1) Finally something to celebrate. As you know, Devra Davis’s group Environmental Health Trust and Kennedy’s Children Health Defense joined forces to confront the FCC about maintaining the current guidelines, ignoring evidence and not justifying its decision. A court agreed. The court decision is relatively short and is easy to read. Many thanks and congratulations are due to all of the people who worked so hard to make this happen.
In it, the court made many significant statements that apply to Health Canada as well as the FCC. In 2013, after a review of Safety Code 6 (SC 6) (a sloppy, incomplete review), Health Canada (HC) maintained the current SC 6 levels. Many of us complained loudly and presented arguments against this decision. In 2015, without any reason, HC arbitrarily reduced SC 6 levels substantially for lower frequencies, in some cases more than 50%. Why? We should use this case to push HC to justify its decision.
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‘Historic Win’: CHD Wins Case Against FCC on Safety Guidelines for 5G and Wireless
“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit court ruled the Federal Communications Commission failed to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that its current guidelines adequately protect against harmful effects of exposure to radiofrequency radiation.
CHD’s lead attorney for the case, Scott McCollough, a telecommunication and administrative law attorney who represented the petitioners in the hearing, said:
“This is an historic win. The FCC will have to re-open the proceeding and for the first time meaningfully and responsibly confront the vast amount of scientific and medical evidence showing that current guidelines do not adequately protect health and the environment.”
IN HISTORIC DECISION, FEDERAL COURT ORDERS FCC TO EXPLAIN WHY IT IGNORED SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE SHOWING HARM FROM WIRELESS RADIATION
“Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in the historic case EHT et al. v. the FCC that the December 2019 decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to retain its 1996 safety limits for human exposure to wireless radiation was “arbitrary and capricious.”
The court held that the FCC failed to respond to “record evidence that exposure to RF radiation at levels below the Commission’s current limits may cause negative health effects unrelated to cancer.” Further, the agency demonstrated “a complete failure to respond to comments concerning environmental harm caused by RF radiation.” …
“I am very pleased to see that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that the FCC ignored decades of studies about the potential health harms of cell phone radiation and must adequately review this material before making a decision about new regulations of cell phones,” said Dr. Jerome Paulson, former American Academy of Pediatrics Environmental Health Council Chair and now Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Environmental and Occupational Health at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Milken Institute School of Public Health.”
The court decision:
a) From pp. 9-10
When an agency in the Commission’s position is confronted with evidence that its current regulations are inadequate or the factual premises underlying its prior judgment have eroded, it must offer more to justify its decision to retain its regulations than mere conclusory statements. See Am. Horse, 812 F.2d at 6; Am. Radio, 524 F.3d at 241. Rather, the agency must provide “assurance that [it] considered the relevant factors,” and it must provide analysis that follows “a discernable path to which the court may defer.” Am. Radio, 524 F.3d at 241…
Under this highly deferential standard of review, we find the Commission’s order arbitrary and capricious in its failure to respond to record evidence that exposure to RF radiation at levels below the Commission’s current limits may cause negative health effects unrelated to cancer….
… we find those conclusions arbitrary and capricious as well. Finally, we find the Commission’s order arbitrary and capricious in its complete failure to respond to comments concerning environmental harm caused by RF radiation.
b) From pp. 20-21
In addition, the Commission noted that the testing to determine compliance with its limits “represents a conservative case” for both adults and children. Id. at 11,696 n.50. Whether the testing of compliance with existing limits was conservative is not the point. The unanswered question remains whether low levels of RF radiation allowed by those existing limits cause negative health effects. So once again, the Commission’s failure to provide a reasoned or even relevant explanation of its position that RF radiation below the current limits does not cause health problems unrelated to cancer renders its explanation as to the effect of RF radiation on children arbitrary and capricious.
c) pg. 21
…the Commission’s failure to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that exposure to RF radiation at levels below its current limits does not cause negative health effects unrelated to cancer renders inadequate the Commission’s explanation for its failure to discuss the implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation, exposure to RF pulsation or modulation, or the implications of technological developments that have occurred since 1996, including the ubiquity of wireless devices and Wi-Fi, and the emergence of “5G” technology.
d) pg. 22
…the Commission also completely failed even to acknowledge, let alone respond to, comments concerning the impact of RF radiation on the environment.… The record contains substantive evidence of potential environmental harms.
Sharon Noble, Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
“When you’re true to who you are, amazing things happen.” Deborah Norville