San Anselmo to join Fairfax in ‘smart meter’ ban
San Anselmo will soon become the second town in Marin to ban the installation of Pacific Gas and Electric’s trademarked SmartMeters.
Citing health and privacy concerns, the San Anselmo Town Council voted 3-0 Tuesday to instruct town staff to draft an ordinance that would place a one-year moratorium on installation of the meters. The council also directed its staff to immediately write a letter to PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission demanding that installation of the meters in San Anselmo halt now.
Smart Meter Free Zone- Photo by Karen Nevis
On Tuesday night, the council heard from SmartMeter critics. Mary Beth Brangan, co-director of the Ecological Options Network, spoke about health concerns raised by the meters’ emission of radio-frequency radiation. Fairfax Councilman Larry Bragman talked about privacy issues raised by the meters.
Brangan said that safety standards for exposure to radio-frequency radiation developed by the Federal Communications Commission address only the thermal effects of the radiation and not the risk of cancer due to DNA damage.
“The entire concept of wireless smart meters requires the unlimited use of RF radiation that will be a huge addition to what we are already living in,” Brangan said, “and we’re already living in a lot.”
Cell phones and computers use radio-frequency waves to link to the Internet and send e-mail.
Brangan said overexposure to radio-frequency radiation can cause people to become hypersensitive to it. [Emphasis added]
Moratorium Banning SmartMeters In SCC Passed
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors passed a moratorium against the installation of PG&E’s Smart Meters on Tuesday.
The board voted unanimously on the ordinance that places a moratorium on the meters while more information about the devices is gathered.
The ordinance states that no SmartMeters may be installed in or on any home, apartment, condominium or business in unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County. Also, no equipment related to SmartMeters can be installed in, on, under or above a public street or public right of way in the county.
PDF: Santa Cruz County SmartMeters Moratorium
Any violations of the moratorium could result in misdemeanor charges, according to the ordinance.
Did ‘SmartMeters’ Spark San Bruno Blast?
“While investigators are looking at a number of possible causes, a consumer group put forward its own theory on Thursday, arguing that PG&E’s new SmartMeters may have sparked the explosion.
Californians for Renewable Energy reported that it had filed a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission, alleging that the wireless transmissions from the meters, which measure electricity and gas use, could have created an electric current in the pipe, produced a spark and ignited the fuel rushing through line. PG&E insists that the meters, which have embroiled the company in a yearlong controversy over their accuracy, produce signals whose strength is comparable to those from a cell phone.”
F.C.C. Likely to Open New Airwaves to Wireless “Wi-Fi on steroids.”
WASHINGTON — When the Federal Communications Commission first approved the
use of unlicensed bands of the airwaves decades ago, it began a revolution in
consumer electronics — first in television remote controls and garage door
openers, then in baby monitors and cordless phones, and most recently in
wireless computer networks.
This month, the F.C.C. is likely to approve what could be an even bigger
expansion of the unlicensed airwaves, opening the door to supercharged Wi-Fi
networks that will do away with the need to find a wireless hot spot and will
provide the scaffolding for new applications that are not yet imagined.
“We know what the first kind of deployments will be,” Julius Genachowski,
the chairman of the F.C.C., said in an interview, citing wireless broadband
networks that can cover entire university or corporate campuses, for example
— what is referred to in the industry as “Wi-Fi on steroids.”
The stronger, faster networks will extend broadband signals to bypassed rural
areas and allow for smart electric grids, remote health monitoring and, for
consumers, wireless Internet without those annoying dead zones.