2008-03-21 / Letters

Cell Towers Pose No Threat

Dear Editor,

I am a trial lawyer, resident of the community for almost 50 years, and also one of the trustees at West End Temple who voted in favor of the Metro PCS contract. I would not have done so if there was any valid concern over radio frequency (RF) emissions affecting children or adults.

It appears that there are some members of the congregation and nursery school parents who are engaged in the equivalent of a witch hunt over the issue of safety of the cell antennas (not towers) to be installed. Remember when in Salem a woman was burned at the stake because her neighbor's cow stopped giving milk? All peer reviewed scientific evidence establishes that there is no danger to adults or children from RF emissions. Proof positive of no casual connection is the fact that those trial lawyers who sue anyone under every possible theory of liability have not dared to claim that RF emissions cause cancer. Junk science can be found on the internet for every possible theory but the courts of New York preclude any expert testimony on novel scientific evidence which has not gained general acceptance and whose methodology is not reliable.

I am not unmindful that State Senator Golden has introduced a bill to prohibit cell towers within 500 feet of schools in New York City (The Wave, March 14, page 32). I well understand the desire of politicians to placate constituents. However, the fact of the matter is that any such legislation, if passed will be struck down by the courts since it is in violation of and preempted by federal law. 47 US "Code Section 332 (c) provides , among other

things, "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 the radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission's regulations concerning such emissions."

It also appears that there are a few residents of the community who are concerned about the effect on property values. The cell installation, unlike others in Belle Harbor and Breezy Point about which no notoriety has taken place, would be concealed behind a false brick façade to blend in with the building and not be noticeable. RF compliance and safety with all standards has been established by a well recognized and credentialed RF engineer. Since it appears that there has been no adverse effect on property values from the cell towers installed in Belle Harbor and Breezy Point, there should be no diminution of property values in Neponsit.

Further, the fact of the matter is that the monies to be received under the contract with Metro PCS probably represent the difference between survival and non-survival of West End Temple in the near foreseeable future. As regards property values, any lawsuit with an injunction, be the result ultimately favorable or unfavorable, will probably spell the death knell for West End Temple. Beware of what you wish for since such legal action will, in all probability, result in a new neighbor, as yet unidentified, who may justify a very real concern over property values. Calm and patience so as to assist West End Temple in continuing as a viable entity is in the best interests of everyone morally, pragmatically, and with due regard for safety.


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