RadLimits Public Information – Your Ideas

The following are excerpts of content from the 2022 RadLimits petition initiative on making information on wireless facilities (or any antenna) available to the public. If you have suggestions for improvement, please share. Your comments may not be posted as discussed here. However, just in case, please insert an asterisk (*) in front of your comment if you would like to have your comment publicly posted.

Please note that there is question for whether this section should be revised to fall outside of the department of telecommunications and cable (Chapter 25C of the MA General Laws) and there is also interest in limiting costs. A larger question is what kind of data should be collected and what kind of monitoring should occur, such as in the list under part (1) or as mentioned in other sections of the 2022 proposal.

(a) There shall be in the department and under the supervision and control of the commissioner a division of non-ionizing radiation monitoring, that shall enable accountability of non-ionizing radiation emissions through the collection and sharing of relevant data. The division shall keep the public informed on findings, maintaining public transparency through reporting except to protect the privacy of planned audits and ongoing investigations.

(1) The division shall create an easy-to-understand and searchable database and public statewide map of relevant wireless facility and wireless radiation data including but not limited to:

  • (i) wireless facility antenna locations;
  • (ii) on-site peaks and maximum peak power exposures, reflected in volts per meter and DBM or watts, for wireless facilities and ambient radiation;
  • (iii) incidents where federal exposure limits were exceeded for the general population;
  • (iv) incidents where federal exposure limits were exceeded for the occupational populations;
  • (v) incidents where any state exposure limits were exceeded;
  • (vi) data on dropped calls and denial of service from routine Drive Tests;
  • (vii) frequencies utilized by facilities;
  • (viii) dates and times when transmissions start, are added, and stop;
  • (ix) legal contact information for all entities responsible for any wireless facility, including (A)site developer(s); (B) carrier(s); (C) antenna or permit owner(s); (D) property owner(s); and(F) partners, board members, and relevant parent companies;

(2) The division shall include engineers capable of assessing wireless facilities and related technology for non-ionizing radiation emissions as follows:

(i) Within each county in Massachusetts, there shall reside a minimum of one engineer from the department equipped and capable of professionally assessing wireless facilities, hereafter called a county engineer, who shall have or promptly acquire the Building BiologyElectromagnetic Radiation Specialist™ certification.

(A) County engineers shall assist local municipalities with the task of assessing non-ionizing radiation emissions from wireless facilities, including for annual audits and applications. County engineers shall support assessments of non-ionizing radiation emissions by conducting assessments; reviewing the work of independent consultants; and by providing information on available consultants including expertise, frequency range, and clientele.

(B) In conducting and supporting assessment, county engineers shall conduct a on-site assessment and insure as best possible that operators and any other relevant parties of the facility are not aware of when assessments take place. County engineers shall support auditing protocols that include but are not limited to on-site assessments of worst-case scenarios, peak power measurements, maximum peak power measurements, range, direction, and signal characteristics, using volts per meter alongside either DBM or watts.

(C) County engineers shall collect data on dropped calls and denial of service for the public, as well as conduct Drive Tests.

(D) County engineers may assist with identifying abandoned transmitting antennas for decommissioning and removal.

(ii) In addition to reviewing wireless facilities, the division shall assist with investigation of non-ionizing radiation from other technologies with the assistance of a technical or other appropriately qualified engineer or engineers with a background in electrical or radiofrequency engineering.

(iii) The division shall also assist with non-ionizing radiation measurements for epidemiological purposes.

(iv) Any fees set or provided for auditing or for any other services by county engineers may not be provided to the division, department, or county engineer, but must enter the legislature’s General Fund for appropriation.

(4) The division shall further provide information, including publications, on how the public and other agencies can best mitigate non-ionizing radiation exposures from technologies within the department’s jurisdiction, including telecommunications and cable, including the names of all authors on publications;

(5) The commissioner shall require the reporting and the submission of such specified additional information for division’s work. The commissioner shall annually prepare and submit to the governor and the general court, on or before the first Wednesday of November,a report of the division’s activity, together with recommendations which the commissioner considers necessary or desirable.

DEFINITION – ‘Drive Test’ is actual drive test data within that provides for carrier frequencies the date and time for the test or test; the location, in longitude and latitude of each point at which signal strength was recorded; and each signal strength recorded, measured in DBM, for each frequency.

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Kirstin Beatty