Environmental Health Trust et al. v. the FCC
Environmental Health Trust (EHT), the scientific think tank headed by Devra Davis PhD, MPH, filed the principal brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Wednesday in a landmark case against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The appeal is aimed at getting the FCC to reconsider, revise, and update its 24-year old exposure limits for radio-frequency radiation (RFR) from cellphones, cell towers, Wi-FI networks, smart meters, and other wireless communication devices and facilities. The brief is filed jointly with Children’s Health Defense and numerous individual petitioners.
The FCC opened an Inquiry into the adequacy of its exposure limits in 2013 after the Government Accountability Office issued a report in 2012 stating that the limits may not reflect current science and need to be reviewed. In response, hundreds of scientists and medical professionals submitted a wealth of peer-reviewed studies showing the consensus of the scientific community is that RFR is deeply harmful to people and the environment and is linked to cancer, reproductive harm, and other biological ills to humans, animals, and plants. Notwithstanding the extremely well-documented record of these negative impacts from RFR, the FCC released an order in December 2019 deciding that nothing needed to be done and maintaining that the existing, antiquated exposure limits are adequate now and for the future.
The brief contends the FCC has violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) because its order is arbitrary and capricious, and not evidence-based; violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) because the FCC did not take a hard look on the environmental impacts of its decision; and violated the 1996 Telecommunications Act (TCA) because the FCC failed, as required by the TCA, to consider the impact of its decision on the public health and safety.