National Park Service Improperly Approves Cell Tower Installation, Doesn’t Know How Many There Are, Fails to Collect Telecom Fees, Noncompliant with Eco-Rules


02-08-19 01:00:00,

By B.N. Frank

Decades of research has already determined that cell tower radiation is biologically and environmentally harmful.  Thanks to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) for filing a complaint which led to this heartbreaking discovery.

For Immediate Release:  Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Contact:  Jeff Ruch (510) 213-7028; Kirsten Stade (240) 247-0296
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Audit Finds Broad Noncompliance with Eco-Rules and Revenue Collection

Washington, DC — The National Park Service does not even know how many cell towers it has, improperly issues approvals for building towers, and fails to collect money owed by telecoms, according to a new audit prompted by a complaint from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  While the NPS promises to fix these problems, PEER charges that these lapses are multiplying rather than abating.

The Interior Department Office of Inspector General (IG) audit entitled “The NPS Needs To Improve Management of its Commercial Right-of-Way Program” was conducted following an October 2017 PEER complaint concerning illegal cell tower approvals in Yosemite National Park. The audit confirmed those problems and determined they were systemwide, including –

  • Widespread noncompliance with NPS rules requiring reviews of potential adverse impacts on environmental and cultural resources;
  • Failure to even bill for, let alone collect, revenue owed to NPS by telecoms; and
  • Lack of oversight to the extent that parks cannot accurately report what they have permitted and nationally the NPS does not inventory what cell facilities have been built.

The root problem is a Park Service embrace of cellular coverage without any critical analysis, outsourcing its resource protection role to the telecom industry,” stated PEER Executive Director Tim Whitehouse, pointing out that these private companies are permitted to use park land and resources to benefit their commercial subscribers. “In short, the IG found that the Park Service is illegally subsidizing the telecom industry to the detriment of the parks.”

One common failing the IG confirmed was parks approving cell tower construction with the type of permit issued for special events,

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