Environmental Assessment Required to Install Cell Tower at Glendale Middle School

Red Huber, OS

Red Huber, OS


28 January 2015

Delivered Via Electronic Mail
Salt Lake City Planning Division
451 South State St. Rm 306
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

                           Re: Environmental Assessment

Dear Salt Lake City Planning Commission,

I come before you this evening, representing the good people of District 2 of the Salt Lake City School District.

In a prior communication, I addressed the fact that the public process for this Conditional Use application was flawed in that it bypassed the Glendale Community Council, Glendale Middle School Community Council and the Salt Lake City Board of Education.

The excuse that the Glendale Community Council did not meet in December is a poor reason for the absence of notification, as they did meet in the proceeding months and in January prior to this Planning Commission meeting.  

Tonight, I would like to acknowledge the fact that I recognize that 47 U.S.C. 332 has eviscerated your ability to weigh the health risks this cell tower will pose to the students and surrounding residents at Glendale Middle school.

Federal Law States: No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emissions.

Therein lies the rub: this WARNING SIGN is displayed on the Cell Tower at Uintah Elementary and it clearly states that the “Radio Frequency Fields at this site exceed the FCC Rules for Human Exposure”. 

In order to receive approval of the Conditional Use application, they tell you they will meet FCC guidelines on radiation emissions and then turn around and post signage stating they have now exceeded the limits set forth by the FCC. What is wrong with this picture?

While in this setting, federal law may indeed prohibit me from protecting the children of my community, it does not however, prevent me from invoking the established safeguards on behalf of the wild life in my neighborhood.

Title 47-Chapter 1 –Subchapter A-Subpart I –Section 1.1307 states:

“The filing of an Environmental Assessment is required… if the facilities may affect listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitats; …..”

The Glendale Middle School is two blocks from the Jordan River which serves as a habitat for the Peregrine Falcon and the Bald Eagle which are currently on the endangered species list.

I am to understand that no Environmental Assessment has been conducted. I would respectfully ask that we implement all aspects of federal law as they pertain to the installation of Cell Towers in my habitat.

UpDATE: Peregrine falcon is no longer on the Endangered Species list


J. Michael Clára

Board Member, District 2


 P.S. During the 2014 legislative session, House Bill 250 was passed which added the following language to the powers and responsibilities to the office of a local school board member: Notwithstanding a local school board’s status as a body corporate, an elected member of a local school board serves and represents the residents of the local school board member’s district, and that service and representation may not be restricted or impaired by the local school board member’s membership on, or obligations to, the local school board.

cc: Ms. Melissa Burns – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

PDF Version of Letter

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