Five-Hour Forum to Hear Smart Meter Concerns Yields Two Proposals

The much anticipated informational meeting for residents of Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth and other towns concerned about CMP’s smart meter plan resulted in a meeting that than ran long into the night Monday, November 29, yielding two proposals for CMP.

Read coverage of the forum:

Following presentations from Elizabeth Kelley (former public health policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and an internationally known expert in the field of health risks from smart meters) and from Exponent, the consulting company hired to back up CMP’s smart meter safety claims, Elisa Boxer-Cook, Scarborough environmental health advocate, founder of the Smart Meter Safety Coalition, and lead author of a complaint filed with the Maine Public Utilities Commission, offered two proposals.

Coinciding with Monday’s launch of a nationwide initiative called “Prove-it” highlighting credentialed experts in the field of non-ionizing radiation, and tracking forms to monitor symptoms that people have been experiencing across the country after smart meter installation, the first proposal asks for CMP to fund an independent epidemiological study, using the tracking forms to record and research all symptoms in the first year of installation.

The research would be independent, not tied to industry or the Maine CDC. At a cost of $200-thousand dollars, that would mean a rate increase of only about 30 cents per household — per year — a lot less than a $200 dollar medical test.

“And since you’re sure that smart meters are safe,” said Boxer-Cook at the meeting, “we propose you hand out the tracking forms with every new installation, so people can honestly gauge whether their families are being affected by this.”

Noting that people are already getting sick, Boxer-Cook presented the second proposal.

“From now on, instead of hiring the same firm the tobacco and asbestos industries used to downplay health concerns, respect your customers’ health concerns, and offer opt-outs and hard-wiring as an alternative,” she said, noting that California’s largest utility, PG&E, is working on a compromise opt-out solution.

“Instead of spending money on legal testimony about why this is up to the Public Utilities Commission or the Department of Energy, sit down with us this week, before anyone else has a chance to get sick. Work with us and together we’ll take a proposal to the PUC and the DOE, neither of whom, we’re sure, would choose to have your customers forced to buy a product many of us feel is unsafe.”

Many at the meeting signed the proposal’s petition, which reads:

PETITION TO RESPECT OUR CHOICE

We, the undersigned, ask CMP to honor the wishes of customers who choose not to have a wireless smart meter installed on their home due to personal concerns with short- and long-term health, safety, privacy and security.

We strongly and respectfully request that CMP divert time and money away from paying out-of-state consultants to give us one side of the disputed science, and instead respect our concerns and work with in-state ratepayers to find a compromise opt-out solution that together we can present to the Public Utilities Commission.

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