In the News  Archive

OUR VIEW: Adirondack cell tower plan a bad one

Utica Observer Dispatch
Jan 23, 2014

There is no argument that there should be cell towers in the Adirondacks. They can save lives. But a proposed rule that would essentially give keepers of those towers carte blanche to do with them as they please without any oversight should be rejected.
The rule, proposed by the FCC, would grant automatic approval for increases in the height and width of any existing cell tower, without permission from state or local regulators.

Placement of cell towers in the Adirondacks — an infringement on the Park's natural beauty — has been a controversial issue for years, exacerbated by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that prohibits local and state rules banning them. In 2002, however, the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) developed a policy requiring communications towers to remain "substantially invisible" — a policy that has essentially been effective, acceptable to both environmental groups and phone companies.

The proposed FCC rule, however, is a federal one that would trump the APA policy, eliminating state and local control. It would instead allow phone companies to alter towers in ways that could severely affect the Adirondack beauty without being subject to review. Write and tell the FCC that such a generic plan for cell tower expansions nationwide is wrong and would not work in places like the Adirondack Park that have valuable scenic and historic resources.

The communication afforded by cell phones from remote regions is vital and can save lives. But removing local control from tower development is the wrong way to go.


Tell the Federal Communications Commission that any proposed federal rule on cell tower expansion should exempt areas like the Adirondack Park where there is already is an established policy that protects the environment.
Send comments by email to:, or mail to Adirondack Council, 103 Hand Ave., Suite 3, PO Box D-2, Elizabethtown, NY 12932, and they will be forwarded to the FCC
Or send them directly to the FCC at: Federal Communications Commission, 455 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.

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