Resolution for a Smart Meter Moratorium in Longmont, CO
Resolution for a Smart Meter Moratorium in Longmont, CO, proposed and delivered orally, in person, by multiple public speakers during public comments, and by hard copy, at the Longmont City Council Open Forum Meeting, May 30, 2023. This meeting was dedicated solely to public comments, and its video may be viewed at this link.
The creation of this Resolution, and the presentations brought forth at the above meeting, including the Resolution, were a collaborative effort on the part of at least ten participants from the group, Longmont For Safe Technology.
RESOLUTION FOR A SMART METER MORATORIUM IN LONGMONT
WHEREAS, the City of Longmont has a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of its residents and to provide reliable and efficient utility services; and
WHEREAS, there are no long-term safety studies on the effects of exposure to smart meter radiation on human health; and
WHEREAS, there are thousands of peer-reviewed studies linking electromagnetic radiation emitted by wireless devices including smart meters with adverse biological health effects, including cognitive impairment, headaches, unexplained fatigue, sleep disturbances including inability to wake up and/or inability to go to sleep and stay asleep, cardiac arrhythmia including but not limited to tachycardia and atrial fibrillation, vertigo, tinnitus, ADD and ADHD-like symptoms, mood swings including but not limited to anxiety, depression and unexplained outbursts of anger, and immunological abnormalities; and
WHEREAS, on August 13, 2021, the second highest court in the land, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, rendered a decision in favor of the two nonprofits that sued the FCC for failing to update their RF radiation regulatory limits since 1996 in spite of five generations of advancement in wireless technology and millions of radiation-emitting devices. The case, Environmental Health Trust et al v. Federal Communications Commission, challenged the FCC, thus calling into question whether any radiation-emitting device is safe for human exposure.
WHEREAS, the Court ruled that the FCC’s failure to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that its 1996 radiofrequency (RF) emission guidelines adequately protect the public against the harmful effects of exposure to radiation from 5G and wireless-based technologies unrelated to cancer, renders the agency’s decision capricious, arbitrary and not evidence based, in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The court judgment remanded the decision to the Commission.
WHEREAS, with respect to cancer, the Court acknowledged that the FCC had considered the National Toxicology Program study. The court further acknowledged the two nonprofits and the FCC differed on their interpretation of the study results. Because the FCC need only have shown they had “considered” cancer, the court did not include cancer in the remand. The judge’s decision did not rule cancer out as a potential threat.
WHEREAS, the August 13, 2021 decision in favor of the two nonprofits stated: “Under this highly deferential standard of review, we find the Commission’s order arbitrary and capricious in its failure to respond to record evidence that exposure to RF radiation at levels below the Commission’s current limits may cause negative health effects unrelated to cancer.”
WHEREAS, the Court further stated: “That failure undermines the Commission’s conclusions regarding the adequacy of its testing procedures, particularly as they relate to children, and its conclusions regarding the implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation, exposure to RF pulsation or modulation, and the implications of technological developments that have occurred since 1996, all of which depend on the premise that exposure to RF radiation at levels below its current limits causes no negative health effects. Accordingly, we find those conclusions arbitrary and capricious as well. Finally, we find the Commission’s order arbitrary and capricious in its complete failure to respond to comments concerning environmental harm caused by RF radiation.”
WHEREAS, at the present time FCC has not yet updated its standards in keeping with the Court Remand, and wireless devices such as smart meters are therefore operating under outdated conclusions with respect to RF standards described by the second highest court in the land as “arbitrary and capricious,” and
WHEREAS, smart meters may be vulnerable to hacking and may be susceptible to cyber-attacks, potentially compromising the privacy and security of residents’ data and energy resources; and
WHEREAS, even worse, the highly personal data the meters collect is vulnerable to theft by hackers that can compromise the utility databases, thus additionally putting customer personal information and behavior patterns at risk of theft; and
WHEREAS, there is credible evidence that smart meters may not accurately measure energy usage, leading to inaccurate fees, over-billing, and financial harm to residents; and
WHEREAS, the smart meter is a complex and vulnerable electrical appliance that is being installed directly to the service drop and outside of the normal safety protection of home/building circuit breakers, in violation of the Longmont building codes; and
WHEREAS, the City of Longmont’s Sustainability Advisory Board has received complaints and informational input in public comments from citizens and experts regarding the installation and use of smart meters, including the testimony of a Master Electrician who has documented information alleging that the installation and use of Landis-Gyr smart meters in Longmont’s test area are in violation of certain established codes and standards such as the National Electrical Code (NEC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, and Longmont Municipal Code; and
WHEREAS, Section 14.32.200.J of the Longmont Municipal Code, “Compliance with applicable codes,” is clear in saying,” All services, equipment and installations must meet all applicable codes and standards, including, but not limited to, the NEC, IEEE, ANSI, NEMA and NESC,” and
WHEREAS, under the NEC Code, electrical devices (including smart meters) must be labeled with a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) label to indicate that they have been tested and comply with safety standards, and the absence of a UL label on the smart meter violates the Labeled Definition; and
WHEREAS, Section 14.32.190.A of the Longmont Municipal Code ensures that all electricity customers of the city receive uniform and equitable consideration, while sub-section E on liability stipulates that the city can be held liable for injury to persons or damage to property when such damage or injury results from or is occasioned by the negligence or wrongful acts of the city’s agents or employees; and
WHEREAS, there is evidence that the Landis+Gyr Gridstream RF 90E7C2F3 model G5 Integrated FOCUS AXRe-SD smart meter, which was installed by the City in certain areas, does not have a UL label, thus being in violation of Section 14.32.200.J of the City’s Municipal Code, and poses unacceptable health and safety risks to the public; and
WHEREAS, the Landis+Gyr Gridstream RF system has not been certified by UL in accordance with National Electrical Code (NEC) standards, as required by Section 14.32.200.J of the City’s Municipal Code; and
WHEREAS, UL Standard 2735, which is the certification standard for smart meters and other advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) devices, does not address all the potential safety hazards associated with smart meters, and relies heavily on self-certification by manufacturers; and
WHEREAS, there have been reports of fires and explosions associated with smart meter installations across the country, including incidents involving meters manufactured by Landis+Gyr and Sensus, both of which are certified to UL Standard 2735; and
WHEREAS, smart meters are known to cause arcing which is a NEC code violation; and
WHEREAS, it is known that smart meters are ungrounded, cannot withstand certain voltage surges, power surges, and lightning strikes, and can potentially cause fires, endangering the safety and property of residents; and
WHEREAS, smart meters are often installed in close proximity to gas meters, which could create a dangerous situation in the event of a gas leak or explosion; and
WHEREAS, smart meters require an uninterrupted power supply to function properly, and power outages could result not only in a loss of data but potentially create safety hazards when the power returns; and
WHEREAS, the December 30, 2021 Marshall Fire was the most destructive and catastrophic inferno in Colorado history, demonstrating how climate changes have made our state profoundly vulnerable to the ravages of wildfires; and
WHEREAS, the 2016 testimony of Senior Property Claims Examiner Norman Lambe before the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, in response to the question: “Would UL certification ensure that a meter is safe?” evoked the following expert response by Mr. Lambe: “Most “smart” meters have not been certified by any independent certification body, such as Underwriters Laboratory (“UL”) or Canadian Standards Association (“CSA”). Instead “smart” meters are routinely certified by industry groups such as ANSI and IEEE. All of the models of meters that have burned, and many have, have been certified by these industry groups. UL has a new certification standard that is said to have been developed to insure the safety of “smart” meters, UL Standard 2735. But even this certification is not sufficient. The very meters that have received this certification, Sensus and Landis & Gyr, have caused fires.” [Emphasis added]; and
WHEREAS, a Public Records Act request was submitted to the City of Longmont by a Longmont resident who requested an independent report stating Landis+Gyr have resolved their AMI fire risk vulnerabilities. The City of Longmont responded that no such report existed; and
WHEREAS, a Public Records Act request was submitted to the City of Longmont by a Longmont resident who asked for a report supporting the contention that the $14 million investment in Landis+Gyr smart meters would allow the City of Longmont to achieve its energy sustainability goals by 2030. The City of Longmont responded that no such report existed. The City did, however, provide several links and one was to a website which offered a sustainability report from an experiment in Cardiff, United Kingdom. The report failed to demonstrate the smart meters provided any energy savings. The report suggested a vague promise for the future: “Smart meters will be getting smarter.”
WHEREAS, the City of Longmont must, at all times, stay in compliance with all established codes and standards such as the National Electrical Code (NEC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, and Longmont Municipal Code, and failure to do so places the City at risk of being held liable for injury to persons or damage to property;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED…
that in light of the many considerable and unresolved problems of legality, liability, standards compliance, health and fire risks to the public, demonstrating the risks far outweigh the alleged benefits as evidenced above, Longmont for Safe Technology et al demand that the Landis+Gyr AMI meter roll-out, and any existing use of smart and digital AMI meters, be halted forthwith, and an indefinite moratorium be implemented on the AMI roll-out until such time as:
- All potential RF radiation risks to human health and the environment are conclusively proven to cause no harm;
- Longmont obtains and makes readily available to the public reports from independent experts certifying that this technology no longer poses fire risks;
- The FCC complies with its court ordered remand to its 27-year old RF guidelines;
- All AMI equipment in use by the City of Longmont is in full compliance with NEC, NFPA and OSHA codes and standards.