ANTENNA TOWER - SPECIAL REPORT
Public Testimony August 17, 2004
County Attorney Tuthill: Concerned only with late filed documents in 2003 and guyed wire failure (tower fall). No need to repeat testimony already in the record.
Chuck Baroch, Mayor of Golden: I was elected to protect the health, safety and welfare of Golden citizens. We believe our citizens are at risk from this proposed industrial complex.
Gwen Green, Golden City Councilor: As a representative of Golden, I must oppose the late filing in 2003 that claims RF emissions will be reduced. Colorado Health Department study released in July 22, 2004 show an increase of brain and central nervous system cancers in residents on Lookout Mountain and North Golden" This report confirms the February 1999 study that the towers impact health. Too many are in direct line-of-site of the towers. The World Health Organization is completing a study in 2005. Colorado State University is completing a study in 2005. I am concerned for the health and economic impact on Golden residents. Judge Jackson said it is important to do this right" before construction starts. The health and well being of our residents is more important than the profitability of a broadcasting conglomerate. I have wondered why not put the tower on Rocky Flats where it is already polluted. Green read a letter from Councilor Lynne Timpero asking to wait until studies are complete in 2005.
Marci Miller, Golden City Councilor: I represent the residential area around Shelton Elementary SchoolBeverly Heights, Heritage Dells, Eagle Ridge, and Tripp Ranch. Golden citizens want to trust that you will protect the health and safety of all citizens. You are putting our health at risk by permitting this before the health study is complete in 2005. Shame on you! This rehearing is an opportunity for a wise economic decision. The Colorado School of Mines and National Renewable Energy Laboratory attract desirable research jobs to JeffCo. Many high tech businesses will have to relocate elsewhere away from the RF interference and the health hazard you are permitting. Property taxes will suffer from lower values. Golden is the County Seat and should be protected. Where does the future of this county lie" You have an opportunity to leave a legacy of visionary leadership that protected the health and economic future of Jefferson County. Jefferson County gains nothing from this Supertower.
Dave Ketchum, Golden City Councilor: Dr. Gary Olhoeft presented scientific facts on how this tower could fall and debris could hit homes in Golden. (Power point photos of antennas and devices likely to be mounted on the tower). These RF transmission devices, average 500 pounds each, could fall from wind and ice and roll down to Golden. LCGs estimated line for tower failure is 730 feet. Golden has water facilities on the side of Lookout Mountain that serve as reserve for a quarter of our population and for possible wildfires. The existing 850 foot Channel 4 tower could fall into the Superpower and cause a chain reaction toward the high power electrical lines. We have a good place for high tech here. Some research companies have already moved away from Golden to get away from RF interference. Some high tech has to be tested elsewhere.
Ketchum: Many residents and businesses say they will move if this tower is built. There is no benefit for JeffCo citizens from approving this tower. I love this community. I love the Mountain Backdrop taxpayers have paid to preserve. The only flaw is the broadcast towers. Colorado School of Mines wants to build a convention center on state-owned land in Golden. I have heard you ask citizens if they were going to move if the tower is built. That calculation is what we scientists call expected value. You calculate risk and benefit. We don’t know the absolute causality of smoking or EMF. If you wait, the non-conforming towers will be removed. That would benefit all of Jefferson County. As public officials, we have a responsibility for the future. In the future, if you approve this, people will wonder what were those dumb guys doing in 2003"
Commissioner Sheehan: Golden should annex these towers (chuckle, chuckle)"
Steve Glueck, Golden Director of Planning: Golden has specific interests in this case. RF radiation is a threat to the economic vitality of our community" property values and high-tech research. Your zoning resolution clearly states Lake Cedar Group must prove through demonstration that no other site is available. There is objectionable radio interference" in the foothills. LCG claims there are too many shadows from other sites, yet we know every tower site requires repeaters to cover shadow areas. Mount Morrison is a viable alternative. Squaw Mountain is an excellent alternative. Eldorado Mountain is an alternative. The SM attorney and engineers have addressed the Clear Creek County zoning. Squaw Mountain has 31,000 square feet approved. Mount Morrison has 24,000 square feet approved. The owners of these sites are committed to do whatever it takes to satisfy LCG. It is your obligation and responsibility to expect higher standards than this proposal offers. How will we look at this decision in 5 or 10 years"
James Martin, Mount Vernon Country Club: Recently, a C-470 bridge was well engineered and it fell on a family in JeffCo. Towers do fall" at the proposed location, the tower can take out electrical transmission lines and start a wildfire. The ODP you have approved allows 10-foot antennas extending out horizontally on all sides which could become a visual monstrosity. You have to put limitations in the ODP or you are giving them a blank check. I work in the satellite business. We can transmit TV signals with very little power and all you need is a small dish. LCG misrepresented RF readings. Al Hislop’s measurements are confirmed by (Jeffco consultant) Jim Hart showing a rise in radiation. Children are more vulnerable to high frequencies. We would appreciate you protection to keep this as a residential area.
Jim Maller, Paradise Hills: I am a resident who would be effected by this proposed tower. I am registered pharmacologist and Professor at University of Colorado Medical Center. Ten years ago, if you said second hand smoke would cause health problems, you would have not believe it. I know how nonionizing radiation impacts cells. All the evidence points to a very high risk for exposure to low levels of radiation. Now, we know more and smoking is being banned to prevent second hand smoke from effecting others. This proposal would increase radiation, not lessen it. All scientific evidence points to denial. Alternative sites are ideal.
Marston Shelton, Eagle Ridge in Golden: When I was growing up in Golden (at the base of Lookout Mountain), I remember watching the replacement wooden poles with huge metal towers to carry electrical power lines up the mountain. They painted the towers green to make them look like trees. Common sense says that a 70 story tower is not compatible with a residential community. The increased radiation would cause a two-fold increase at Shelton Elementary School. Common sense says both children and adults should be exposed to as little potentially dangerous pollutants as possible. The health department recommends ALARA, As Low As Reasonable Achievable. If this tower fell, it could fall on electric power line is 600 feet away. Guyed wires would snap and the tower would cut through the power lines like a giant Karate chop. Six would snap uphill and the other six guyed wires would snap downhill. The potential for catastrophic disaster is obvious.
Dr. Roger Mattson, Tripp Ranch in Golden: Your health department director indicates that electromagnetic radiation is a health concern. He recommends ALARA: As Low As Reasonably Achievable and he believes it is prudent to investigate reasonable alternatives. I was one of the officials that established the ALARA principle for the atomic energy commission in 1975. Weighing the risks and benefits of public health and safety and other socio-economic considerations, in relation to utilization of technology in the public interest: this is the Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria. Applying ALARA to this tower" alternative sites must be addressed at the same level of detail as Lookout Mountain. The risk is for Golden residents to suffer from exposure while the benefits go to Lake Cedar Group.
Dr. Kiousis, Associate Professor School Mines: My expertise is Earthquakes" the tower would be on a slop of 30-40% grade, not 5 or 10%. These antennas weight 500 pounds each. Any falling off the tower would continue to roll down until it is stopped by a house in Golden.
T.J. Carney, Paradise Hills: NBC, ABC, and CBS withheld information from the public. Radiation measurements have been misrepresented. Judge Jackson has given you the opportunity to correct a mistake, to do the right thing. If you deny it, a mistake will be corrected" the citizen law suit will go away. If you approve this, you will be proliferating the towers and litigation.
Sheila Nessler, Lookout Mountain: I participated in the CSU study and want to find out the results before any more radiation is approved. If there are medical problems with the towers, I am concerned about that.
Dr. Walter Copan, Lookout Mountain: I just moved here from Ohio. I requested information from your health department about my home before I bought it. They said that health effects were inconclusive and the proposed tower would generate an 80% reduction in radiation and three towers would come down. That information helped us decide to buy the house. It is obvious now that was inappropriate information. Digital TV is now being broadcast from other towers with or without Commissioner permission. Please consider the impact on property values before you make this decision.
Brent Anderson, Stonebridge in Golden: I have been a Golden resident for 20 years and am a lawyer specializing in environmental engineering and law. I have looked at this proposal logically, technically, and through my heart. The only conclusion I draw is the tower puts too many people at risk. The only real cure for cancer is prevention. Mount Morrison is an alternative. I hope this decision is not based on expediency, big business interests or politics.
Margaret Brown, Eagle Ridge, Golden: (powerpoint) Bigger is not necessarily better. This is an expansion, not a consolidation. This monster 73-story high tower could be 27 feet wide and 730 feet high, a huge visible impact in the foothills, much more than the existing three skinny towers to be removed (showing photos of what tower will look like from Golden and some of the protruding antennas). Building the tower further east is moving the radiation away from one residential community to another residential neighborhood.
Lee Todd of Lookout Mountain: I have never maintained that the towers were solely responsible for my husbands death from cancer. It was an added risk that tipped the scale. Many of my neighbors have had the same experience. Radiation from the towers contributes to disease.
(Public testimony closed)
Dr. Mark Johnson, Director of JeffCo Dept Health & Environment: (powerpoint) Causes of Cancer are rarely known. Geophysical studies are hard to interpret. A U.S. study of disease in the 1930s found diet and behavior as the greatest causes. We have more UV at higher altitudes. Prostate, Hodgkin's, breast cancer, Leukemia, brain cancer are associated with exposure to EMF" Lung cancer greatest cause of death" Smoking is the problem. Colorado Health & Environment data collected in 1999 and 2004 cannot say what causes cancer. The difficulty is like shooting a shotgun at a barn or billiard balls scattered randomly. Are we looking at cause and effect" State did not find enough evidence to change public health policy.
Dr. Johnson: The CSU study completed in 2005 will help answer many questions about Lookout Mountain. The World Health Organization will also complete EMF health effects study in 2005. Health studies clearly found smoking and cancer linked. Some people have low tolerance to EMR. We can never be entirely sure there is no relationship! Most scientists agree there are health effects from electromagnetic fields" It would not be prudent to do anything that would increase the exposure to radiation on Lookout Mountain It would also be prudent to have radiation exposure to as small a population as possible. You may want to look at other sites.
Commissioner Sheehan: Is this similar to tobacco industry" You have asked this board for a resolution on tobacco. At some point you saw a direct correlation of tobacco to this (EMR) Should the Health Deptartment do something"
Dr. Johnson: There are many similarities. Industries hiding some research and funding their own studies. There are few EMR studies proportionate to many on tobacco. We don't know enough about EMR exposure. There needs to be more research.
Commissioner Sheehan: Lee Todd said it was an added risk that tipped the scales.
Dr. Johnson: I don’t know"
Commissioner Holloway: My father died of brain cancer in Utah. Past history" bug spray" My son smokes. Brother takes oxygen around the house" its terrible. Can’t find any proof"
Dr. Johnson: We try our best to find out why things happen"
Commissioner Sheehan: People have heard it is not prudent to increase exposure and to expose the smallest population as possible. Would Squaw Mountain people be equally exposed"
Dr. Johnson: We must weight risks and benefits" and choose to take the smallest risk to smallest number possible" trying to get as much benefit as possible for largest group of people " it would be prudent to expose as few people as possible.
One-Half hour break
Jim Hart, JeffCo radio frequency consultant: There will be an increase of radiation to the north, east and south and a decrease to the west. This is intuitive as well as calculated. The proposed antenna pattern is directional away from the west. Measurements were at (showing map) locations chosen by Hislop, myself and Russel Clark (JeffCo planner). The measurements are based on a percentage of the public standard. The highest is 89% on the hillside (Cedar Lake Road) by Channel 7. The measurement near the Boettcher Mansion on Colorow Road is 17.27% to 15.08%. Other locations measure from 2.1% up to 89%. Further studies by Al Hislop found RF on Mountain View Drive would rise from 10.9% to 14.27%. At Colorado School Mines, it would rise from .23% to .29%. Cabrini Shrine goes rise from 4.42% to 7.52%. The corner of the Medved property at the Grapevine would rise from 2.65% to 4.1%. Cabrini Blvd in Paradise Hills would rise 5.66% to 6.16%. My report differs from Hislop because I took into consideration all the other sites, including Channel 6 and Mt. Morrison measured July 7, 2003.
Commissioner Sheehan: Radiation increases north , east and south. Is there a way to continue the same broadcasting and have radiation go down"
Hart: The only way it can go down is by lowering the power of the transmitters.
Sheehan: Can transmitters be capped in some way to have radiation go down"
Hart: That would cut down the coverage of the metro area. Broadcast people would have to decide to do that, and get FCC approval, but surely that could be done. It is not just the new stations. The old existing towers (Channel 2, 31, and eight FM stations) also cause the radiation.
Sheehan: How would one require applicant technically to not increase""
Hart: If you add four more stations, you will have more radiation unless the other broadcasters are willing to cut their power. You cant have more of something and say it has to be less. You would have to get all the FM stations and other TV stations to reduce their power and that would reduce coverage. Lake Cedar Group has no control of other stations.
Sheehan: How would you go about measuring it"
Hart: We would cover the whole mountain. We have spent a lot of time measuring those sites. Al Hislop originally found those hot spots. He was a prime mover to clean up the mountain.
Sheehan: And that is because they are broadcasting at higher frequencies"
Hart: No, they were apparently not aware of it. The FCC says the combined RF of all of them put together must not be over 100%. Anybody transmitting less than 5% of the total is excluded. The FCC ordered KVOD to lower power to come into compliance. So this is what has been happening on that mountain.
Sheehan: So they would be required to lower their power"
Hart: All put together would have to be less than 100%.
Holloway: And you are saying even at 100%, that is one fiftieth of the danger of health effects"
Hart: That is how the FCC puts it.
Commissioner Lawrence: We will now turn it over to applicant rebuttal.
Marv Rockford, former Channel 4 station manager: You have been presented with dense data. One year ago you made a decision based on facts" not on home made science. Our opponents are well-intentioned people with legitimate concerns" We have addressed their concerns with experts" world leaders " Licensed professional who apply science in a principled way. We told you that RF overall will go down" over most of the Lookout Mountain area. Dr. Musselman recorded measurements at over 1000 sites. It is the most exhaustive study ever done on Lookout Mountain. It proves conclusively that RF levels overall go down. We did not mislead you. We stand by everything we said last year. The numbers used by our opponents are not the standards used by county or licensed professionals. They talk about RF" trying to convince you that things get worse, not better.
Dr. Randall Musselman, electrical engineer: I have conducted three emission studies on Lookout Mountain since 2001. I submitted a new report April 10, 2003 (which was not placed in the record until July 22, 2003 decision hearing). I dispel claims that I was hiding a number of unrelated claims by CARE. I dispel that RF in Golden and at Colorado School of Mines will increase. Mr. Hislop (mentions "Mr. Hislop" 18 times) claims error in my report, mathematical impossibility decrease by 32.7%. These are predicted calculated values, not actually measured levels. It actually will be a 34% decrease. I took over 1000 measurements and recorded 800 because the others measured zero. Whenever I saw anything vaguely related, specific calculations, 80% of locations would decrease. The LCG overall contribution is less than 5% of existing RF (and would therefore not be required to lower power by the FCC) Levels are so low, it was "boring" to measure in Golden. RF levels would be same in Aurora as Golden. Overall, RF levels will go down" I am only talking about LCG’s contribution of insignificant increases. Antennas designed to aim at the horizon. Golden sits down low.
Sheehan: Colorado Health department expected 698 and found 850 cancers. I know you are not a health expert, but what do you say to those concerned for their health. There is not supposed to be any correlation. You have said RF will decrease overall. How would you reassure them.
Musselman: Actual numbers are extremely low" The increase is insignificant.
Rockford: If new tower is built, RF improves overall on Lookout Mountain. If it is not built, RF will not improve. Our ODP requires ongoing monitoring by professionals approved by you (for one year)" Commissioner Sheehan, you were right to say RF would be lower overall and below standard by 80%. Squaw Mountain is not suitable for LCG. It is not zoned appropriately. It would deprive hundreds of thousands of viewers from receiving an adequate signal.
Jim Campbell, Lake Cedar Group attorney: 1) Squaw Mountain Communications ODP allows a 31,000 sq. ft building on Site A, which is occupied and not available for Lake Cedar Group. The ODP is vague and does not provide unlimited approval build large antenna on site. The zoning lacks substance JeffCo approved last year. Site B approved for 2,000 sq. ft. building and Site C approved for 2,000 sq. ft. building, not large enough. There can be three antenna towers on this site, with a 200 foot height restriction (not necessary to light at night). Lake Cedar Group needs 730 feet vertical space. Must have 200 foot set back, no restrictions mentioned on vertical space. Vague would require complete rezoning. The signal testing from Squaw Mountain last summer was flawed" using wrong standards and equipment and added no scientific value to demonstrate suitability of SM as an alternative site. This constitutes a difference in opinion.
Campbell: 2) Scott Albertson must prove his tower failure set back requirements far enough to prevent ice fall on existing dwellings. Zoning Administrator Tim Carl noted on August 9 (not shown to CARE before August 12 hearing) that the intent for set back requirements must prevent failure onto nearby occupied structures and our ODP meets the Zoning Resolution criteria. You will have to assume tower failure only when more than one tower on site. JeffCo wants to consolidate towers. Our burden is to demonstrate that our setbacks are sufficient.
Campbell: 3) KWGN court decision raised by CARE assumes digital and analog do not meet the same service replacement requirements on nonconforming sites. KWGN applied to replace low power translator antenna used by Trinity Broadcasting with a full service digital antenna. Lake Cedar Group could do both digital and analog on existing nonconforming towers.
Campbell: 4) Testimony of City of Golden zoning alternative sites. We have proven that alternative sites are not available. Mt. Morrison was recommended, but it is in litigation.
County Attorney Tuthill: Zoning Administrator Tim Carl says the tower has to be 730 feet from a home. Professor Olhoeft disagrees and says it must be more than the height of the tower.
Sheehan: Why doesn’t Lake Cedar Group go up to Clear Creek and go through the rezoning process before coming here"
Campbell: We would have to go through the same process. We cant cover Denver from SM.
Rockford: Introduces Browne Chairman of Digital Committee of Assoc. of Engineers.
John FX Browne, LCG engineer from Michigan:
1) validity of digital signal testing from SM
2) adjacent channel interference on SM
3) change of channel allotments (FCC 81 changes, 44 FMs)
4) significant shortfall of service from SM (never actually surveyed)
Rockford: Introduces Mark Maloof who consults worldwide about towers.
Mark Maloof: This tower design is adequate to code and loading to protect public, 100 mph different with amount of time, 10 minutes, 2 hours, etc. This Tower is designed for 110 mph. Guy wires one inch in diameter would hold up. Wind of 110 mph happened six times over 50 years .
Commissioner Sheehan: They said 130 mph happened six times over 50 years.
Maloof: (dismissed Sheehan comment) Other than when one tower removed after new one rose, problems extremely low. No significant problems expected. Proximity to power line is standard distance. Transmission tower will stand long after power line. Bob Barretts calculations are wrong about ice fall on homes. You must calculate with a certain criteria based on wind speed of 50 mph. LCG design fulfills code requirements.
Sheehan: How do you explain debris identified at bottom of hill from years ago
Maloof: Speculation, in old days, some kids could have moved debris further down the mountain. This does not match with numerous tower failures I have been involved with. One 870 foot tower fell away 55% of the height from Hurricane Andrew.
Sheehan: What about when downhill"
Maloof: Downhill or not, it is not going to roll.
Tuthill: Any tower failure with ice"
Maloof: In Mississippi. Dont know exact details. It fell during construction.
Rockford: Replace fuel storage tanks with one state-of-the-art tank. Guyed wire changes questioned tower design. In response to the complaint of them being too large, we reduced size.
Tuthill: You reduced the size of guyed wires to 2.62 inches down from 3. Is that consistent with safety standards you are committed to"
Rockford: Nothing has changed" we urge re approval.
Sheehan: Overall RF will go down, is there some way for us to require that"
Tim Carl: FCC can overrule our limits.
Danika Snyder: The ODP requires monitoring (for one year)"
Sheehan: Dr. Johnson" we want proof not increase"
McNally, LCG planner: Fuel use will comply with state standards.
Sheehan: Flammability of fuels
Tuthill: A requirement to reduce RF is not enforceable. ODP requires applicant to meet federal standards for RF, area of FCC regulation, not sure if local government can overrule.
Pat Holloway (laughs) proposing approval. All three Commissioners vote to approve the proposed tower.