Hydro-Québec warning about propane tanks and Smart Meters

Originally posted June 2015:

Survey of electricity meters near propane tanks

Dear Customer:

Hydro-Québec has agreed with the Régie du bâtiment du Québec [Québec Building Board] to survey all of our customers’ outdoor electricity meters to ensure compliance with standards governing the minimum distance between a stationary propane tank and an electricity meter. The standards require a clearance of three metres for a Hydro-Québec next-generation meter with remote service interruption enabled. The standards apply only to permanent propane tanks connected to buildings, not mobile barbecue tanks.

Although no incidents involving propane tanks have been brought to our attention, we have decided to proceed this way because you don’t have to inform us when you install a stationary propane tank. We are conducting this survey to obtain the most up-to-date information possible. If you don’t have a next-generation meter, this check will be done when one is installed.

Along with this survey, we are conducting precise scientific tests, as agreed with the Régie du bâtiment du Québec, regarding the necessary clearance between a stationary propane tank and a meter.

Until your installation has been checked and found to be up to code, the remote service interruption feature will be deactivated. This is a feature that can be used to turn the power on or off at a customer’s request or to cut off power to a customer in collections.

All the meter’s other functions, such as remote meter reading, will remain active. The meters will continue to transmit actual electricity use data. There is no impact or risk to our customers.

Only outdoor meters will be inspected, so you will not be disturbed.

If you have a stationary propane tank and think it might be less than three metres away from your electricity meter, please call us at 1 877 234-6548,  Monday to Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

You can also visit our Web site: http://www.hydroquebec.com/residential.

— Hydro-Québec

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EPA appoints PG&E attorney to lead West Coast office

From AP News
February 12, 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency has named a former attorney for the nation’s largest utility to head its West Coast office, replacing the regional director ousted from the post last week.

John Busterud, who worked for Pacific Gas and Electric for three decades, will manage more than 600 staff employees and oversee environmental protection efforts across EPA’s Region 9, which includes 50 million people living in California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and tribal lands, KQED reported Tuesday.

Mike Stoker, the EPA’s regional director since 2018, said he got a call last week from senior agency officials in Washington, D.C., telling him to resign.

The change in leadership comes amid conflict between California and the federal government over environmental policy.

Among the disagreements are the Trump administration’s policies aimed at expanding domestic oil and gas production, and its rollback of environmental regulations. California, a state with robust environmental enforcement, is seeking to transition away from fossil fuels.

Busterud’s experience includes serving as a board member for the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance, a group that represents the natural gas industry, among other types of business.

At PG&E, Busterud directed the department of the environment and real estate. He worked on issues related to air and water quality, endangered species, toxic waste and environmental policy, according to an EPA press release.

Busterud retired from the company’s law department in 2016 after serving 30 years with the utility.

Busterud said in a statement that it is an “honor and privilege” to take the position with the EPA, and that he looks forward to working with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “We are committed to building on the agency’s legacy of success by providing clean and safe air, water and land for all Americans,” Busterud said.


Posted under Fair Use Rules.

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Be the voice for babies, kids, pets, wildlife — wireless radiation is air pollution

Used by permission
Image by Barb Payne/Information Time
catalyst4sense at gmail.com


The Voice Lesson

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Electromagnetic Sensitivity page updated with Fair Housing Act information

Important information has been added to the Electromagnetic Sensitivity page about the U.S. Fair Housing Act. The section excerpted discusses the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability.

Notice that the rules don’t just pertain to the sale or rental of housing. It includes “other prohibited practices”, “otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling”, “in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such a dwelling”. It also  doesn’t just apply to those  who reside or intend to reside in a dwelling. It also  applies to “any person associated with that buyer or renter”, “any person associated with that person”.


Sec. 804. [42 U.S.C. 3604] Discrimination in sale or rental of housing and other prohibited practices As made applicable by section 803 of this title and except as exempted by sections 803(b) and 807 of this title, it shall be unlawful–

(1) To discriminate in the sale or rental, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any buyer or renter because of a handicap of–

(A) that buyer or renter,
(B) a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so sold, rented, or made available; or
(C) any person associated with that buyer or renter.

(2) To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such dwelling, because of a handicap of–

(A) that person; or
(B) a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so sold, rented, or made available; or
(C) any person associated with that person.

(3) For purposes of this subsection, discrimination includes–

(B) a refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling;

Added to Essential Resources — United States

Fair Housing Act

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Mobile Phone Whistleblower Project launched


From Corporate Crime Reporter

Group Calls on Citizens to Blow the Whistle on Motorola Cell Phone Safety Studies

Jan 27, 2020

A new organization was launched last week to expose concealed information about the health and safety risks of mobile phones. 

The Mobile Phone Whistleblower Project – an initiative of Whistleblowing International – is calling on citizens – especially current and former employees of Motorola and other mobile phone and communications companies – to report information about fraud, deception, corruption or other misconduct within the industry.

The group said that Motorola operated a radio frequency research laboratory at its Plantation, Florida headquarters from 1993 to 2009.

It opened the facility shortly after the wife of Madeira Beach resident David Reynard sued two mobile phone companies following the death of her husband from a brain tumor,” the group said in a press release. “A federal court in Tampa dismissed the case in 1995, but the lawsuit received significant national media attention and spawned a still-ongoing debate over whether mobile phones can cause cancer and other health problems. Many published, peer-reviewed studies conducted since the 1960s have linked mobile phone radiation to a myriad of health effects.”

After opening the laboratory, Motorola began to shape the direction of mobile phone research and public discourse. The company played a significant role in funding research, deciding which scientific studies should be conducted, serving on editorial boards of scientific journals, and overseeing standard-setting organizations that determine official radiation exposure limits. The most influential such organization, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), continues to hold committee meetings at Motorola headquarters on Sunrise Boulevard.”

Through the Mobile Phone Whistleblower Project, it is hoped that current and former Motorola employees in the Libertyville, Illinois area — where Motorola Mobility had headquarter offices — will come forward with evidence and information about any efforts by the company to mislead mobile phone users and the general public about health risks.”

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France: 85-yr-old wins lawsuit against EDF/Enedis for Linky meter overbilling

Linky meters are Smart Meters.

Posted by Robin des Toits

The Linky meter had multiplied its bill by five: Gilberte, 85 years old, made EDF fold – ladepeche.fr – 25/11/2019

The EDF bill for a Pas-de-Calais retiree had been multiplied by five after the installation of the Linky meter. After several months of proceedings, she has finally won in court. Gilberte is grateful. She lives “a bit old-fashioned”. In his Arras apartment in Pas-de-Calais there is a fridge, a TV and a washing machine. Amount of her electricity bill: around € 100 per year. 

In February 2017, EDF came to install the Linky meter in its accommodation. “A few months later, I received my first invoice. My consumption was multiplied by eight,” testifies Gilberte in La Voix du Nord . It was maddening. “She contacts EDF but, according to her, the company does not want to know anything.” They told me that I had cheated, that I had tampered with my old meter. I invited them to come and see that I had few cameras, but nobody came and they asked me to pay, “added the old lady in the Parisian .

The Energy Mediator offers her a € 50 discount on her bill. Out of the question for Gilberte who continues to transfer to EDF the same monthly payment as usual. EDF revived it and ended up cutting off electricity in September 2018 for two months.

Supported by two collectives, ACCAD and CALGEA62, Gilberte decides to go to court, convinced of the wrongs of the electricity supplier. The district court agreed with her, two and a half years later.

“According to the old meter, the consumption of Mrs. Morel was on average 6 KWH per month (…) according to the Linky meter, it was 275 KWH per month”, explains Pierre Rose, member of the anti-Linky ACCAD collective . 

EDF and Enedis are ordered to pay her 1,500 euros in damages and interest and 800 euros in legal aid. This court decision is a first. “We take note of this decision and we will apply it. It is a perfectly isolated and exceptional case”, reacts Enedis to La Voix du Nord .

Despite this victory, Gilberte remains suspicious. Every night, when she goes to bed, she cuts the circuit breaker on her Linky meter.

Jean-Marie Louis

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Source :  https://www.ladepeche.fr/2019/11/25/le-compteur-linky-avait-multiplie-sa-facture-par-cinq-gilberte-85-ans-fait-plier-edf , 8561665.php


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France: 300,000 “possibly faulty” circuit breakers made by GE, ABB, Hager, and Eaton, installed by Enedis since 2017

Posted on Robin des Toits:
[google translation]

WEST-FRANCE INFO. 130,000 circuit breakers identified by Enedis are faulty: a security risk – ouest-france.fr – 10/31/2019

Joël Le Gall / Ouest-France

Enedis has identified thousands of faulty circuit breakers, installed since 2017. They could affect the safety of the installation in private homes. A localization campaign is underway.

302,000 circuit breakers supplied to Enedis under the General Electric, Hager, Eaton and ABB brands are identified as possibly having a manufacturing defect. “The differential trigger system may not work” , we recognize at Enedis.

The circuit breakers concerned were manufactured between May 2017 and April 2019. Currently 170,000 have been identified and replaced. Brittany and the Pays de la Loire would be particularly concerned. This means that at least 130,000 remain in the wild, posing a risk to human safety ..

What is the circuit breaker for?

It cuts  the current in the event of an incident (overload, short circuit, etc.). It appears on the electrical panel which is often found in the entrance or in the garage. The circuit breaker is different from the meter which is used to measure electricity consumption

What are the risks ?

The fault on these faulty circuit breakers can lead to a malfunction of the differential trip. Clearly, the current could not be automatically cut in the event of a short circuit or overheating, causing a real risk for people (fire, electrocution, etc.).

An electrician explains: If the installation concerns a standard house, this defect will have little impact. There are other safeties on the electrical panels which are more sensitive than these circuit breakers in the event of a problem  ”. On the other hand if it is a building that does not meet standards it can be more annoying. The most important risk is that of electrocution, if the circuit breaker does not blow in the event of a wire insulation fault. “

How to know if you are affected

The manager of the public electricity distribution network has launched a major localization campaign. In early summer, up to 50,000 letters were sent. Rebelote since mid-October to identify the 170,000 faulty circuit breakers installed at customer sites. Users are invited to make a diagnosis, via the internet or by phone (0 800 730 820). You just need to give your name and “delivery point” (14 digits on your invoice). If the circuit breaker is affected, the Enedis teams replace it free of charge. “It is essential to carry out the diagnosis” , alerts Enedis.
Source https://www.ouest-france.fr/economie/entreprises/enedis/info-ouest-france-130-000-disjoncteurs-installes-par-enedis-sont-defaillants-un-risque-pour-la-6589091


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Cartoon on the FCC, 5G, and us

Artist: Brian Narelle
Unaltered image that includes artist’s name and website may be used for posters, flyers, etc.

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California American Water Company to roll-out Smart water meters; proposes analog opt-out — public hearings scheduled

California American Water Company (Cal-Am) is requesting authorization from the California Public Utilities Commission to roll-out Smart/AMI water meters in two service areas – the Ventura District and the Central District (Monterey County) — Application 19-07-004.

Cal-Am also proposes an opt-out program that would install an analog non-digital meter in place of the AMR or AMI water meters. They propose these opt-out fees:

$70. initial fee, and
$13. per month

The $70. fee would only apply if Cal-Am has to install an analog meter. If an analog meter is still in place, the customer would not be charged the $70.

The Ventura and Central Districts currently have pilot AMI meter programs, and Cal-Am states that the Central District program is an opt-in program.

In this CPUC application, Cal-Am also wants to raise water rates in its service territory and to change certain CPUC requirements for the company.

CPUC Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma, the assigned commissioner for this proceeding, did not include the opt-out proposal in her scoping memo of the issues to be resolved in the proceeding (see pages 4-8). A CPUC spokesman told me that the opt-out is not being considered by the Commission, and that the public needs to raise it during the public participation hearings before the Administrative Law Judge to make sure it is included.

A few other relevant issues in the scoping memo include:

4. Evaluate the adequacy of Cal-Am’s Customer Service.
5. Evaluate whether Cal-Am follows all statutory and regulatory requirements.
7. Whether there are any safety issues which the Commission needs to address.

Cal-Am does not mention ADA accommodation in relation to its AMI/AMR wireless water meters. An ADA accommodation of receiving an analog meter is not an opt-out, and under the ADA, opt-out fees would be considered surcharges and are not allowed. It is not meter “choice” when a person’s medical condition or disability requires them to have an analog meter.

The California Public Utility Commission is holding these public participation hearings in Cal-Am’s service territory. The public is invited to attend and comment at these hearings, and you can submit additional written information into the record there: 

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Honeybees absorb high levels of RF-EMF

Figure 4. Relative electric feld strength in and around a mid-sagittal plane of the Honey Bee Drone at the nine studied frequencies. Grey scale shows the electric feld strengths relative to 1V/m electric field strength.

Figure 4. Relative electric field strength in and around a mid-sagittal plane of the Honey Bee Drone at the nine studied frequencies. Grey scale shows the electric field strengths relative to 1V/m electric field strength.

What this modeling shows is that the situation is not good now, and it’s going to get much worse under 5G regimes.

Published January 2020:

Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure of Western Honey Bees


Thielens A, Greco MK, Verloock L, Martens L, Joseph W. Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure of Western Honey Bees. Sci Rep. 2020 Jan 16;10(1):461. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-56948-0.


Radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) can be absorbed in all living organisms, including Western Honey Bees (Apis Mellifera). This is an ecologically and economically important global insect species that is continuously exposed to environmental RF-EMFs. This exposure is studied numerically and experimentally in this manuscript. To this aim, numerical simulations using honey bee models, obtained using micro-CT scanning, were implemented to determine RF absorbed power as a function of frequency in the 0.6 to 120 GHz range. Five different models of honey bees were obtained and simulated: two workers, a drone, a larva, and a queen. The simulations were combined with in-situ measurements of environmental RF-EMF exposure near beehives in Belgium in order to estimate realistic exposure and absorbed power values for honey bees. Our analysis shows that a relatively small shift of 10% of environmental incident power density from frequencies below 3 GHz to higher frequencies will lead to a relative increase in absorbed power of a factor higher than 3.

Excerpts (emphasis added)

From Discussions

The results of our numerical simulations, see Fig. 5, show an increase of Pabs with frequency up to 6–12GHz. Figure 4 illustrates the mechanism behind this increase: as the frequency increases the EMFs are less likely to diffract around the honey bees, that are relatively small in comparison to the wavelengths <6GHz, and can penetrate further in the models, generating higher internal electric fields and consequently higher Pabs values.

…The results in terms of Pabs obtained for the honey bees in this study fall right in between those obtained in 11 for the smaller Australian Stingless Bee and the larger Desert Locust, which confirms again the dependency of Pabs on phantom size. The same size-related effect was described for humans in 28,33,38 and comparable frequency trends were observed in humans that have larger full-body sizes at MHz frequencies 28,38. It should be noted that this manuscript focused on exposure of individual insects in free space. In reality, honey bees might cluster, creating a larger absorption cross section and potentially higher absorption at lower frequencies.

…As our RF-EMF exposure measurements near bee hives demonstrate, see Table 2, most of the current RF-EMF exposure is located at frequencies ≤1GHz. Additionally, Fig. 5 demonstrates that the Pabs in all studied Honey bee models is lowest at frequencies ≤1GHz. This implies that in reality, potential shifts in telecommunication frequencies to higher frequencies might induce even larger increases that the ones estimated in Table 4 since in that analysis an average value over all Pabs values ≤3GHz is assumed.

From Conclusions

Assuming that 10% of the incident power density would shift to frequencies higher than 3GHz would lead to an increase of this absorption between 390–570%. Such a shift in frequencies is expected in future networks.


Click to access s41598-019-56948-0.pdf

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