper, faster, and more consistent across jurisdictions.”

Here’s an easy way to take action. NLC will send a letter directly to your representatives in Congress for you.

At this link, you will need to insert your zip code (and maybe your full address), and then the letter template will appear with a message to legislators generated by the National League of Cities (NLC).

PLEASE NOTE: Instead of using their letter, which has statements of support for small cells, either

  1. copy and paste the following words into their letter template
  2. copy and paste the sample letter given beneath these instructions, or
  3. craft your own letter.
Text to copy and paste into letter template

As a constituent, I am writing to express my opposition to the “Streamlining The Rapid Evolution And Modernization of Leading-edge Infrastructure Necessary to Enhance (STREAMLINE) Small Cell Deployment Act” (S. 3157).

S. 3157 is similar to a California bill (SB 649) which would have created a state mandated system of cell towers and eliminated local review and safety oversight. SB 649 was opposed by 300 cities, 47 counties and over 100 community, planning, health, environment and justice organizations. SB 649 was vetoed SB 649 by Governor Brown on October 15, 2017.

The threat of public and environmental harm from wireless radiation is real and growing. Local control is needed to ensure community safety, welfare and compliance with federal, state, and local laws.

Peer-reviewed published science shows wireless radiation harms public health and nature. Health effects include: fatigue, headaches, sleep problems, anxiety, ringing in the ears, heart problems, learning and memory disorders, increased cancer risk, and more. Children, the ill, and the elderly are more vulnerable.

International independent scientists are calling for biologically-based public exposure standards and reducing wireless radiation.

S. 3157 represents a direct affront to traditionally-held local authority. S. 3157 introduces an unnecessary, one-size-fits-all preemption of local jurisdiction. The bill also imposes unfair and inappropriate timelines on local governments.

For more information see this joint letter to Congress asking you to oppose any and all bills related to 5G and wireless radiation expansion:

Thank you!

Another possible letter to copy and paste into the NLC template

As a community leader and constituent, I hereby express my strong opposition to the “Streamlining The Rapid Evolution And Modernization of Leading-edge Infrastructure Necessary to Enhance (STREAMLINE) Small Cell Deployment Act” (S. 3157). This Bill represents a direct affront to traditionally held local authority.  If passed, it would complicate rather than simplify national efforts to expedite infrastructure deployment by mucking up state and local processes.  My community shares Congress’s apparent goal of ensuring efficient, safe, and appropriate deployment of broadband technology — largely fiber optics. However, S.3157 is not a good way to achieve this goal. Indeed, it is fraught with problems.  Despite encouraging “technology-neutral” infrastructure, the Bill is heavily weighted toward Wireless installations over Fiber to the Premises (FTTP). The latter is energy-efficient, safe, secure, reliable and fast broadband — a solution that can easily add Wi-Fi calling for in-building coverage.  However, default wireless is not a solution: it produces enormous energy waste with unreliable service. Most importantly, it imposes degradation to living organisms, particularly pollinating insects, birds and other wildlife, with immediate as well as short- and long-term impairments of human brain, heart, and immune function and disease and early death therefrom.

S.3157 would complicate the existing efforts by state and local governments to deploy the most appropriate broadband infrastructure for their communities. Some US states have passed legislation specifically addressing the deployment of broadband infrastructure, and the local governments in those states are busy implementing new ordinances and procedures to comply with those changes. This unnecessary federal bill, questionable under the Tenth Amendment in its impositions upon State and local governments, requires a poorly conceived, one-size-fits-all preemption of those well-meaning, detailed, in-process municipality efforts. Instead of helping local communities, it enriches wireless companies to the detriment of companies offering wired solutions. S.3157 would force expensive, new wireless deployments, when FTTP is most effective and in many cases in place, ready to be connected.

S.3157 imposes unfair timelines on local governments. The shot clocks proposed by S.3157 are draconian: considerably shorter than those the federal government applied to itself in the bipartisan MOBILE NOW Act. The reduced size-per-installation of so-called “small cell” infrastructure, which is in fact of considerably large overall, does not translate to a reduced procedural burden on local governments. Municipalities must still review each site individually to ensure it meets the local jurisdiction’s requirements and needs. Further, the limited extension for small jurisdictions and bulk requests of typically over fifty simultaneous applications does not address these resource challenges for states and local governments.

Finally, limiting fees and rates to direct and actual costs is an extreme overreach by the federal government. Municipalities negotiate with providers to ensure appropriate compensation to taxpayers for private, profit-generating use of public property and to incentivize development that benefits community residents. In some cases, state constitutions’ prohibitions on gifts to private entities prohibit cities from assessing less than a fair market value for rental of public property. When cities are prohibited from controlling these rates, they are forced to subsidize private development, at the cost of other critical local services such as road maintenance and public safety. Such overreach could devolve into judiciary challenge that is best averted now.

For these reasons, I am opposed to S. 3157 and urge you to oppose it. Local governments need time and flexibility to ensure that the broadband infrastructure most appropriate to each locality is deployed not just quickly, but safely and correctly, in communities throughout the nation.

Contacting representatives directly

Please also consider calling your federal legislators. You can use this link to find contact information for all U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives.

Here’s a link where you can enter your postal zip code to find out who your representatives are:

With thanks to the website, here is another excellent portal for contacting your federal representatives.


Here are two Letters to the Editor re S.3157

Here are two short Letters to the Editor sent to the home-state newspapers of Sen. John Thune and Sen. Brian Schatz (South Dakota and Hawai’i respectively). Please note the modified and apt title of the Bill, “Streamline Cancer Bill”.

Sen. Thune’s “Streamline Cancer” bill
Sen. Thune’s S.3157 allows 4G/5G “small cell” towers in front of homes and schools in the public’s right-of-way, stripping much of the regulatory authority from communities.
This flood of “small cell” towers – every 2-20 homes – is reckless. Sen. Thune ignores decades of research showing biological disruption and harm from this radiation. The U.S. National Toxicology Program found it causes cancer after only two years of exposure. Children are especially vulnerable, as are bees, birds, and trees. Thune ignores this and over 230 scientists and physicians who called on the EU and the UN in 2017 to halt 5G, saying wireless radiation is a serious public health hazard.
California communities are rallying against these “small cells”, putting up yard signs, banners, organizing protests, and addressing hearings to stop them. Verizon’s plan to put a “small cell” at the Pacific Grove High School was called “unacceptable” and “appalling” by the principal. SB 649 allowing these throughout California was vetoed after widespread opposition.
Sen. Thune wants a Congressional hearing on the bill this month. The National League of Cities opposes this horrible bill. Stop S.3157.
Nina Beety
Monterey, California
Sen. Schatz’ “Streamline Cancer” bill
Sen. Schatz’ S.3157 allows 4G/5G cell towers in front of homes and schools in the public’s right-of-way, stripping away local authority.
Sen. Schatz ignores decades of research showing biological harm from this radiation. The U.S. National Toxicology Program results show cancer after two years’ exposure. Children are especially vulnerable, as are bees, birds, and trees. Over 230 scientists and physicians called on the EU and UN in 2017 to halt 5G, saying wireless radiation is a serious public health hazard. Schatz ignores this.
California communities are rallying against these “small cells”, putting up yard signs, organizing protests, and addressing hearings to stop them. Verizon’s plan to put a “small cell” at a high school was called “unacceptable” and “appalling” by the principal. California SB 649 was vetoed after widespread opposition.
Co-author Thune plans a hearing this month. The National League of Cities opposes this horrible bill. Stop S.3157.
Nina Beety
Monterey, California


by Dr. Ronald N. Kostoff

This document examines the role of synergies in setting of safety limits.

Studies that include synergies are necessary for credible RFR safety limit
setting. Single stressor experiments as the main determinants for safety/exposure limits may be insufficient for human health protection from these potentially toxic contributing factors.

The results from studies of synergistic effects will take years to produce. If we continue along our
present path, hundreds of thousands of new small cell towers will have been installed during that research
period. The damage will have been done by the time the results are produced.

We need a moratorium on new cell tower construction until such results have been obtained.

Read full document at this link:

Protecting the Maryland Public from Harm by Wireless Technology

New document by Ronald M. Powell Ph.D.
Jan. 13th, 2018

If you are writing to our Maryland state legislators about protecting the public from harm by wireless radiation, here is a relatively short document to introduce them to the wireless challenges their constituents are facing. This document can also be used for other jurisdictions.

Ronald M. Powell Ph.D. urges Maryland State Legislators to protect the health of the people of Maryland from the onslaught of wireless radiation. This document addresses the health impacts of radiation from smart meters, cell towers, WiFi in schools, and 5g small cells.  

“The levels of man-made radiofrequency radiation in our environment, including right here in Maryland, are increasing.This increase is caused by the introduction of more and more wireless devices, without an
understanding of the health consequences.”

Kiss Your Child and Fight for Them; Letter from a Mom to FCC about Wireless and Children

Kiss Your Child and Fight for Them; Letter from a Mom to FCC about Wireless and Children


The following letter was written by a mom who tragically lost her one-year-old to leukemia. She learned too late that WiFi can potentially be a contributing factor in childhood leukemia.

The mom sent this letter to Commissioner Rosenworcel through the email address the Commissioner set up for the public to report on broadband coverage gaps – loosely interpreted to include other broadband problems.

For more information and instructions on writing your own communication to the FCC opposing 5g and all wireless expansion, please see,

To contact your federal representatives, please see,


Dear Entrusted Officials,

Raise your hand if your child has died before you. Hug your child if he or she is healthy. 

I write today to share that the choices you make about the environment we call home are far reaching, and that our precious homes must be protected.

RF radiation has never been proven safe for children. Ever. And the FCC wants to break down local barriers to deploy more of it?

RF radiation has been implicated by 400+ peer-reviewed studies as causing biological harms ranging from dizziness, sleeplessness and nausea to DNA damage, a precursor to cancer.

My daughter died before her second birthday of leukemia. How does this happen? As part of a university study, I learned that time in front of a WiFi-enabled computer while pregnant is a variable. 

My daughter’s death leaves my heart in the smallest of pieces. What was the happiest time in my life turned into tragedy the likes of which I couldn’t even imagine. Watching my husband carry her down the service elevator at the hospital to the funeral director’s car, parked back by the dumpster, for a last goodbye, is an image that will haunt me forever. Driving to the funeral parlor for several nights in a row to be with her dead body, while families were enjoying bedtime stories and playing games, is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. A child’s death will wreck you. 

Please urge further studies of this invisible and very pervasive radiation. Please institute setback laws that protect our children — in our homes and in their schools.

You may think you are on the precipice of a technological heyday. Instead, you may be paving the way to a long, steady, massive health catastrophe. 

Follow other countries who revere their young; they have stripped WiFi radiation from schools and libraries, and are going back to wired connections. I beg you to find the middle ground. I beg you to conduct tests applicable to children and use aggregated exposure models.

For my deceased daughter, for me, for my husband and her brother, think twice before irradiating millions of people because a bunch of telecom titans have sold you a promise that will harm the innocent.

Even if it kills just one, believe me, that’s one too many.

For more information on WiFi in schools, please go to
For more information about the downsides of 5g and the Internet of Things, please see

Letter from Ronald M. Powell to Montgomery County Council; Tragically, Small Cell Towers are about Life and Death

(Posted by
Letter from Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. to the Montgomery County Council, Maryland.
October 31, 2017


Roger Berliner, President
Hans Riemer, Vice President
Montgomery County Council
Montgomery County, Maryland
Dear President Berliner and Vice President Riemer,

My thanks to both of you gentlemen for your responses to my earlier email messages opposing small cell towers.  Both of you cited factors of importance when considering the installation of these towers in Montgomery County.  However, I was left uncertain about your own views of small cell towers.  At present, do you favor the installation of small cell towers in Montgomery County, or not?

If you favor installation

If you favor installation, and your goal is limited to maintaining control, at the County level, of the zoning requirements, then I can understand why County officials keep deflecting the health concerns raised by County residents.  Hence the frequent references to the “environmental effects” exclusion in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which is frequently interpreted to be a “health effects” exclusion:
“No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emissions.”

(In the above quotation, the “Commission” is, of course, the Federal Communications Commission.)

If you oppose installation or are undecided

If you oppose installation or are undecided, then please consider the following line of reasoning for countering the supposed health exclusion in the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

Our laws are in conflict

The international biomedical research community has made it quite clear that radiofrequency radiation, and specifically cellular radiofrequency radiation, can harm people in an enormous number of ways.  Most recently the National Institutes of Health linked cellular radiation to brain cancer (glioma) which is usually fatal, and to a nerve cancer (schwannoma) that can be fatal.  That is, the scientific evidence suggests that we must treat radiofrequency radiation, and in particular cellular radiation, not only as dangerous to health generally, but also as a CARCINOGEN that is dangerous to life itself.

So, when a small cell tower is placed “up close and personal” to people, those people must be regarded as under “assault” by a carcinogen. And, there are laws against assault. Further, since that assault can result in death, those people must be considered as under “assault with a deadly weapon”.  That is also against the law.  Furthermore, if any of those people die as the result of that assault, that is “murder”.  Murder is also against the law.

So, it seems fair to ask this question:  Is the 1996 Telecommunications Act so powerful that it overrides the laws against assault, assault with a deadly weapon, and murder? I doubt very much that the authors of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, in their zeal to promote the rapid expansion of cellular technology without prior testing for safety, intended to convey a right to the telecommunications industry to assault, and even kill, people.

If County officials want to protect the public from harm, they need to rally their legal might to resist ALL EFFORTS to install small cell towers in the County, not just because that is the right thing to do, but also because such installation violates multiple existing laws that are reasonably believed to be preeminent.

I would be proud to see Montgomery County take the lead in making this argument against the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which has proved to be an unjust law.

If you don’t believe that cellular radiation is harmful

If you reject the above line of reasoning because you don’t believe that cellular radiation is harmful, then I ask you to consider these questions:

  • On which sources of information are you relying for assurances of safety?  Do those sources have extensive backgrounds in the biological effects of radiofrequency radiation?  Are those sources free from vested interests in cellular communications or other wireless technologies?
  • Are those sources more authoritative on health issues than the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization?  That organization linked radiofrequency radiation, and in particular cellular radiation, to cancer back in 2011?
  • Are those sources more authoritative on health issues than the National Toxicology Program (NTP) at the National Institutes of Health?  The NTP confirmed the link of radiofrequency radiation, and in particular cellular radiation, to cancer in 2016 and to DNA damage more broadly in 2017?  And further findings are due for release in 2018.  These findings are the result of the largest study ($25 million) that the NTP has ever conducted of any toxin.
  • Have you read some of the scientific research literature that connects radiofrequency radiation to biological effects and that has been funded by impartial sources?

If your answer to the last question above is “No”, I hope that you will explore at least some of the vast biomedical research literature that Maryland residents have already submitted to you.

Also, for an excellent online overview of the impact of wireless technology on health, please see the web site of the Environmental Health Trust (  This organization is led by Devra Davis, Ph.D., M.P.H. who has had a distinguished career of public service in support of public health.  Dr. Davis was a member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that was named a joint recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2007.

Who am I?

I am a retired U.S. Government career scientist (Ph.D., Applied Physics, Harvard University, 1975).  During my Government career, I worked for the Executive Office of the President of the United States, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  For those organizations, respectively, I addressed Federal research and development program evaluation, energy policy research, and measurement development in support of the electronics and electrical-equipment industries and the biomedical research community.  I currently interact with other scientists and with physicians around the world on the impact of electromagnetic fields on human health.

Thank you for your attention.


Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.