Worcester ZBA calls for experts, puts smart grid on hold

Worcester, Massachusetts Puts Smart Grid on Hold

January 14, 2014

Worcester's Zoning Board of Appeals had a meeting regarding a utility application to install the smart grid for a pilot smart meter program. The board voted to put the program on hold for many reasons that can be outlined in this news article. Worcester Zoning Appeal Committee Votes to Put Smart Grid on Hold

Here is a picture of a model used for the Specific Absorption Rate adopted for the limits of human exposure. See anything related to a human in this test?

SAM

We were asked to submit a response to a State Senator and an electrical engineer reporting on Television the wireless meter program is safe. We also wanted to address missing science in the Zoning Application by the utility. Response to Zoning Application, Senator and Electrical Engineer on Safety of Smart Grid

Here is the video of the public meeting with the Zoning Appeal Board and presentations by National Grid as well as opponents of the smart grid. It is a long but worthwhile education to hear this from the source. Video of Worcester Zoning Application for Smart Grid

Monday, January 13, 2014

By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

nkotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER
Plans to erect a specialized communications tower in the Tatnuck Square area as part of National Grid's "smart grid" pilot program remain on hold.

The Zoning Board of Appeals Monday night voted to continue two petitions until its next meeting Feb. 3 in which National Grid is seeking zoning relief to construct a communications tower at one of two locations in the Tatnuck area, at 30 Tory Fort Lane, or 597 Mill St.

The vote came after the board heard more than two hours of testimony from many of the more than 60 people who attended the public hearing, including representatives from National Grid and opponents of the communications towers and the smart grid pilot program.

ZBA Chairman Lawrence Abramoff said a continuance is warranted because the city's planning staff needs more time to fully review additional information that National Grid recently provided in support of its petitions.

He said the zoning board also needs some direction from the city Law Department on what it can base its decision on for both petitions.

Mr. Abramoff said the city's zoning ordinance appears to conflict with the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission when it comes to siting personal wireless service facilities, such as communications towers, in the city.

He pointed out that the zoning ordinance is intended to minimize the adverse visual impacts of communications towers, to avoid damage to adjacent properties, to lessen impacts on surrounding properties, to minimize the use of towers, and to limit emissions from such facilities to minimize potential adverse effects on human and animal health.

But Mr. Abramoff said that appears to conflict with the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, which seems to indicate that National Grid would be allowed to erect a communications tower if it can prove a significant gap in coverage will exist in the high-speed, two-way communications network that is the backbone of its smart grid program.

"We need a legal opinion from the Law Department as to how we can proceed on this," he said.

Mr. Abramoff said he also wants more proof from National Grid that it made a good-faith effort to co-locate its equipment for the smart grid program at existing towers in that area. National Grid says it sought to co-locate at other locations, but was denied.

The tower in the Tatnuck area is considered the final piece to the puzzle for implementation of its smart grid program.

Last year, the zoning board granted National Grid special permits to allow personal wireless service facilities at three of its substations: Bloomingdale, off Wigwam Avenue; Vernon Hill (10 Gloucester Road/245 Vernon St.); and Greendale (4 Naples Road.)

But a tower in the Tatnuck area is needed to cover the West Side, where National Grid has two substations — one at 30 Tory Fort Lane, where it wants to erect an 80-foot-high lattice tower with a 10-foot-high mast; and another at 597 Mill St., where it has proposed putting up a 90-foot-high tower in the heart of Tatnuck Square.

National Grid wants to put the tower at one of those two locations so data about the electrical grid system can be passed along throughout parts of the city.

It wants to install three so-called "WiMax" and two microwave antennas, and radio/receiver units at each substation.

But many of those who testified objected to the proposed towers, some voicing concerns about health issues associated with the towers because of potentially harmful radiation they contend is emitted from the towers.

Others, especially those in the Tory Fort Lane area, complained about having a 90-foot-high tower in the middle of a residential area, while others also complained about security and privacy issues associated with the smart grid program.

Among those who testified against the towers were Councilor-at-Large Konstantina B. Lukes, District 5 Councilor Gary Rosen, Councilor-at-Large Morris A. Bergman and Councilor-at-Large Michael Gaffney.

"People have their doubts and questions about this," Mr. Rosen said. "These towers aren't just an eyesore; they lower property values and there are a number of privacy, security and safety issues with these (smart) meters.

"There is so much doubt, why take a risk with this? We should establish a moratorium and stop this now."

Mr. Bergman, meanwhile, questioned whether the zoning board's hands are tied by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

He said the zoning board should be able to take into consideration the impact such a facility would have on the health and safety of city residents.

"This isn't a Tatnuck Square neighborhood issue and it's not a West Side neighborhood issue; it's a city of Worcester issue," Mr. Bergman said.

City of Worcester Zone Meeting on Smart Meters

January 2, 2014

Worcester MA is the state pilot project for wireless smart meters and unfortunately the project moved forward without the required science substantiating safety. As a result tens of thousands are being electrocuted slowly. There are reasons we wire the world and not put people in an electromagnetic field. None of us would grab hold of a bare wire because you could be killed. In this case National Grid is providing the electromagnetic field and people as well as buildings are in the electrical circuit.

The Zone Appeal Board in Worcester MA had a public meeting on National Grid’s application to install a tower for their smart grid. Here is our submission for the Zone Appeal Board and City of Worcester.

City of Worcester Zone Meeting on Smart Meters

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