An Open Letter to Tallahassee: The FPSC [falsely claims it] has NO Jurisdiction over Health, Safety and Privacy

[CHASM Comment: This is a good article by the organizer of one of the Petitions to FPSC opposing fees to those who refuse “smart” meters. Please note: The author, and her Petition, argue that FPSC DOES INDEED have jurisdiction over health, safety, and privacy.

Therefore, CHASM thinks the title of the piece, to accurately reflect the author’s argument, should be, “The FPSC Falsely Claims it has NO Jurisdiction over Health, Safety and Privacy.”

For those who read only the title as published by the original publisher, (see: http://drrichswier.com/2014/04/09/fpl-choice-of-meters/ it might give some people the wrong impression, i.e., that FPSC has no jurisdiction over health, safety, and privacy.]

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An Open Letter to Tallahassee: The FPSC [Falsely Claims it] has NO
Jurisdiction over Health, Safety and Privacy
http://drrichswier.com/2014/04/09/fpl-choice-of-meters/
April 9, 2014 By Marilynne Martin

AN OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR SCOTT, FLORIDA STATE SURGEON GENERAL JOHN ARMSTRONG, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL PAM BONDI, AND FLORIDA STATE SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES:

Please STOP forwarding the e-mails and letters you get from Florida residents pertaining to any health, safety or privacy issues for smart meters to the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) for resolution. It is pointless. The FPSC has determined in ORDER NO. PSC-14-0146-FOF-EI, issued on April 1, 2014 (was this an April fools joke?), Docket NO. 130223-EI the following (page 10):

“Since such health, safety or privacy concerns have not yet been addressed by the Commission the Protestors contend this is the appropriate venue to raise these issues which the Protestors believe are within the Commission’s jurisdiction. However, none of the Commission’s authorizing statutes confers upon it jurisdiction over personal health, safety or privacy issues raised by the Protestors. Nor is the Commission authorized to enforce these extra-jurisdictional issues, which are the purview of the other agencies.” (Emphasis added)

The bottom line is the Florida Public Service Commission has mandated that all 4.5 million customers must accept Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL’s) smart meter or pay an extortion fee, but apparently they have NO jurisdiction to ensure health, safety or privacy for that product.

When you forward the letters you receive from residents to the FPSC, they turn around and send them a letter stating that there is a proceeding being protested by citizens on this matter and hearings will be held later this year. The FPSC gives them a link to the docket page. The residents go to the FPSC Docket page and find my e-mail and address (since I am one citizen with a protest filing pending on this docket) and the residents call or e-mail me.

Since the issues of health, safety and privacy raised in the petition have been denied by the FPSC, as they claim they have no jurisdiction, could you please do your job and tell the people of Florida directly that NO Florida government agency wants to take responsibility. Will you be brave and tell them yourself that

• our Florida State Constitution is null and void as it pertains to privacy rights in one’s own home or private property rights and that the utilities get to decide who owns the data taken from their homes and they are compelled to give it to the utility or they may alternatively pay a fine to keep it private?
• all issues of health, safety and privacy has been relegated to the Federal Government and are outside the jurisdiction of the Florida government (the republic is officially over)?

If this is not the case, I ask the Governor, Attorney General, State Surgeon General as well as each legislator (who has jurisdiction over the FPSC) – who in Florida’s government does have jurisdiction to ensure that Floridians health, safety and privacy are properly safeguarded from the FPSC Orders?

Here are some of the main issues:

HEALTH:

Issue 1: Many customers have alerted the FPSC that they have either medical conditions (sensitivities to RF radiation and electro-magnetic fields) or medical implants and devices for which their doctors have advised them to avoid exposure to RF radiation.

FPSC response – not my job. Take the meter or pay up to comply with doctor’s advice.

Issue 2: Many residents with or without prior sensitivities to RF radiation became ill when such smart meters were placed on their homes. When the device was removed, their good health was returned.
FPSC response – not my job. Take the meter or pay up to protect your health.

Issue 3: FCC guidelines and approval only cover acute short-term exposure to RF radiation. They do not test for or cover long-term chronic exposure or accumulated exposure to RF, nor do they consider any biological effects. You cannot turn a smart meter off to avoid exposure.

FPSC response – not my job.

Issue 4: The legislative branch gave the State Health Dept. jurisdiction over non-ionizing radiation in Statute 501.122 – Consumer protections.

FPSC response – no responsibility to coordinate with the Health Dept.

SAFETY:

Issue 1: Smart meters are installed on homes and businesses in places that are wide open and accessible to the general public. It is possible for any citizen to lean up directly against these meters. The FCC Grant of Equipment Authorization (OWS-NIC514) for the Silver Spring Network radio module (900 MHZ) for utility meters, that FP&L is using in their GE smart meter, states the following on its grant notes: “The antenna(s) used for the transmitter must be installed to provide a separation distance of at least 20cm from all persons and must not be co-located or operating in conjunction with any other antenna or transmitter.”
The vast majority of Florida citizens do not even know what a smart meter is or the fact that it contains two transmitters, one for the NAN and one for the HAN. They do not know to stay 20cm away. We also haven’t figured out how they can co-locate two transmitters.

FPSC response – not my job.

Issue 2: Smart meter installations have resulted in fires and damage to customer equipment and appliances.
FPSC response – not my job.

PRIVACY:

Issue: The smart meter contains a computer and storage and is taking detail measurements (4 hours today, 15 minutes in the future), which will be stored by the utility, and is available to all government agencies (Third Party Doctrine). Such data means surveillance of citizens in their homes and such data is NOT needed for billing. The FPSC is fully aware that each utility it regulates regards the ownership of such data differently.

FPSC response – not my job to develop privacy rules.

PROPERTY RIGHTS:

Issue 1: In 1988 under Order 18893, the FPSC, at FP&L’s request, transferred the ownership of the meter enclosure to the customer. They said that it was not part of the utility function and simply housed a meter. Therefore the customer must bear all the costs and burdens of ownership and maintain the meter enclosure. In 2010, the FPSC mandated the smart meter, which is really network management and communication equipment (that also contains a meter). Such equipment establishes a wireless neighborhood area network through the meter, performing more than measurement functions, on our homes. It violates the terms and conditions of Order No. 18893. Essentially customers now have the costs and burdens of ownership but no rights and privileges, such as refusal of equipment that does not satisfy the original terms.

FPSC response – we have the powers of police state. (That they do!).

Issue 2: Many Floridians own rental properties and do not wish this equipment placed on their buildings. If the electric is in their tenant’s name, FP&L claims they have no right to decide, the tenant gets to choose the equipment.

FPSC response – okay by me.

MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING:

Issue: If you live in a multi-family dwelling and have a bank of meters behind your bed, how do you opt out?

FPSC response – we can’t answer that question so we will continue to ignore it.

Please direct your staff to prepare answers for the above issues and answer the inquiries from residents directly. I have decided that since I can’t answer their questions, I am now advising all residents that call me to vote Independent in this next election. If we get rid of the corrupt establishment politicians and officials and vote for an independent, such as Adrian Wyllie for Governor, who appears to be devoted to the Constitution, then maybe we can get a Public Service Commission that understands that they have two stakeholders – the utilities and the customer.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR / MARILYNNE MARTIN

Marilynne Martin is a retired CPA who currently resides in Venice, Fl. She has 30 years experience in accounting and auditing working in senior financial management positions for multi-national corporations such as Estee Lauder Companies Inc. and NYNEX Corporation (Verizon). She has been researching smart meter issues for the past 18 months.

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