By Peter Hirschfeld
MONTPELIER — State officials will hire an expert early this year to help determine whether Vermonters have any reason to fear the wireless “smart meters” being affixed to homes across the state.
A request for proposals issued last month by the Department of Public Service seeks a qualified professional “to conduct a report on health effects related to smart meter radio-frequency emissions.”
James Porter, director of the department’s telecommunications division, said the state has no reason to believe that the emissions pose any danger.
“Based upon earlier testing that was done by the Vermont Department of Health of our wireless smart meters, and the fact that I believe both of the wireless meters selected by our utilities are (Underwriters Laboratories) listed, we certainly believe the emissions are well within federal safety standards,” Porter said.
But those federal safety standards, according to opponents of the smart meter technology, are flawed and outdated. And a small but spirited coalition of concerned citizens convinced lawmakers last session to pass legislation calling for the health study.