Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
New York, NY –
City lawmakers are considering a bill to make it more difficult to erect cell phone towers in the five boroughs. If passed, the measure would require that the surrounding community and local lawmakers be alerted before a new tower is installed. The companies also would have to prove they've made the best effort to install antennas in non-residential areas. The bill's sponsor, Councilman Peter Vallone Junior says it's still unknown if cell towers are completely safe - but he says it's better to be cautious.
VALLONE: Everyone thought asbestos was harmless and lead paint was harmless - we don't want this to be the same situation.
A spokesman for Verizon Wireless, the largest cell provider in the metro area, says the company's against the bill. Howard Waterman says the FCC already has stringent power level requirements. He says most cell tower sites use about the same amount of power as a baby monitor, and have been proven safe.