State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi has filed House Bill 5818, the “Protect Me From 5G Act,” which aims to require telecoms to provide reports on 5G equipment. The Chicago Tribune reported the bill “requires wireless companies to provide a plan to monitor and record daily levels of RF emissions produced by 5G equipment, analyze noise levels for small wireless facilities and equipment, and allow local governments to suggest new wireless antennas be installed on existing poles to limit the number of new poles.”
According to Mazzochi, a small cell bill that was debated and passed in 2018, “was designed to take away a lot of local control options that were still left under FCC provisions. It preempted local control.” The small cell bill is up for reauthorization in 2021, reported the Tribune.
Mazzochi and officials from Western Springs, Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills held a press conference last Thursday to discuss the need for legislation to return control of wireless infrastructure to local municipalities. Concerns raised included transparency by telecoms and ensuring that small cells would not be “detrimental to property values.”
Hinsdale Village Trustee Luke Stifflear added that it’s not a “nimby” situation, but concerns over having poles, antennas, and small cells in the public rights-of-way. “It will be in everybody’s front yard,” Stifflear said.
He added that the bill would not prohibit 5G infrastructure or limit residents’ telecommunication access. The bill would give control back to local municipalities, “to control aesthetics, to control timing and to control location,” he said.
“Before you start installing these on someone’s block, you should really make sure you’ve got genuine buy-in from the people who live there,” Mazzochi said. “Because if someone truly does not want this in their neighborhood, why should they have it shoved down their throats?”
The bill focuses on compliance with FCC standards and ensuring that predictions around radiation exposure and environmental impact are accurate. “The next step is to start getting all of our other suburban legislators signing on in support,” Mazzochi told the Tribune.