Sen. Gayle Slossberg (D-14) joined Mayor Edward M. O’Brien and a group of dedicated West Haven residents who have been speaking up about the unilateral placement of cell phone canister antennas in Connecticut communities. By working with their state and local lawmakers, these neighbors successfully advocated for a decision by the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to give cities and towns more control over where cell phone canister antennas are placed.
“This is an important victory for West Haven and residents of every other community in Connecticut that want more of a say of what happens in their neighborhood,” said Slossberg. “I applaud the work of these brave advocates. We couldn’t have gotten this done without working together. We were the first community in state history to successfully fight for the fair placement of these antennas, and thanks to PURA’s decision, we won’t be the last.”
“I am proud to have played a role in securing this victory for our community along with Senator Slossberg, CCM, Burt Cohen, and this dedicated group of residents. The residents know their neighborhoods best and deserve a say in what happens where they live. This decision has ensured that they will have that opportunity,” said O’Brien.
PURA has decided to update the procedure for the placement of cell phone canister antenna. The new procedure will treat the siting of these antennas similarly to the siting of full-sized antennas. This will give municipalities and the people who live in them more input on where these antennas are placed. Slossberg introduced legislation to established new procedures for cell canister antenna siting, but PURA decided to move forward and adopt the new procedures, precluding the need for further legislative action.
Slossberg and O’Brien have been working on this issue with a group of West Haven residents since Verizon announced plans to place one of these antennas in their neighborhood last year. Residents are concerned by the potential health risks of having an antenna placed near their home, along with its impact on property values. After months of advocacy, PURA elected to deny Verizon’s proposal to install this canister antenna.