Source: Sherman Publications

Citizens upset with Verizon
Tower installation comes under fire

by Lance Farrell

October 17, 2012

Concerned citizens assembled on Monday to hear if the Orion Township Board would authorize construction of a 145-foot tall new cell phone tower on the corner of Baldwin and Waldon roads in southwest Orion Township. The Board voted to table the proposal until the Oct. 29 meeting, citing the need for further study of safety factors related to tall structures in close proximity to residential areas.

Even though some residents have asked the township to deny the application for construction, the township has little discretion in deciding where a cell phone tower can be located. The location and construction of cell towers is governed by the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

If the application is done properly and meets the federal requirements, a municipality has no choice but to grant the location and construction.

That did not stop some Orion Twp. residents who brought their concerns to the township board’s attention and asked that they deny the application.

Their concerns included what they claim are negative health consequences.

Michelle Parker and Renata Capozzoli said 300 local residents signed their petition to halt progress on the tower’s construction. Parker and Capozzoli claimed there are potential health hazards and property devaluation as the reasons behind their resistance.

Parker said she realizes modern life brings rewards and risks, but argued the township has to balance them more carefully. The decision “has to be made responsibly,” Parker said. “We’re not against technology. We use technology. We depend on it as well. What were asking is that [the tower] be responsibly placed, which it is not.”

Parker and Capozzoli are concerned their children’s health and safety will be compromised by what they claim could be sustained exposure to high levels of electro-magnetic radiation (EMR).

Mrs. Parker has six year old twins, and Mrs. Capozzoli has children ages 11 and 13.

“I’m not willing to gamble. The federal government [once] told us that lead-based paints were safe. The federal government told us that asbestos was safe. They told us that cigarettes were safe. Look at where that has led us,” Parker said.

According to the American Cancer Society, there is no scientific proof that cell phone towers emit cancer-causing radiation.