Residents of Pittsfield, Massachusetts have been reporting significant and life-threatening health issues ever since Verizon activated a 4G cell tower in their neighborhood. In October 2021, The Board of Health asked Verizon to remove the tower but the company refused. In February, the BOH voted unanimously to issue the company a “cease and desist” order. Between February and April, several health experts provided supporting testimony to validate residents’ complaints (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and to ask the state to better protect residents from exposure to cell tower radiation. City council members also asked state lawmakers to introduce legislation to better protect residents. On April 6, the BOH voted to send its “cease and desist” order to the company (see 1, 2). In May, Verizon took legal action against the city and last week, the BOH retracted its order.
Pittsfield Health Board Rescinds Verizon Cease & Desist Order
By Brittany Polito
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Board of Health has voted to rescind its cease and desist order on the Verizon cell tower at 877 South St. after the telecommunications company filed a case against the city of Pittsfield in federal court.
Chair Bobbie Orsi said litigation is not the solution right now. Instead, the panel will pursue collaborative discussions to address the issue.
“When we issued the cease and desist order, we did that as a strategy to have a conversation with Verizon, I felt like that in our heart, in my heart, we really wanted them to come talk to us about this,” she said at Wednesday’s meeting.
“And we never wanted, I never wanted a long protracted legal argument. we wanted something that was going to be helpful for the residents in that neighborhood so I guess my feeling now is that litigation is perhaps not the process that’s going to get us to — that’s not going to help resolve the issues right now.”
The board was in agreement with Orsi’s thinking.
“I don’t think that litigation at this time is the most effective vehicle to provide a remedy for folks in that neighborhood,” board member Steve Smith said.