Public Complaints Derail Telecom Tower Build

Published November 10, 2010

Public concern over potential health effects and property values resulted in a six-month moratorium on the construction of telecommunications towers in Blaine, Minnesota.

The Blaine City Council meeting agenda in October included a motion to grant a conditional use permit to construct a 100-foot Monopole tower, but emotional comments from Blaine residents convinced the council to table the proposal, according to a story in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune.

Blaine currently has approximately 30 towers for cell phones and wireless Internet service.

‘No Health Hazard’
According to minutes from the meeting, resident Amy Miller said it wasn’t necessary to allow multiple companies to construct multiple cell phone towers.

Don Koehler claimed his Internet research uncovered a report from the United Kingdom revealing 14 human cancer fatalities and 20 patients developing tumors within one mile of a tower built in 1995.

The Federal Communications Commission disagrees, however: “[R]adiofrequency emissions from antennas used for cellular and PCS transmissions result in exposure levels on the ground that are typically thousands of times below safety limits. These safety limits were … endorsed by agencies of the Federal Government responsible for health and safety. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that such towers could constitute a potential health hazard to nearby residents or students.”

Bruce Edward Walker ([email protected]) is managing editor of Infotech & Telecom News.

Internet Info:

“FCC Registered Cell Phone and Antenna Towers in Blaine, Minnesota,”

“Blaine Halting Tower Permits to Revisit Policies,” Maria Elena Baca, Minneapolis-St.Paul Star-Tribune:

Blaine City Council Meeting Minutes, October 7, 2010:

“Radio Frequency Safety FAQs,” Federal Communications Commission Office of Engineering and Technology: