State Representative Deanne Mazzochi announced a “Protect Me from 5G!” bill, aiming to safeguard residents from the proliferation of small cells. “Our neighborhoods welcome technological advances,” Mazzochi said. “But those same neighborhoods also need the right to decide at the local level whether certain aesthetic or safety costs are worth it.”
According to the Village of Western Springs website, Mazzochi filed House Bill 5818 after residents across several communities in her district complained about small cells. As pilot communities for the rollout of 5G, Western Springs and Hinsdale residents saw firsthand the results of initial rollouts and expressed their displeasure, calling for expanded local control over 5G sites.
In 2018, when the original Small Cell Wireless bill was debated, the plan was to place small cells on existing infrastructure. In practice, communities are being inundated with permit applications for new towers in the public rights-of-way, including in front of homes and playgrounds.
Mazzochi took office after the Small Cell Wireless bill was passed and wants to reexamine the legislation. “Our local municipalities and residents were not informed of the real-world implementation plans under the prior legislation,” she said.
In drafting the “Protect Me from 5G!” bill, Mazzochi worked alongside The Western Springs Village Board to include language indicative of residents’ needs. The bill consists of key elements to engender transparency, such as:
- (Daily) Radio Frequency Monitoring
- Noise Monitoring
- Environmental Protection
- Equipment Restrictions
- Alternate Location Authority
- Closing Application Loophole
- Below Ground Devices
- Easement Rules
Mazzochi hopes the bill will be considered in the General Assembly’s Fall Veto session in November. She also introduced a companion House Bill 4653, creating the Local Control, Protection, and Empowering Law in the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act, requiring a public hearing before local officials approve 5G devices.