28 January 2016
Maine High Court Rejects Claim that Smart Meters are Unsafe
by Darren Fishell, BDN Staff, 26 January 2016
PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled state regulators properly determined smart meters installed by Central Maine Power Co. pose no “credible threat to the health and safety” of about 615,000 customers who have them installed.
Smart meter opponent Ed Friedman and the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters took the case to the state’s top court last year, challenging the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s finding that the radio frequency-emitting smart meters don’t pose a health risk.
Friedman had argued the evidence produced during the PUC’s investigation, including testimony of 65 witnesses who reported health problems, contradicted the decision by the three-member commission. The court denied that claim.
“Contrary to Friedman’s contention, the record is replete with evidence supporting the commission’s 82-page order finding that smart meters do not pose a credible threat to the health and safety of CMP’s customers under reasonable operational scenarios,” the ruling issued Tuesday stated.
Friedman also raised concern that commissioners lacked sufficient agreement on the issues of the case to rule that smart meters are safe.
Former Commissioner David Littell in his written opinion expressed a preference for certain medical treatment accommodations to avoid radio frequency exposure to smart meters, but the court found he did not require that condition in order to determine that the meters don’t pose a threat to human health.
“When viewed in the context of the order as a whole, Commissioner Littell and Commissioner [Mark] Vannoy unequivocally concurred in their determination that the CMP smart meters do not pose a credible threat to the health and safety of CMP customers,” the ruling stated.
The case is part of a long fight over smart meters and the second time the matter has come before the state’s top court, which in 2012 directed the PUC to make specific findings about the safety of smart meters.
Read the court’s full decision below.
Friedman judgement (Maine smart meters)