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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Rep. Mazzochi files bill pushing for local control over 5G wireless deployment

Politics

By Glenn Minnis | Feb 17, 2020

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Illinois state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst)

Illinois state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) has filed a bill that would give residents of her 47th District – residents of all local districts, for that matter – a stronger voice when the time comes for 5G wireless implementation.

By creating the Local Control, Protection and Empowering Law in the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act, House Bill 4653 would give local townships greater control over how the move to 5G service may affect their communities in terms of cell tower construction, placement and the like.

“The reason for this bill is this is a hot-button issue in my district and I suspect it’s going to be hot in other areas as well,” Mazzochi told the DuPage Policy Journal. “What it’s designed to do is give our local stakeholders more of an opportunity to have a voice about 5G in their neighborhood and assure that local municipalities are applying their standards when it comes to the application process.”


Mazzochi says she made a point of being as well-versed on the issue as she could before trying to put forth any potential solutions. To that end, she attended meetings with residents and officials, researched options and pinpointed areas of concern.

“There are a host of concerns,” Mazzochi said. “Everything from aesthetics to the impact on property values to health and environmental concerns. My job is to take the pulse of the community and sense what their needs and desires are. We had a town hall in Western Springs a few nights ago with well over 120 people there, all of them unhappy about 5G coming to their neighborhoods.” 

Following an extensive review process, the FCC recently ruled that its current radio frequency exposure safety limits remain suitable for 5G networks, even though they were created and put in place more than two decades ago. A growing number of area residents do not seem too convinced.

“I think this shows there is a sizable contingent of residents in my district who are concerned about this technology and what it means for their property and want answers while not being in conflict with federal laws,” Mazzochi said.

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