Contra Costa County

Please click this button to Complete the Form that will enter your questions and comments into the Contra Costa County public record about the installation of 4G or 5G Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antenna (CPMRAs) in residential areas.

Sign our Petition!

We are providing this page for Contra Costa County residents who are precariously positioned in the path of new technology that has been scientifically proven to be harmful. This page comprises the unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County: Alamo and parts of Walnut Creek, and will include other areas as needed. Currently nine Verizon CPMRA antennas are approved, and ten more are in the works.

Please join our final appeal against 4G and 5G CPMRA/small cell antennas in residential areas.

Come to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting February 12, 2019, at 651 Pine St., Room 107, Martinez, CA 94553. Any changes to date/time will be updated here). By attending, you will help us demonstrate strength in numbers to voice our opposition.

What Has Happened So Far

Residents of the County asked that the CPMRA’s be denied based on concerns about fire risk (pole loading), decrease in property values, aesthetics, and no siginificant gap in Verizon Wireless coverage. The applications were approved.

Verizon asked for removal of the annual monitoring of Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) exposures, which was initially placed as a condition of approval. Annual monitoring was removed.

East Bay Neighborhoods for Responsible Technology asserts that the County’s hands are not tied. The County’s legal power is stronger than they claim.

What You Can Do

  1. Come to the Board of Supervisors meeting on Feb 12, 2019
  2. Call your representatives (see Talking Points below).
    • Supervisor John M. Gioia, District 1: 510-231-8686
    • Supervisor Candace Andersen, District 2: 925-957-8860
    • Supervisor Diane Burgis, District 3: 925-252-4500
    • Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, District 4: 925-521-7100
    • Supervisor Federal D. Glover, District 5: 925-608-4200

Relevant Information

  • Link to Zoning Administrator (ZA) public meetings 10/1/18 and 10/15/18.
  • Link to Planning Commission public meetings appealing approval by ZA 11/28/18, 12/12/18, and 1/9/19
  • Link to the video of October 1, 2018 Zoning Adminstrator Hearing
  • Link to download the video to your computer
  • Link to read the agenda
  • Link to Attorney Patrick Shannon, founder of Hillsborough Families Against Cell Towers addresed his City Council regarding 16 proposed cell towers by Verizon/Crown Castle: “Do the right thing, protect your residents and avoid our City from becoming the place where democracy goes to die and cell towers metastasize.
  • Link to CBS ConsumerWatch: 4G and 5G Cell Towers Renew Awareness of Health Hazards of RF Radiation Exposures
  • Link to No Significant Gap in AT&T Coverage in Claremont Canyon Neighborhood, Oakland, CA
  • Link to to petition
  • Link to complete our form: provide name, email address and comments that we will print and enter into the pubic record

  • What: Oppose the coming CPMRA installation in the Contra Costa County and in the nearby unincorporated areas.
  • Why: These CPMRAs will proliferate in our neighborhoods and continue to grow in size, number, and power — without public review!

The Problem: In a Nutshell

  1. Each Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antenna – Wireless Telecommunications Facility (CPMRA-WTF) will decrease the property values of the four closest homes by 20% to 30% or more!
  2. Contra Costa County should not allow such a significant impact on our property values just to appease the business interests of AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile or Sprint.
  3. Serious adverse health effects result from the around-the-clock RF microwave radiation exposures. RF microwave radiation is a toxic agent, particularly from Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas.
  4. Are you relieved that one of these CPMRA-WTF installations is not in front of your home? Think again . . . if you let even one CPMRA installation in your neighborhood, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint are coming to claim the remaining poles, so your house could be next.
  5. Contra Costa County, therefore, MUST resist this unnecessary, profit-driven densified 4G/5G roll-out, adopt new Wireless Municipal Code and Zoning Ordinances to regulate the power output levels of all Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) to ensure that the power output from the equipment for any WTFs has no chance to exceed a level that is necessary for telecommunications service (the ability to make a call or text). This would be no higher than -75 dBM for any individual 4G marketed frequency (i.e. 700 MHz, 1900 MHz or 2100 Mhz) and no higher than a power flux density of 100 µW/m² for all frequencies from 27 MHz through 3000 MHz. 5G millimeter wave frequencies will need similar power output limits.

Tell Contra Costa County Officials:

  1. NO! No CPMRAs in any residential areas!
  2. Why? There are No proven SIGNIFICANT GAPS in Wireless coverage in Contra Costa County.
  3. CPMRAs 15–50 feet from our homes ARE NOT the least intrusive means to close an alleged significant gap in coverage. There are far better locations that can provide coverage: at least 500 feet away from where people live, sleep and heal.
  4. Where there is NO SIGNIFICANT GAP in coverage, there is no basis for preemption of local authority.
  5. Stop this Unjustified Real Estate Grab: if any Wireless Carrier installs a CPMRA on your street, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and others can come back to claim the real estate at the other utility and light poles in the neighborhood.
  6. Preserve and protect the residential character of the neighborhood: insist on uncapped broadband internet and video data transmitted by less intrusive fiber optic cables to homes.
  7. Choose to transmit broadband internet and video data in the most energy-efficient way: it takes many thousands of times less energy than Wireless to transmit a 4k video/movie via fiber optic cables.
  8. The California League of Cities, over 300 CA Cities, 50 of 58 Counties and many, many CA residents opposed the heinous so called “Small Cell” Bill, CA SB.649 — the bill that Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed on 10/15/17 for the reasons, above.

Thousands of peer reviewed studies, including by the US Government’s National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences (NIEHS), show clear evidence of harm caused by wireless exposures, including significant increases in brain tumors, heart tumors and DNA damage. Other studies conclude neurological problems, melatonin suppression, infertility, headaches, insomnia, confusion, weakness, autism, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and more from RF microwave radiation exposures at levels many thousands of times lower than our current Federal RF microwave radiation exposure guidelines — which are not protective. The proximity of these Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas to our homes and schools dramatically increases the intensity of exposure.

Stop The Rollout of Wireless Radiation-Emitting 4G and 5G Cells Towers in Our Residential Neighborhoods

Join over 1,000 who have Signed this petition.

Jodi Nelson started this petition to Elected Officials:

  1. US Senator Kamala D. Harris
  2. US Senator Dianne Feinstein
  3. CA Senator Mark DeSaulnier (11th District)
  4. CA Rep. Eric Swalwell (15th District)
  5. John Kopchik Director, Contra Costa County
  6. Aruna Bhat, Deputy Director, Contra Costa County
  7. Candace Andersen, Supervisor Contra Costa County

PETITION URGENT MESSAGE: 5G is already being rolled out in communities across the country and will be located in neighborhoods which will adversely affect and create illegal access barriers to the homes and communities of our most vulnerable citizens: the elderly, the immuno-compromised, our children and Electromagnetic Sensitive (EMS) residents.

We haven’t gotten a straight answer from our elected officials who allowed the FCC to include language in the 1996 Telecommunications Report that cities could not use environmental effects as reasons to to deny placement of cell towers.

1996 Telecommunications Act:

47 U.S. Code § 332(c)(7)(B)(iv)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.

But in 2015, Firefighters in California became exempt from placement of Wireless Teleommunications Facilities on their fire stations via CA AB.57 — because cell towers that had been installed on or near their fire stations were causing adverse health effects.

CA AB.57: Wireless telecommunication Facilities

CA Government Code, 65964.1(f)Due to the unique duties and infrastructure requirements for the swift and effective deployment of firefighters, this section does not apply to a collocation or siting application for a wireless telecommunications facility where the project is proposed for placement on fire department facilities.

A study concluded that they were suffering from the adverse effecfts of Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) exposures. The SPECT scans completed showed brain abnormalities of every firefighter examined.

Dr. Lennart Hardell and other members of the 2011 WHO study committee have continued their research into 2018 and are now calling to change the IARC classification for RF-EMR exposures from any source from Group 2B (possible human carcinogen), to Group 1 (definite human carcinogen).

An extremely thorough $30 million study started in 1999 by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), reported in 2016 and in 2018 that wireless radiation indeed causes cancer and DNA damage at power levels below that which would cause tissue heating. Director of Special Programs in the NIEHS who led the study until he retired said: The results of the study “should put to rest the old argument that RF radiation cannot cause DNA damage”. The scientists in the press conference said, “the public must be warned”.

Many other studies have concluded harm to humans, plants and animals including

  • 2018 International Society of Doctors for Environment (ISDE),
  • Bio Initiative 2012
  • 2014 Study from the Department of Interior, and
  • 2018 Ramazzini Institute Study

. . . which corroborate other studies’ findings and showed RF radiation exposure causes very rare tumors.

There are also several petitions from the international community to include 230 scientists from 41 countries appealing for protection from non-Ionizing RF exposure, by aksing for a worldwide moratorium on a extreme density 4G and 5G rollout. This was delivered to the United Nations, WHO, UN Environmental Programm, and the UN Members.

These 4G and 5G so-called small cells (each with up to a 28 cubic feet of ancillary equipment) will be emitting RF-EMR exposures 24/7 in frequencies ranging from 600 MHz to 90,000 MHz. There are estimates that they will be installed every 2 -10 houses by 2020. We need to restrict these extreme density 4G and 5G small cells to only commericial and industrial areas.

In conclusion, let’s hold our public officials accountable and demand they keep Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas out of our residential neighborhoods. We have rights to protect ourselves, our families, our privacy and our home values!

End of Petition Text

What is Our Goal?

We want to work with Contra Costa County Staff to prevent 4G and 5G cell towers from being installed on utility or light poles in the residential areas of Contra Costa County communities to protect our safety, privacy and property values.

What Do We Know?

The World Health Organization has classified radio frequency microwave electromagnetic fields from any source (pulsed, data-modulated, Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation) as a Group 2B Carcinogen. However, Dr. Lennart Hardell, a member of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) comments on the National Toxicology Program final results that RF microwave radiation should be classified as Group 1, an agent that is carcinogenic to humans.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC):

“[Group 1] is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. Exceptionally, an agent may be placed in this category when evidence of carcinogenicity in humans is less than sufficient but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals and strong evidence in exposed humans that the agent acts through a relevant mechanism of carcinogenicity.”

We also know the technical specifications of the radiation being emitted by the 4G antennas, and we know that they harm living organisms. The next generation of Wireless, 5G, is going to aggregate bandwidth on frequencies from 600 MHz to 90,000 MHz and move large amounts of data through the air. Currently, there are no consumer RF microwave radiation meters capable of measuring 5G radiation levels.

Why Is This A Problem?

1. Lowered Property Values:

Every Contra Costa County homeowner needs to know that the installation of a Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antenna (“CPMRA”) will decrease the property value of the four homes in closest proximity to the antenna by at least 20%.

2. Serious Adverse Health Effects:

People living or working near a 5G antenna will be exposed to constant RF microwave radiation. Thousands of peer-reviewed studies have shown clear evidence of harm from wireless exposure, including significant increases in brain and heart tumors and damage to DNA.

3. Many Studies Have Linked RF Microwave Radiation Exposures To . . .

  1. Migraine headaches and neurological problems
  2. Suppression of melatonin
  3. Infertility
  4. Insomnia
  5. Autism
  6. Parkinson’s disease
  7. Alzheimer’s disease

4. Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas:

While an antenna on a pole on your block may not be in front of your home, one installed in your neighborhood can allow AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint to claim remaining poles, including the pole nearest to your house. In addition to private homes, public gathering places such as schools and churches will also be unprotected from the harmful RF microwave radiation emissions from the 4G and 5G antennas.

5. Dangerous Power Output Levels:

Contra Costa County, with the support and urging of residents, could resist profit-driven wireless densification by adopting new Wireless Municipal Codes and Zoning ordinances to regulate power output. Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) that exceed a level needed for telecommunication service (ability to make a call or text) are unnecessary and harmful.

6. Power Grab by the Telecommunication Companies is Accelerating at High Speed:

Since Jerry Brown, the Governor of California, vetoed SB 649 on 10/15/17 with the support of The League of Cities representing over three hundred California cities, the telecommunication companies Verizon and AT&T have decided to wage a battle against Comcast to offer a Wireless Video subscription service and have strategized a city-by-city counterattack to upgrade the existing 3G or 4G status quo with the next generation of wireless, 5G. Though Californians have already been charged $16 Billion by the telecommunication companies to lay fiber optic cables directly to our homes, we have never received this service. Though they cannot prove the existence of any significant gaps in wireless telecommunication service (an inability to place a call or text), AT&T and Verizon intend to preempt local authority and install 4G and 5G antennas on our electric utility poles and locally owned light poles. They are not concerned with aesthetics nor health effects. They are concerned only with profit. The FCC has approved their technology despite its potential harm to living organisms. It is left to individual towns and cities to protect their own interests.

What is the Solution?

The answer: Fiber to the Premises (FTTP)

The solution is both simple and easy — instead of more wireless, we need to install wireline Fiber Optic cables to each home and business in Contra Costa County, which will provide much faster, more secure, more reliable and much more energy-efficient transmission of Internet and video data.

Despite the promises of additional convenience and the unbridled hype for 5G and the “Internet of Things” (IoT), the primary duty of our elected officials is to promote and preserve the health and welfare of Contra Costa County’s residents, voters and taxpayers.

What Similar Event Has Happened In the Past?

Many people became ill, and are continuing to become ill, from the installation of PG&E’s so-called electrical “Smart Meters.” Recall that people damaged by 24/7 exposures from this wireless Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) forced PG&E to offer an opt-out program.

Unfortunately, the situation we are in today with the imminent 5G antennas is not the same. Big Wireless (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and other telecommunication giants) will not be offering any opt-outs. These so-called “Small Cell” towers would be installed just 15-50 feet from homes and transmit hazardous levels of pulsed, data-modulated, radio frequency microwave radiation 24/7 with no chance for individual home owners or businesses to opt out.

Talking Points for your Communication with Contra Costa County Officials:

  1. Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas (“CPMRAs”) do not belong in residential areas!
  2. CPMRAs 15 to 50 feet from our homes ARE NOT the least intrusive means to close an alleged significant gap in coverage (an inability to place a call or text). There is no proven significant gap in coverage in Contra Costa County.
  3. Better locations exist that can provide coverage at least 1500 feet away from where people live, sleep and heal.
  4. If any Wireless Carrier installs a CPMRA on your street, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and other carriers can come back to claim the real estate at the other utility and light poles in the neighborhood.
  5. The fiber optic uses thousands of times less energy than wireless and will preserve and protect the residential character of our Contra Costa County neighborhoods. Uncapped broadband internet and video data transmitted by less intrusive fiber optic cables to homes is cyber-secure, fast, safe, and reliable in fires and other emergencies.
  6. CPMRAs will lower property values by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Various real estate publications estimate that a cell tower in a property’s vicinity can reduce the property’s value by 10 to 20%. Lower property values could negatively affect taxes and city finances.
  7. California’s 2015 Assembly Bill 57 established an exemption for placing cell towers on fire stations. Studies showed brain abnormalities in firefighters exposed to cell tower radiation. All citizens should be similarly protected.
  8. The compounded radiation of co-located antennas can pose exponential health hazards. RF microwave radiation from an individual antenna can cause harm; the 24/7/365 exposure from multiple antennas can result in even more substantial health effects.
  9. The average resident is simply not equipped to quantify radiation emissions, assess exposure levels, nor mitigate likely health risks.
  10. Public officials have taken an oath of office to protect the citizens of Contra Costa County. It is their duty to ensure that no resident will be harmed by RF microwave radiation emitting from the 4G and 5G antennas of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities.