Citizen Action: Massachusetts Hearing On Safe Technology June 20
This year’s smart meter opt out bill, S. 1864: An Act Relative to Utilities, Smart Meters, and Ratepayer’s Rights sponsored by Sen. Michael Moore, will come up for a hearing before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy June 20, 1-5pm, at the Gardner Auditorium, Massachusetts State House in Boston.
The bill, if passed, will assure the right to choose what type of utility meter will be installed and operated on one’s home or place of business, and to do so without incurring any fees. The bill specifically assures the right to retain and use a non-wireless-transmitting analog meter. The text of the bill can be found here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/SD344. (The bill was referred to as Senate Docket 344 at the time of its filing; it is now S. 1864.) Citizens only get the chance to file a bill every other year, so we need to take advantage of this opportunity to work toward passage of this bill.
Please consider submitting written testimony in support of S. 1864.
If you are an Eversource customer and have been given no choice but between an AMI wireless meter and an AMR wireless meter, by all means tell that to the committee. DPU Order 12-76-B mandated that electric companies provide customers with a choice, but a choice between two types of wireless meter is no choice at all for people who have health concerns, and the legislators need to understand this.
If you see the opt out provision as a reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities, by all means say that. If you have a child who is able to pay attention and to learn better when not exposed to wireless radiation 24/ 7, by all means say that. If you have been reading the National Toxicology Program report http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2016/05/26/055699 and find cause for caution in the findings, by all means say that. If you are a National Grid customer and you have been allowed to opt out, but the fees are a hardship, by all means say that.
Everyone who is well enough to attend the hearing in person is invited and welcome to speak at the hearing.
Now is the time to ask your own Senator to sign on as a co-sponsor of S. 1864. Please consider calling your Senator with this request. Keep calling, and invite your neighbors to call as well.
The window is now closed for Representatives to sign on as co-sponsors, but Senators can sign on until the committee takes action on the bill. There are three Senators who have already signed on: Senator Michael Moore ( the bill’s sponsor), Senator Jennifer Flanagan, and Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives. Two Senators who co-sponsored the smart meter budget amendment #868 last spring have not signed on as co-sponsors of S. 1864, but we would really like to have their support; these are Senator James B. Eldridge, 617-722-1120 James.Eldridge@masenate.gov and Senator Jason M. Lewis, 617-722-1206 Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov. If these happen to be your senators, please thank them for their past support and ask them to re-commit.
During this same hearing time frame, in room A-1, S.108 An Act relative to the safe use of handheld devices by children will be heard requiring specific language on product packaging (cellphone right to know), as modeled by an ordinance unanimously passed in Berkeley, California. Sponsored by Senator Julian Cyr and referred to the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.
Please submit written testimony for bill S1864: An Act Relative to Utilities, Smart Meters, and Ratepayer’s Rights to the committe chairs and the clerk, before or after the hearing.
If you wish to send to your own legisltors, you can find their infomration here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator
You may sign in to testify for both these bills. If you need assistance in testifying or have questions about doing so, contact Patricia Burke, 508-530-4131 or Patricia999burke@gmail.com.
Additional Information About The Bills
S.1864 An Act relative to utilities, smart meters, and ratepayers’ rights gives utility customers the no-fee choice of retaining non-wireless radiation-emitting water, gas and electrical meters and refusing installation of “smart” utility meters. Sponsored by Senator Michael O. Moore, Michael.Moore@masenate.gov, and referred to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Gardner Auditorium, 1-5 p.m. For a pre-hearing interview, you can contact Senator Moore’s legislative and policy adviser Zachary Tsetsos at 617-722-1485, Zachary.Tsetsos@masenate.gov.
S.108 An Act relative to the safe use of handheld devices by children requires specific language be included on product packaging, as modeled by an ordinance unanimously passed in Berkeley, California. Sponsored by Senator Julian Cyr and referred to the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. This hearing will be held in A-1 from 1-4 p.m. (Note, Senator Cyr has another bill, S. 107 for package labeling, tentatively scheduled for public hearing on September 26.) For a pre-hearing interview, you can contact bill sponsor Senator Julian Cyr’s communications staffer Meaghan Callahan at 617-722-1570, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, Cece Doucette, Technology Safety Educator in Ashland, MA, can put you in touch with physicians, academic health researchers, and Massachusetts residents who can share their personal stories on the biological effects of wireless technology radiation. Please let Cece know if she can provide additional information.