Citizens for Safe Technology
Empowering the public to protect children
and nature from unsafe wireless technologies.
Wildlife and Environment
Wireless devices and technologies, and the infrastructure required to support them, are endangering not only human biology, but all natural processes in our environment as well. Wildlife,and the environmental systems they depend on to survive. We can all take immediate steps to lessen the damage we are causing from using wireless technologies.
Looking for a specific topic or a past article? Search for it below:
Book by Katie Singer
An Electronic Silent Spring - Facing the Dangers and Creating Safe Limits
"Society has received profound benefits from electronics. We have developed and marketed electronic technologies [that emit electromagnetic radiation (EMR)] without recognition or regulation of its effects on human health or wildlife. Katie Singer's book, An Electronic Silent Spring, and this website are dedicated to encouraging recognition that EMR can harm people and wildlife; to protective solutions for the public health and our ecosystem.
"While they operate, mobile phones, mobile phone chargers, iPads, cellular antennas, Wi-Fi, compact fluorescent lights, transformers and "smart" utility meters emit electromagnetic radiation (EMR) at frequencies and amplitudes that are not found in nature. An Electronic Silent Spring describes how wildlife and peoples' health are affected.
findings published in the journal Nature
Researchers in Germany have documented, for the first time, that even modest amounts of electromagnetic "noise" produced by humans can disable the internal compass of birds. (Courtesy of Nature Video)
" . . . If the effect reported by the authors stands the acid test of reproducibility," he wrote, "we might consider gradually abandoning our use of this portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and implementing engineering approaches to minimize incidental low-frequency noise, to help migratory birds find their way."
Comment period ended Friday, November 28th, 2014 - This will go ahead IF Forest Service approves
N.B. Public input to October 10 has been significant, and so requests to have the deadline extended have been granted TWICE. The second deadline for comments was October 31. It was then reset for November 28, 2014. The comment procedure is printed below. Beneath that is our original information.
Examples of Letters
Dear Interested Party:
The Responsible Official for the Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment has decided to extend the current public comment. The current comment period was to end October 31, 2014. To ensure the public has had plenty of time to provide comment, the comment period will be extended to November 28, 2014. If you have already provided comments on this project, you do not need to comment again with the same information you've already provided.
In addition to extending the comment period, the City of Port Angeles is hosting Navy and US Forest staff for a question and answer session on Thursday, November 6th from 6-8pm in Port Angeles, WA. The location for this event is the City Council Chambers, located at 321 East Fifth Street, Port Angeles, WA.
Those wishing to provide input and have standing (eligibility) during the future Objection period for this project can be submitted to the project website, http://go.usa.gov/785z , and click on the "Comment on Project" link on the right side. If you have any questions regarding the details of this proposal or have comments, please contact Greg Wahl at (360) 956-2375.
The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The office location is 1835 Black Lake Blvd SW, Olympia, WA 98512. Those submitting electronic copies must put the project name in the subject line, and must either submit comments as part of the e-mail message or as an attachment only in one of the following three formats: Microsoft Word, rich text format (rtf) or Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf). In cases where no identifiable name is attached to a comment, a verification of identity will be required for objection eligibility. If using an electronic message, a scanned signature is one way to provide verification.
Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted until November 28, 2014.
The EA is available for review on-line at: http://go.usa.gov/785z
Excellent Letters written re US Navy testing of in Pacific Northwest
Below are just some of the excellent letters written to date that some of you might find useful in writing your own. Please, take a few minutes and write by the NEW DEADLINE of Friday, November 28. If you do so, then there will be the opportunity to have further input in the future.
Subject: Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment (EA)
We are a family of six living in Saanich, British Columbia. We write to express our extreme disagreement with the US Navy's intention to test RF devices along the shores of the northern Olympic Peninsula.
Both U.S. residents and residents of Canada, not to mention wildlife in an ecologically sensitive area, will be exposed to high frequencies and high levels of radiation. There is absolutely no evidence that such testing is safe for humans, wildlife, or important plant ecosystems. This is an an enormous and foolhardy risk. It brings to mind the nuclear testing conducted in the southwest United States that contaminated much of the United States with radioactive fallout for many years.
The dangers of EMF radiation are many and real. The prestigious and respected American Academy of Environmental Medicine has made this an area of concern, and recently gave their highest award to Dr. Martin Pall of Washington State University for his research in this area. Dr. Pall has explored how EMFs act via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels, and how EMF exposures can cause physiological effects including cancer, oxidative stress and EHS. In addition many physicians are discovering that their patients are experiencing difficulties because of EMF exposure, and Women's College Hospital in Toronto has recently established a program to educate doctors about this threat, which some public health professionals call the greatest challenge to human health in the twenty-first century.
Our family does not give our permission for the US Navy to subject our children to this serious health threat. Both the United States and Canada should look to other countries whose standards regarding EMF exposures are much more demanding, and whose forward thinking should lead the way on this issue. We insist that the residents of this area be considered, and that the US Navy be prevented from such testing.
Forwarded to : Popham.MLA, Lana ; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Randall.Garrison@parl.gc.ca; firstname.lastname@example.org; Edward Hill ; email@example.com
To each BC MP:
Dear Members of the Canadian Parliament,
The US Navy plans to do testing of powerful RF devices along the shores of northern Olympic Peninsula (Clallum county faces Victoria and BC). The frequencies are high, 4-8 GHz, and signals using these frequencies travel great distances. We very likely will be exposed to high levels of radiation that the military will be testing.
Comments are being accepted from the public at firstname.lastname@example.org until Oct. 10. Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment (EA) must be on the subject line.
The Navy is saying there is no evidence of harm to animals or humans. Independent scientific evidence proves this statement to be incorrect. Inadvertently, but without doubt, the US Navy will be experimenting on Canadians, on our families and on our wildlife.
Has the Canadian government been informed about this exercise? If so, what was the reaction? If not, there should be a strong objection to such an exercise from taking place in an area where Canadians will be exposed. There is no way to limit exposure to such emissions which have been shown to have dangerous effects, especially on children and fetuses, those with compromised immune systems, and the elderly.
This must be stopped. This trespass into our environment must not be allowed. I implore you to ask your leaders to contact the US government and demand that our sovereignty and safety be respected.
I am writing in utmost concern for your intention to permit the Olympic National Forest to be used as an electronic warfare testing ground by the US Navy. If passed, this decision will undoubtedly cause irreversible harm to the plants, birds, animals, ecosystems, and humans directly in, and in areas within a several hundred-mile radius of this site.
Studies conducted by world-class, non-industry-funded scientists show there is NO SAFE level of radiation, and that radiation from all sources is cumulative. Furthermore, a peer-reviewed study published May 7, 2014 in Nature, International Weekly Journal of Science proves the negative effect of EMF on migratory birds. " So far, no putative effect of anthropogenic electromagnetic noise at intensities below the guidelines adopted by the World Health Organization 1, 2 has withstood the test of independent replication under truly blinded experimental conditions. No effect has therefore been widely accepted as scientifically proven. Here we show that migratory birds are unable to use their magnetic compass in the presence of urban electromagnetic noise. These fully double-blinded tests document a reproducible effect of anthropogenic electromagnetic noise on the behaviour of an intact vertebrate."
In regards to your comment that "There are no conclusive direct hazards to human tissue as a result of electromagnetic radiation, last August the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published a paper by Washington State University Professor Emeritus of biochemistry Martin Pall, which documents how EMF affects the flow of voltage-gated calcium channels in our cells. Pall links this change in cellular activity to a plethora of physical ailments. Basing his conclusions on 24 studies, he has this to say about short high-intensity pulses of microwave radiation: " We know from the nanosecond pulse studies[that these pulses] can be very damaging and act via VGCC activation, with activation continuing long after the pulse has ceased (7). It has been known for over 30 years that short microwave pulses can cause massive cellular damage (57)." EMF has been recognized as a potential carcinogen by the WHO in 2011 (alongside lead and DDT), and scientifically linked to autism (which is up by 33%), skyrocketing ADHD, the disappearing honeybee, and more. Read the literature, and it becomes clear that the potentially harmful effects of EMF exposure are much greater than the thermal (heating) risks current exposure standards attribute to it. In 2011, the Council of Europe (47 countries, 800-million people) urged all of its member nations to "reconsider" their relationship with ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) whose radiation Exposure Limits are almost universally adopted and, instead, observe the limits recommended in the BioInitiative 2007 Report. This report, if adopted, would require Canada and the USA to reduce their radiation Exposure Limits 10,000 times. In section 7 (Technological progress and economic growth at the expense of environment and health protection ) subsection 29 of their 2011 parliamentary report on the potential danger of EMF, the Council of Europe states:
"...it is most curious, to say the least, that the applicable official threshold values for limiting the health impact of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and high frequency waves were drawn up and proposed to international political institutions (WHO, European Commission, governments) by the ICNIRP, an NGO whose origin and structure are none too clear and which is furthermore suspected of having rather close links with the industries whose expansion is shaped by recommendations for maximum threshold values for the different frequencies of electromagnetic fields."
Lastly, neither Lloyds of London nor Swiss Re Insurance will insure against health-related claims attributed to devices emitting non-thermal microwave radiation.
In light of all of the above, I sincerely hope that reason and prudence will prevail, that you do not permit the testing of these weapons to proceed, but keep the Olympic National Forest as a pristine refuge, a haven for wildlife and for future generations, a place that promotes not destruction and illness, but health, balance, and well being, _______________________________________________________________________
Dear Mr. Greg Wahl,
See below my concerns with the future testing of weapons and RF exposure. Please keep me informed of any and all decisions made in this regard and please ensure that my concerns are included in the decision making, as it impacts my life directly. I appreciate your time and effort in ensuring that people's quality life is protected at all times, never at the expansion of technology or security.
Sent: October 8, 2014 9:02 PM
Subject: Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment (EA)
My name is XXX , I live in Victoria and suffer the daily effect of RF radiation emanating from cell phone, WIFI, cell tower and every devices like microwave etc... and computer in my work place. No one can convince those suffering from these effects that they don't exist, cause we know the facts and we know they exist. RF radiation is a challenge on our health as we experience them daily. I've acquired an RF device to help protect me by making adequate adjustment to my home as to prevent further damage while resting at home. There is a time when as a customer we need to out-way, speed/efficiency against our quality of health and life.
I do not support anyone bringing danger to my close environment, myself and family, which RF is a danger. WE have a right to protect ourselves. These RF effects are proven scientifically to cause cancer; and I personally don't need anyone to prove or convince me otherwise, since I experience lots of side effect at first hand, such as the effect of headaches, nausea, sleep deprivation, ringing in the ear, racy heart, chest pressure, sneezing/allergies, my vision having drop way too quickly as they increased Wi-Fi service in my workplace and feeling completely helpless to protect myself, as it's costing me a fortune in compensating to protect my health and shielding myself from the RF. Meanwhile no one listens, yet those same individuals bringing this new technology are starting to show the same signs I describe but no one bothers to connect the dots, as to work together in stopping this dreadful expenditure for profit and profit only and full harm to your health and quality of life.
I ask that you reconsider this testing and please do not bring in anymore radiation to our home and environment. All this technology and yet we have less and less freedom and quality of life, the only one seeming to benefit is big business for profits. What's the use of looking after our health if these test are going to continue destroying us. Contradictory in term, and costly to our Healthcare. I work harder than I ever did when I was younger, and no matter how healthy I try to maintain, there isn't a day when I'm not having to fight to protect myself not only against RF but against the ignorance perpetuated in our population by our government agency by not providing the truth to the populace and keeping our world inform and safe. Unless you're planning on killing us, then please take those testing somewhere safe and controlled so that our environment or self aren't affected. We've been working real hard at cultivating bees back at a very slow pace. Everything is linked together. Any damage caused has ripple effect to the masses. Those intelligent enough to understand that, and who are in a role of authority need to protect the planet, and certainly not test to see how far they can go and learn from those testing's. There has been enough research done already and sufficient proofs have been provided and yet ignored by convenience by those in authority and paid to protect those who pay their services. Who decide who has the authority. Scientists are scientists and too many have spoken and been ignored and continue to be ignored. There is no need for more testing. What more do we need in this world to live happy and peaceful. We don't need more scientist to do what has been already done and proven and ignored. You do not do research until it fits your bill, you do research to find what action need be taken as to maintain life and quality of life. Refuse to do military or otherwise testing in regard to RF as the risk is already too much. Time to listen and pay attention and protect the planet and every living cellular being on it. I look forward to hear that this project is canceled and look forward to your confirmation of such in support to life in general.
Thank you for hearing me out and please don't allow the testing to take place, for everyone's best interest.
Subject: FW: Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment (EA)
From: edgar murdock (name left at request of author)
Cc: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2014 8:56 PM
Subject: Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment (EA)
Dear Sir or Madam,
As a Canadian, but more importantly as a human being and one of millions of innocent victims of whatever protocol the world's dominant governments & corporations wish to force on the global population, I take great umbrage at the suggestion that this initiative by the US Navy will have no impact on humans. The information offered also points out that the impact to small animals is unknown at this time. There is no mention of the impact on avian or marine wildlife or that of insects, beneficial or otherwise.
The impact on humans is quite well-known. This denial, in the light of a mountain of evidence to the contrary by respected, independent medical personnel and research scientists world-wide with absolutely nothing to gain career-wise or financially, is a downright abrogation of responsibility by the American military and its cohorts.
There is world-wide concern that the biologic effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic low-frequency radiation such as wi-fi and microwave cellular radiation and that emitted by the so-called smart meter and smart grid protocols, is cumulative and considered to be carcinogenic by the WHO and many other health organizations, although not recognized as such by the ridiculously inadequate standards set by Health Canada and the United States FCC, EPA and FDA agencies.
The politicians, military personnel and corporate entities who, for whatever iniquitous reasons, are attempting to apply Guinea pig status to the population of all living creatures in this geographical quadrant and to use the Pacific Northwest habitat as a testing ground for EMF warfare is an unconscionable, egregious and reprehensible act of aggression to the Nth degree. My mind boggles and my entire psyche reels at the thought.
MK-ULTRA and the CIA's Project Pandora and other such nefarious programs by virtue of the Freedom of Information Act are well-known efforts of the US Military to control mankind and it seems to me that this Environmental Assessment is another step in the directed energy experiment designed to bring ordinary people to their knees.
Please, please when coming to a decision in this matter consider the humanitarian issues at stake here. Apply the Precautionary Principle diligently and with respect to the unwary citizens of both the United States and Canada and remember that accountability goes with the position and if the results are adverse and pernicious to any degree, those promoting the program must all also bear the guilt of the consequences.
Sent: October 8, 2014 10:17 PM
Subject: Weapons testing off the Olympic Peninsula
I object!! Not only does RF destroy marine life, it destroys all life. I am already electrosensitive and don't need or want any more electromagnetic pollution affecting my body. The USAF have known since WW2 that this stuff is deadly; the Russians proved it by irradiating the US embassy in Moscow, remember? What more do you need to know?
Stop the psychopathic behaviour before you kill the entire planet.
Sent: October 8, 2014 9:21 PM
Cc: Jerry Flynn; firstname.lastname@example.org; weston.J@parl.gc.ca
Subject: Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment (EA)
Ladies and gentlemen;
As a resident of West Vancouver, BC, Canada I am alarmed at the proposed RF tests by the US military on the Olympic Peninsula.
I have a medically diagnosed condition of electro hyper sensitivity to all electromagnetic radiation, even at very low frequencies, well within what Canada and the US claim to be harmless.
Today several thousand independent scientific studies call for lowering the allowable levels currently part of standards and emitted by cell towers, and other wireless technologies.
While these tests may be facing away from American cities,you seem to forget that most of BC's population lives precisely along the border. This is, as i understand it, the precise direction in which the radiation will be fired.
Please remember: We are also human, and do not deserve to be showered with military strength radiation!
I strongly object to having my family and myself treated as collateral damage to the US military experiments! Or should that be experimental rats?
I hope the US Navy can find a different location for their tests, or better still abandon them altogether. Surely enough is known about the damaging effects of this technology after decades of testing it. . . .
For your information I am enclosing a powerpoint presentation by Captain (ret.) Jerry Flynn of the Canadian navy, who worked for 22 years in radiological warfare.
From: Dennis and Sharon Noble email@example.com
Sent: October 9, 2014 11:33 AM
Cc: 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; Christy Clark (email@example.com); John Horgan. Leader NDP; 'Elizabeth.May@parl.gc.ca'; firstname.lastname@example.org; Alex - Riding 1 Atamanenko
Subject: Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment (EA)
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing with regard to the US Navy plan to establish a training facility in Northern Washington dedicated to Electronic Warfare. According to information provided, the environmental assessment says:
"The purpose is to train to deny the enemy "all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation (i.e. electromagnetic energy) for use in such applications as communication systems, navigation systems and defense related systems and components," and
"There are no conclusive direct hazards to human tissue as a result of electromagnetic radiation.
"Links to DNA fragmentation, leukemia, and cancer due to intermittent exposure to extremely high levels of electromagnetic radiation are speculative; study data are inconsistent and insufficient at this time". While it might be argued that there is no "conclusive" evidence of direct hazard to human health, there is a multitude of independent peer-reviewed studies and reports by world renowned scientists that show that prolonged exposure to even low levels of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is extremely harmful, especially to those most vulnerable: fetuses and children, those with impaired immune systems, and the elderly, and wildlife.
Even 60 years ago the US military knew the significant danger associated with EMR, recognizing its potential as a military weapon. It therefore is confusing that the US military today denies this science. Further it is of interest that in their documents they admit this radiation "may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect" living creatures.
The public deserves to have access to information explaining the effects. An effect is either harmful or beneficial. Is the US Navy saying that exposure to manmade, unnatural radiation is beneficial?
With regard to the transmitters which will be on the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, these transmitters plus the associated military equipment (satellites, planes, mobile transmitters) are within a few miles of a major Canadian city, Victoria, British Columbia. Were the Federal and Provincial governments advised of the plans to build a permanent training facility with weapons grade transmitters? Did they agree to allow military weapons to be pointed at a friendly country? Why was Northern Washington selected, rather than an inhospitable location like Death Valley?
I wish to express my deepest concern about this plan, and ask to be granted standing in order to provide additional information during future considerations.
Tirkel, Lai, Evans and Rankin (Australia)
"This paper presents experimental evidence, which demonstrates that resonant heating of termites at 28GHz affects not only individual insects, but also their collective behavior. Termites have been attracted by, or repelled from the microwave beam. Collective behavior provoked by the beam included two modes: huddling by workers, and sacrificial exposure by soldiers. . . .
" . . . CONCLUSIONS It appears that resonant absorption of millimeter wave radiation has the potential to kill, or to alter the social behavior of termites. . . .
(documentary film) by James Russell (Official)
Comment: This may be one of the most important documentaries ever made. You will need almost 90 minutes to watch the entire film, but it is time well spent. Anyone using wireless devices should watch this film.
RESONANCE is an eye opening documentary which reveals the harm we are doing by existing in an ocean of man made wireless frequencies.
Two billion years ago life first arrived on this planet; a planet, which was filled with a natural frequency. As life slowly evolved, it did so surrounded by this frequency. and Inevitably, it began tuning in.
By the time mankind arrived on earth an incredible relationship had been struck; a relationship that science is just beginning to comprehend.
Research is showing that being exposed to this frequency is absolutely integral to us. It controls our mental and physical health, it synchronizes our circadian rhythms, and it aids our immune system and improves our sense of wellbeing.
Not only are we surrounded by natural frequencies, our bodies are filled with them too. Our cells communicate using electro magnetic frequencies. Our brain emits a constant stream of frequencies and our DNA delivers instructions, using frequency waves. Without them we couldn't exist for more than a second.
This delicate balance has taken billions of years to perfect. But over the last 25 years the harmony has been disturbed. and disturbed dramatically.
Mankind has submerged itself in an ocean of artificial frequencies. They are all around us, filling the air and drowning out the earth's natural resonance.
To the naked eye the planet appears to be the same. But at a cellular level it is the biggest change that life on earth has endured; the effects of which we are just starting to see and feel.
Mast Sanity: http://www.mastsanity.org/
International Journal of Environmental Sciences - 2010
"Apiculture has developed into an important industry in India as honey and bee wax have become common products. Recently a sharp decline in population of honey bees has been observed in Kerala. Although the bees are susceptible to diseases and attacked by natural enemies like wasps, ants and wax moth, constant vigilance on the part of the bee keepers can overcome these adverse conditions. The present plunge in population (< 0.01) was not due to these reasons. It was caused by man due to unscientific proliferation of towers and mobile phones.
"Bees and other insects have survived and evolved complex immune systems on this planet over a span of millions of years. It is not logical that they would now suddenly die out now due to diseases and natural parasites. This suggests another factor has been introduced to their environment that disrupts their immune system. This man made factor is the mobile towers and mobile phones. The public is not being informed of the threat due to deliberate attempts on the part of mobile phone makers to mask the direct causal relationship . . ."
Dr. Karen Becker - New Warning About Everyday Poison for Migratory Birds
"For the first time, scientists have revealed that average levels of electromagnetic noise, or "electrosmog," completely disrupt the magnetic compass of migratory robins. This is true even when the electromagnetic signal levels are just 1/1000th of the limit the World Health Organization (WHO) defines as harmless.
"Electrosmog is the unseen electromagnetic radiation that is generated from the use of both wireless technology and household electricity. Common sources of electrosmog include utility smart meters, cell towers & antennae, cell phones, cordless phones, wireless Internet routers, microwaves, high voltage transmission lines, baby monitors and other wireless devices including WIFI, computers, monitors, laptops, tablets, reading devices, computer monitors, wired and wireless cell phone headsets, and educational interactive whiteboards.1
"The effects of these weak electromagnetic fields are remarkable."
"A research team led by Dr. Henrik Mouritsen of the University of Oldenburg in Germany published their study in the May issue of the journal Nature.2
"In our experiments we were able to document a clear and reproducible effect of human-made electromagnetic fields on a vertebrate. This interference does not stem from power lines or mobile phone networks . . .
"Seven years and many experiments later, researchers are confident in their original findings . . .
"As you might expect, electrosmog is much more of a problem in urban environments than in rural locations. The University of Oldenburg team discovered that when robins were placed in orientation cages, without screening, a half-mile to a mile outside city limits, their magnetic compasses remained functional.
"According to Mouritsen, " . . .these findings should make us think -- both about the survival of migratory birds as well as about the potential effects for human beings, which have yet to be investigated."
Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays -- "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair
A burned Yellow-rumped Warbler that was found at the Ivanpah solar plant in the California Mojave Desert.
IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. (AP) -- Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays -- "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair
"Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one "streamer" every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator's application to build a still-bigger version.
"The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.
"The deaths are "alarming. It's hard to say whether that's the location or the technology," said Garry George, renewable-energy director for the California chapter of the Audubon Society. "There needs to be some caution."
"The bird kills mark the latest instance in which the quest for clean energy sometimes has inadvertent environmental harm. Solar farms have been criticized for their impacts on desert tortoises, and wind farms have killed birds, including numerous raptors.
"We take this issue very seriously," said Jeff Holland, a spokesman for NRG Solar of Carlsbad, California, the second of the three companies behind the plant. The third, Google, deferred comment to its partners.
"The $2.2 billion plant, which launched in February, is at Ivanpah Dry Lake near the California-Nevada border. The operator says it is the world's biggest plant to employ so-called power towers.
"More than 300,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect solar rays onto three boiler towers each looming up to 40 stories high. The water inside is heated to produce steam, which turns turbines that generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes.
"Sun rays sent up by the field of mirrors are bright enough to dazzle pilots flying in and out of Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
"Federal wildlife officials said Ivanpah might act as a "mega-trap" for wildlife, with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that fly to their death in the intensely focused light rays.
"Federal and state biologists call the number of deaths significant, based on sightings of birds getting singed and falling, and on retrieval of carcasses with feathers charred too severely for flight.
"Ivanpah officials dispute the source of the so-called streamers, saying at least some of the puffs of smoke mark insects and bits of airborne trash being ignited by the solar rays.
"Wildlife officials who witnessed the phenomena say many of the clouds of smoke were too big to come from anything but a bird, and they add that they saw "birds entering the solar flux and igniting, consequently become a streamer."
"U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials say they want a death toll for a full year of operation.
"Given the apparent scale of bird deaths at Ivanpah, authorities should thoroughly track bird kills there for a year, including during annual migratory seasons, before granting any more permits for that kind of solar technology, said George, of the Audubon Society.
"The toll on birds has been surprising, said Robert Weisenmiller, chairman of the California Energy Commission. "We didn't see a lot of impact" on birds at the first, smaller power towers in the U.S. and Europe, Weisenmiller said.
"The commission is now considering the application from Oakland-based BrightSource to build a mirror field and a 75-story power tower that would reach above the sand dunes and creek washes between Joshua Tree National Park and the California-Arizona border.
"The proposed plant is on a flight path for birds between the Colorado River and California's largest lake, the Salton Sea -- an area, experts say, is richer in avian life than the Ivanpah plant, with protected golden eagles and peregrine falcons and more than 100 other species of birds recorded there.
"U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials warned California this month that the power-tower style of solar technology holds "the highest lethality potential" of the many solar projects burgeoning in the deserts of California.
"The commission's staff estimates the proposed new tower would be almost four times as dangerous to birds as the Ivanpah plant. The agency is expected to decide this autumn on the proposal.
"While biologists say there is no known feasible way to curb the number of birds killed, the companies behind the projects say they are hoping to find one -- studying whether lights, sounds or some other technology would scare them away, said Joseph Desmond, senior vice president at BrightSource Energy.
"BrightSource also is offering $1.8 million in compensation for anticipated bird deaths at Palen, Desmond said.
"The company is proposing the money for programs such as those to spay and neuter domestic cats, which a government study found kill over 1.4 billion birds a year. Opponents say that would do nothing to help the desert birds at the proposed site.
"Power-tower proponents are fighting to keep the deaths from forcing a pause in the building of new plants when they see the technology on the verge of becoming more affordable and accessible, said Thomas Conroy, a renewable-energy expert.
"When it comes to powering the country's grids, "diversity of technology ... is critical," Conroy said. "Nobody should be arguing let's be all coal, all solar," all wind, or all nuclear. "And every one of those technologies has a long list of pros and cons."
US Department of Interior Attacks FCC's Exposure Standards - Take Back Your Power
"Birds have "nest and site abandonment, plumage deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship, and death"
"The Director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance of the United States Department of the Interior sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Department of Commerce that addresses the Interior Department's concern that cell tower radiation has had negative impacts on the health of migratory birds and other wildlife.
"The Interior Department accused the Federal government of employing outdated radiation standards set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a Federal agency with no expertise in health. The standards are no longer applicable because they control only for overheating and do not protect organisms from the adverse effects of exposure to the low-intensity radiation produced by cell phones and cell towers: . . .
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Citizens For Safe Technology
"Wi-Fi: Is It Safe?"
Citizens for Safe Technology is a not-for-profit educational society made up of parents, grandparents, teachers, business professionals, scientists, politicians and lawyers concerned about the exponential increase in public exposure to harmful wireless technologies.
We believe a profound urgency exists to protect the unsuspecting public, especially children, youth and pregnant mothers from unsafe wireless technologies.
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