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EMF Studies

22 June 2017

Massachusetts: Update on Hearings on Two Bills on Electromagnetic Radiation in the State Legislature

Update from Cece Doucette on two bills on electromagnetic radiation being considered by Massachusetts legislators:  no-fee smart meter choice and safe use of handheld devices by children.  See also the MA EMF Bills page of Cece's research repository.

The Massachusetts legislators heard two EMF bills yesterday
[20 June 2017]. The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy was assigned to S. 1864 for no-fee smart meter choice. The committee was also hearing testimony on climate change/carbon pricing so the largest auditorium in our State House was full. With gratitude to Patricia Burke and Helen Walker, we had a dozen folks prepared to testify. Since there were more people who wanted to testify than there were hours in the day, we were asked to limit the number of speakers for each bill. Dr. Martin Pall was coincidentally in Boston this week so he testified on the science and local residents spoke to the flaws in the utility smart grid program being piloted by National Grid in Worcester, electrical sensitivity, multiple chemical sensitivity and building biology.

Members of the audience, and the legislators, were hearing many of these perspectives for the first time and there was genuine interest.

In the other chamber, a more intimate setting, the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure heard S.108 for safe use of handheld devices by children. Everyone who signed in to speak in advance was given three minutes. They called folks up in groups of three to expedite the testimonies, and I had the privilege of testifying alongside Keith Marciniak who did the Dangers of Wi-Fi cable series with me, and Dr. Martin Pall.

After the three of us spoke, the legislators began asking questions. Many questions. We were very grateful to be able to provide additional information. Along with the others who testified, including Senator Cyr and former MA DPH Environmental Health Associate Commissioner Suzanne Condon, we have likely planted important seeds. There was an industry rep who spoke last but the legislators didn't seem impressed.

Thank you to those who have begun sending in testimony for these two bills. There is still a ways to go in the legislative process so testimony will be accepted for a while yet. We hope you will take the time to submit, regardless of whether you live in Massachusetts. We have included templates for each bill in red on the MA EMF Bills page of my research repository. I would be grateful if you would cc: me when you submit so I can learn from you and monitor where we are.

I would like to express a note of gratitude to our legislators. We let the committee chairs know in advance that folks with electrical sensitivity would like to testify, and that staying in the hearing rooms for the full four hour session waiting for our bills to be called would make them symptomatic. Both committees were very generous in giving us a set start time for each bill so folks could testify and leave right after. They also staggered the times so we could be at both hearings.

We will be very grateful if each of you could send in testimony soon if you haven't already.

Onward and upward we go,

Cece Doucette
Technology Safety Educator
Ashland, MA

Understanding EMFs
Wireless Education

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