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LETTER: Too much ambiguity surrounding the proposed cell tower on Lerwick Road

Dear editor,

Dear editor,

On June 29 I received an information package from Freedom Mobile regarding a proposed radio-communications installation at 2591 Lerwick Rd., Courtenay. The distribution of the package was limited to properties within a 150-metre radius omitting many who will be directly affected. Some studies have indicated that 400 metres minimum should be between a tower and residential and business establishments.

A 2020 study in Environmental Research found that, “Although direct causation of negative human health effects from RFR from cellular phone base stations has not been finalized, there is already enough medical and scientific evidence to warrant long-term liability concerns for companies deploying cellular phone towers.”

The package is missing vital information on the radio-frequency EMFs from this proposed tower.

If Freedom Mobile constructs a cell tower, what will be the combined exposure from this tower system and the existing Rogers coverage? What will the suggested collocating with another carrier mean to the levels of exposure?

How would this fit into the maximum recommended by Safety Code 6 from the ISED? Who will police the emissions? What action will be taken to rectify any discrepancies?

What are the effects of long-term exposure? Does long-term exposure produce different effects from short-term exposure? Do effects accumulate over time?

The proposed location is directly beside Lerwick Wood. Placing a cell tower beside one of the few remaining green spaces in Courtenay is unacceptable. Lerwick Wood is an environmentally protected land trust property. Many reports cite negative and detrimental impacts on wildlife. Though not required, due diligence dictates an environmental assessment must be carried out.

There is a great deal of ambiguity surrounding this proposal. We need clarity and an open discussion with all residents in surrounding neighbourhoods. The aforementioned concerns and the negative impact on property values located near cell towers must be discussed.

Margaret Waterton,