Archive for January, 2016

PORTLAND — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday affirmed a state agency’s finding that advanced metering infrastructure, commonly known as “smart meters,” are not harmful to human health and safety. The decision ends a public dispute of more than five years over alleged health risks associated with the meters.

Lawsuit complainants, led by Bowdoinham resident Ed Friedman of the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters, appealed the dismissal to the Supreme Judicial Court in 2012. The court sided with Friedman and voided that dismissal, effectively ordering the PUC to make a determination on the threat to health and safety posed by smart meters.

The PUC then spent 2 1/2 years investigating the safety of smart meters. In the end, the panel ruled that “the use of smart meters, as implemented by CMP, does not present a credible threat of harm to the health and safety of CMP’s customers, and based on the record of this proceeding is, therefore, safe.”

In a ruling written by Justice Andrew M. Mead, the justices agreed that Friedman’s argument – that any credible evidence of health risks precluded a decision of safety – would set “an impractically high threshold for ensuring safety, and as a result would render nearly all utilities unsafe.” [ed: So pressure to keep utilities status quo was optimal?]

As the Maine Coalition Against “Smart” Meters pointed out in their press release, the Court turned a statute that required safety into “a risk assessment evaluation of acceptable harm.”

Coalition spokesman and Plaintiff Ed Friedman had this to say:

“While the decision acknowledges over one hundred peer-reviewed scientific studies were reviewed by the Commission, what the Court doesn’t admit is over 1,000 peer-reviewed study citations and verbatim abstracts of supporting studies submitted into evidence by anti-smart meter activists were rejected by the PUC because ‘somehow we need to whittle down the amount of evidence.’ The Court has miserably failed the people of Maine, instead relying on CMP supplied evidence from the FCC [FCC exposure standards admitted by even the PUC to be obsolete and irrelevant],Trilliant [vendor for the smart meter project], Exponent [a well-known product defense firm], and the Maine CDC finding from 2010 [a 2-week rush job about which the CDC admittedly knew nothing and that predated both this investigation and the WHO classification of RF as a possible human
carcinogen].”
“The Court ignored when they needn’t have, independent testimony from international experts on the credible threat of harm RF exposures at smart meter levels pose and instead chose to believe the “Marlboro Man” that smoking is good for us. The Law Court has despite ample evidence we were not legally required to submit [with the burden of proof on CMP] rejected Maine’s judicial maxim-the health of the people is the supreme law.”
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If you are sensitive to Wi-fi you’d better not fly on these airlines:

Three American airlines offer the most onboard wireless Internet connections worldwide, according to new research.

Delta Air Lines DAL -4.30% topped the list of the most connected airlines, as measured by available seat-miles with at least a chance of getting a wireless connection, according to the survey by Routehappy.com, a site that evaluates in-flight amenities. More than 500 million of Delta’s available seat-miles are covered. It’s closely followed by United Airlines UAL -5.51% (500 million miles) and American AAL -4.52% (more than 400 million miles).

Acting Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has ordered the closure of Globe Telecom and Sun Cellular cell sites in sitio Calvary Hills, barangay Apas. Residents of sitio Calvary Hills, Philippines, have been complaining about the operations of the cell sites in the area for the past few years. They blamed radiation from the cell sites for causing several cancer-related cases and deaths among the residents.
Labella said he issued the orders only now as he received the recommendation from the city legal office just recently.
He said both Globe and Sun Cellular can question the closure order in court.
“I think the main consideration there is the health hazards it posed to the residents of sitio Calvary considering that there are a number of cancer victims and a number of them already died and there are still many who are sick,” he said.
Labella said the closure order was pushed by the barangay, the City Health Office and the City Legal Office.
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