Washington DC: Strong Opposition to 5G and Proposed Small Cell Guidelines


Washington DC Citizens Express Strong Opposition To 5G Small Cell Draft Guidelines at DC Public Hearing on October 15, 2018

Next Hearing in DC Scheduled for November 19th 

Advisory Neighborhood Associations and community organizations testified on the “visual clutter” lack of public notice and health and environmental impacts at a public hearing  October 15, 2018.  Washington DC  Councilwoman Mary Cheh is hosting a roundtable discussion on 5G Small Cell Deployment November 19, 2018 and everyone is invite to testify. Sign up by emailing

Councilwoman Mary Cheh is Chair of the District of Columbia Council and currently the Chair of the DC Committee on Transportation and the Environment.
Notice of Public Roundtable
Implementation of 5G Small Cell Technology in the District
November 19th, 2018, at 11:00 AM
in Room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Monday, October 15, 2018 Public Hearing

The District of Columbia Public Space Committee (PSC) held a Special Meeting on Monday, October 15, 2018 for public comment on the newly developed Draft Small Cell Guidelines that will allow the deployment of 4G and 5G antenna installations on utility poles, street lights and buildings in Washington DC.
Environmental Health Trust has a Youtube playlist of Video Excerpts from the Washington DC Public Hearing at this link.  

  • Link to: DC Small Cell Draft Guidelines
  • Link to: Page of DC Master license agreements
  • Link to Powerpoint presentations by Industry
  • Link to: DC ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 3/4G Resolution “Opposing Small Cell Wireless and 5G Technology Without Studies Confirming Safety”
  • Link to Environmental Health Trust Comments to the District of Columbia Public Space Committee regarding  Draft Small Cell Guidelines.
  • Link to Youtube Playlist of Testimony from the DC pubic Hearing on October 15, 2018
  • Link to  ANC 2E Comments representing the communities of Burleith, Georgetown, and Hillandale
    Comments on Draft Small Cell Guidelines
  • Link to ANC 3B Comments on Small Cell Guidelines
  • Link to Comments of the Kalorama Citizens Association

The US Commission for Fine Arts has reviewed the draft guidelines and issued two letters. They are an integral part of the process of developing these guidelines.

  • Link to US Commission of Fine Arts Letter 27 July 2018 that states “this initiative is based on accommodating current technology that may soon become obsolete, leaving communities burdened with unnecessarily large and outmoded infrastructure.” 
  • Link to US Commission of Fine Arts 27, September 2018 that states “They therefore advised the development of an elegant and holistic design typology for the small-cell installations, rather than allowing a discordant kit of parts—antennas, equipment cabinets, and cables—to be clumsily attached to existing or new streetlight poles. They encouraged a more expansive study of best practices and design approaches for similar infrastructure in the U.S. and abroad to help develop a forward-looking solution that is not merely expedient but which appropriately integrates this technology into the public realm”.

See bottom of the page for leasing agreements with various wireless carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, T Mobile and their poweroint presentations.

ANC 3B Comments  on the Small Cell Guidelines were presented which pointed out the” significant flaws in the process of developing the regulatory framework for this technology in the city:

  • the short notice and very abbreviated opportunity for ANCs and the public to comment on the guidelines;
  • .the almost invisible process DDOT has followed to develop and finalize the guidelines and MLAs;
  •  the absence of provisions for ANC and public input on specific proposals for small cell installations in public space, as well as on the provisions of the basic MLA and the specific terms of MLAs signed to date;
  •  the terms of the MLAs that allow providers to go forward with their desired small cell installations withoutfurther public review once the provider has received approval for its first installation; and
  •   DDOT’s agreement to allow each provider to put up as many as 3 new poles on each block to hold its small cell units, as close as 10 feet apart, and install a refrigerator-size auxiliary unit above ground on every block, though DDOT has recognized that shared poles including public utility poles could be used and the auxiliary units could be placed underground, where they would not intrude on public space and the look of the area.”

AT &T says they need at least two cell tower installations per block for specific blocks.

Executed Master License Agreements

PDF icon MLA Final.pdf – 502.5 KB (pdf)


Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and science from Environmental Health Trust. We email our subscribers with a newsletter just once a month and never share your email with anyone.

Thank you for signing up for our newsletter!