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Town of Fountain Hills News

Posted on: May 10, 2022

What can the Town do about Cell Towers?

At a Town Council Regular Meeting in April, a resident raised a concern during public comments about the well-being of Fountain Hills' residents with the installation of 5G wireless telecommunication towers and the use of microwaves. Since the safety of residents is the Towns top priority, here is an answer to these concerns.

As it stands today, federal and state laws preempt cities and towns from regulating how wireless facilities are deployed in city rights-of-way. In March 2017, the Arizona State Legislature passed House Bill 2365 and was signed by the governor on March 31, 2017, which amended Title 9, Section 5 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S. §9-591 to §9-599) relating to wireless services. As a result of this bill, state law allows wireless providers to install, operate and maintain SWF and related equipment in the Town’s rights-of-way and public easements as a matter of right. The Town may only require an applicant to certify that the small wireless facilities comply with the federal communications commission's regulations concerning radio frequency emissions referenced in 47 United States Code section 332(c)(7)(B)(iv).

The FCC authorizes and licenses devices, transmitters, and facilities that generate radio frequency (RF) radiation. It has jurisdiction over all transmitting services in the U.S. except those specifically operated by the Federal Government. However, the FCC's primary jurisdiction does not lie in the health and safety area, and it must rely on other agencies and organizations for guidance in these matters. For more information about the safety of RF radiation and potential health hazards, go to www.fcc.gov/engineering-technology/electromagnetic-compatibility-division/radio-frequency-safety/faq .

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