CHD v. FCC – Stopping OTARD
CHD v. FCC Case Filed
On 2/26/2021, the Children’s Health Defense (CHD) filed a new case (called a Petition for Review) against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) challenging the amendment to the “Over-the-Air Reception Devices” rule (OTARD). The amended rule was adopted by the FCC on 1/7/2021 and will go into effect on 3/29/2021.
CHD’s Petition was joined by four individual petitioners, including a physician and the parents of five children who have been injured by wireless radiation. The case was filed in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.
What is OTARD and Why We MUST Fight it
OTARD will create a “Wireless Wild West” by allowing the installation of wireless transmitting antennas on private homes without requiring any notice to neighboring property owners and by removing any ability to object to their installation.
OTARD will permit private property owners to place fixed point-to-point antennas supporting wireless service on their property and, for the first time, to provide wireless data/voice services, including 5G, to users on neighboring properties by installing “hubs” or “relay” antennas to propagate the signals.
OTARD will likely lead to the most significant and rapid proliferation of 5G, the 1,000,000 SpaceX satellites’ antennas and Wi-Fi mesh networks, both in urban and rural areas, by using homes and private properties for the deployment.
OTARD’s most troubling aspect is that it eliminates all state and local zoning authority over these antennas. No permit is required, restrictive deed covenants and homeowners’ association restrictions, and even state laws are preempted. No notice to neighboring property owners is required; therefore, those who are affected and involuntarily exposed to this harmful radiation will have no right to object to or prevent their installation.
OTARD severely undermines the effectiveness of communities’ and municipalities’ efforts to keep 5G at bay, away from homes and communities. Many homeowners’ associations, municipalities, as well as the Conference of Mayors, objected to the rule. The FCC passed the rule anyway.
OTARD also preempts federal and state civil rights laws that protect the disabled. Those who have already been injured by wireless devices and infrastructure (such as Wi-Fi and cell towers) will not be entitled to accommodation, and families will be forced out of their homes with nowhere to go to escape this harmful radiation.
Our OTARD Case
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., justly described OTARD as a “draconian rule” as it will have overreaching implications. From the moment CHD became aware that the FCC intended to adopt this rule, it was clear to us that allowing it to go into effect without a challenge was not an option.
In April 2020, CHD started its campaign against OTARD by laying the groundwork for a lawsuit when it filed a 22-page letter with the FCC. The letter was joined by a record number of 15,090 people, and a staggering number of them, 6,231, declared that they and/or their children have become injured by wireless radiation.
Over 2,500 people added personal comments, many of them substantive, with heartbreaking testimonials of sickness and death caused by wireless radiation. Parents wrote about their children’s sickness with cancer, radiation sickness, and the aggravating effects of wireless on their children’s autism symptoms and seizures. They are terrified of the devastating effects the adoption of OTARD will have on their lives.
CHD’s suit, filed under the Administrative Procedures Act, asserts that the FCC’s adoption of OTARD violates constitutional rights and upends long-standing common law personal and property rights. It leads to due process violations, is arbitrary, an abuse of discretion, and it passed without authority and statutory jurisdiction.
Emergency Injunction Filed by Children’s Health Defense Against FCC’s OTARD Rule
On March 18, Children’s Health Defense (CHD) filed a motion for emergency relief with the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, asking the Court to stay the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Over-the-Air Reception Devices” (OTARD) Rule Amendment, before it goes into effect on 3/29/21. The motion is part of CHD’s case that was filed on 2/26/21, challenging the rule amendment.
The focus of the motion for an injunction is the preemption of federal and state civil rights laws that protect the disabled and their rights for accommodations. People who are adversely affected will have no right to object to their installation, even though they will be involuntarily exposed to harmful radiation in their homes.
CHD claimed that if the amended rule goes into effect, they, and any others who develop Radiation Sickness (Electrosensitivity), or other sickness caused/aggravated by wireless technology radiation, may suffer irreparable harm and life-threatening injuries.
The movants include a family physician and mothers of four children who are sick from wireless radiation. The problems are not limited to a small minority but are widespread and growing. CHD’s April letter to the FCC was joined by 6,231 people who declared that they and/or their children are sick from wireless radiation. The estimates are that at least 10% of the population already suffers from symptoms.
CHD argued that Petitioners are likely to prevail on the merits because the amended rule violates substantive and procedural due process rights and that it is contrary to the public interest. Therefore, and because of the imminence of the harm, the Court should grant the stay pending a final decision in the case.
The FCC response is due on 3/23/21, and CHD’s reply to the FCC’s response is due on 3/24/21. The court already assigned a panel of 3 judges to decide on the motion. Judge Judith W. Rogers, Judge Robert L. Wilkins, and Judge Neomi Rao.
On 3/22 at 1 pm PST / 4 pm EDT Children’s Health Defense will hold a press conference regarding the filing of the emergency injunction motion.
Participants in the press conference include CHD’s legal team on this case, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., CHD’s Chairman Chief Legal Counsel, attorney Scott McCollough and attorney Dafna Tachover, CHD Director of its 5G and Wireless Harms Project.
In accordance with the Court’s order, on 3/23/21, the FCC filed its opposition and 24 hours later, on 3/24/21, the Children’s Health Defense filed its response to the FCC opposition. A decision by the Court is expected before 3/29/21.
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Support Our Efforts to Protect Our Rights, Health, and Children
This new case against OTARD is the second case CHD has brought against the FCC. The first lawsuit was filed in February 2020 and challenges the FCC’s obsolete health and safety guidelines regarding 5G and wireless radiation. That case is now awaiting the decision of the US Court of Appeals of the DC Circuit.
The FCC’s disregard for the public interest and its health is notorious. The two cases CHD has filed are a testament to our commitment to demanding FCC accountability on behalf of the American public and our children. Nothing else except these lawsuits will stop the FCC.
However, these cases are awfully expensive, and we need your support. The first case cost us close to $500,000; this new case against OTARD is estimated at $300,000. We could not wait to raise the money before filing the case because of a strict timeline. We took a risk. Therefore, we are now asking for your support so we can do the best possible job on this crucial case and maximize our chances to succeed.
Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is implementing many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.