JERSEY CITY, NJ - More questions about new 5G technology caused the Jersey City Council to delay the adoption of an ordinance that would give right of way for the installation and upgrade of 72 utility poles throughout the city to house on May 6.
“We do not know enough to approve this,” said Council Richard Boggiano. “I’ve heard things about the risk of radiation that I need to know more about.”
The city doesn’t have the authority to halt the installation, according to the city’s law department, because the regulations governing the technology resides with the Federal Communications Commission. But the legal permission where to install the poles and what the poles are made of does allow the city council to take a closer look at the issue.
5G is the latest and most up to date microwave technology allowing for stronger cellular phone transmission. But it has become a controversy for a number of reasons – some of which are seen as outlandish, including having a hand in the spread of COVID-19. The FCC has ruled the technology safe, but some residents in Jersey City, as well as many other places in the country, claim there is not enough data to support that theory. Several European countries have stopped installation pending future studies.
Similar protests arose in the 1970s when less powerful, yet similar technology first started to get installed to allow cellular networks to emerge.
Boggiano, however, said he was concerned about the health impact and whether or not the technology poses the risk of cancer to people who live nearby where these poles are being installed.
Council President Joyce Watterman and other council members have reported receiving messages from residents about the concern, and the body’s head said that while the City would communicate with the FCC she believes federal legislators will have to be contacted about the issue.
The council is expected to revisit the ordinance at their May 18 caucus meeting where they might also consider passing a resolution that would ask local federal legislators to look into the matter.
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