Spanish Ombudsman: 5G Must be Environmentally Approved!

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The Ombudsman notes that the 5G Implementation Plan has not passed environmental assessments

The Vallisoletana Association of Those Affected by Telecommunications Antennas (AVAATE) who denounced it recalls that in the 5G pilot projects a frequency band is used for which the safe exposure limits have not yet been set.

Antena de Telefonía. Foto: UOC

The Ombudsman has ruled on the 5G Implementation Plan following the complaint filed by the Vallisoletana Association of People Affected by Telecommunications Antennas (AVAATE) and the conclusion is clear: The implementation of 5G technology in Spain has not been subject prior environmental assessment by the authorities. A previous environmental evaluation of the Plan or of the pilot projects that derive from it has not been officially made and the refusal of the Ministry of Economy and Business to do it has not been justified even though several associations requested it during the public information process of the Plan.

In a resolution signed by Francisco Fernández Marugán and date of departure on August 21, the Ombudsman emphasizes that the Ministry, through its Secretary of State for Digital Advancement, has ignored various articles of Law 21/2013, of Environmental Assessment, avoiding consulting the draft of the 5G Plan and the draft of the 5G pilot projects to the corresponding environmental body . In addition, as the Ombudsman acknowledges, in the pilot projects that are being carried out, a frequency band will be used for which the safe exposure limits have not yet been set , which is something totally contrary to the principle of caution. For all these reasons, it is urgent that once and for all the Commission on Radio Frequency and Health, established for more than five years in the General Telecommunications Law, be established.

Enrique Ríos, Ángel Bayón and Asún Laso, during the press conference. Photo: José Galindo
Enrique Ríos, Ángel Bayón and Asún Laso, during an AVAATE press conference. Photo: José Galindo

The Ombudsman considers that the 5G National Plan has not taken into account its environmental aspects and has not valued them even for the purpose of justifying that a regulated evaluation of the same was not required under Law 21/2013, December 9, Environmental Assessment.

The Ombudsman has addressed the Secretary of State for Digital Advancement of the Ministry of Economy and Business recalling the legal duty of “Submitting plans and projects in the field of telecommunications to strategic environmental assessment and environmental impact assessment respectively, when they meet the requirements established in Law 21/2013, on Environmental Assessment ”.

He has also reiterated his suggestion that the draft regulation by which the Interministerial Commission on Radio Frequency and Health, and that it be approved by the Council of Ministers, be prepared jointly with the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare. Once constituted, it has requested that the aforementioned Commission be submitted for consultation regarding the application of the precautionary principle in the development of projects that involve the use of the 26 GHz band, as long as the safe limits are not determined of exposure to radioelectric emissions required for said frequency.

Finally, it has requested the Secretary of State to report on the measures taken to evaluate the possible health effects that may arise from the 5G pilot projects in Andalusia and Galicia, if these Communities have been consulted on these projects and if they have been awarded or new ones will be awarded during the temporary scope of the 5G National Plan.


Related content:

Ombudsman Resolution Complete 5G Plan

The Spanish Ombudsman has determined that the National 5G Action Plan has not taken environmental aspects into account.

It can be of great importance to the whole of Europe that the Spanish National 5G Action Plan has not taken environmental aspects into account, as several countries’ environmental legislation is based on the same EU legislation.

Defensor Del Pueblo

The Ombudsman’s document contains a (legal) analysis and decision on how environmental legislation relates to the Spanish National 5G Plan.

The association AVAATE ( A sociación v allisoletana de a fectados por a ntenas de Te lecomunicaciones), “the association of Vallaoiders affected by telecommunication antennas” in northwestern Spain, has filed a complaint with the Ombudsman about the lack of environmental approval of the national 5G action plan.

The Ombudsman has decided on the 5G implementation plan following the complaint filed by AVAATE and the conclusion is clear: The implementation of 5G technology in Spain has not been subject to prior environmental assessment by the authorities. An earlier environmental assessment of the plan or pilot projects resulting from it has not been officially conducted and the Ministry of Economy and Business’s refusal to do so is not justified, although several associations requested it during the public information process on the plan.

In the resolution signed by Ombudsman Francisco Fernández Marugán on August 21, the Ombudsman emphasizes that the Ministry has, through its Secretary of State, ignored various articles of Law 21/2013 of the Environmental Assessment, avoided consultation with the draft 5G plan and the draft 5G pilot projects for the corresponding environmental body . As the Ombudsman states, in the pilot projects being implemented, a frequency band will be used for which safe exposure limits have not yet been set , which is something totally contrary to the precautionary principle.

In its complaint, AVAATE recalls that:

“The fact that there is currently an exponential rise in electrosensitive people who fall ill when surrounded by electromagnetic fields and radio frequency emissions from wireless communications devices of high uncertainty with the new 5G extension.”

“We are asking, on behalf of those affected by radio frequencies, the Ombudsman, to appeal to the State that the 5G Plan is not implemented or otherwise the General Administration of the State requests suspension of the same until known its environmental and health consequences has been evaluated.

On August 26, 2019, AVAATE issued the following Press Release (translated from Spanish) :

Asociación vallisoletana de afectados
for telecommunication antennas
AVAATE
C / Andrés de la Orden s / n
47003 Valladolid
avaate@avaate.org

PRESS RELEASE

5G NATIONAL PLAN

The Ombudsman says the national 5G plan has not taken environmental aspects into account.

In 5G pilot projects, a frequency band is used where safe exposure limits have not yet been set.

The Ombudsman has determined that the implementation of 5G technology in Spain has not been subject to the authorities’ prior environmental assessment. Previous environmental assessments of the 5G plan or the pilot projects derived from it have not been officially undertaken. The Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs’ refusal to carry out the environmental evaluation has also not been justified. And this despite the fact that various associations requested it during the public information process in the 5G plan. In this regard, the Ombudsman emphasizes that the Ministry, through its “Secretary of State for Digital Promotion”, has ignored several articles of Law 21/2013 on environmental assessment and avoided consulting the draft 5G plan and the draft 5G pilot projects for the corresponding environmental body.

As the Ombudsman states, the pilot projects being implemented will use a frequency band for which safe exposure limits have not yet been established, which is totally contrary to the precautionary principle. For all these reasons, it is urgent that, once and for all, a Commission on ‘Radio Frequencies and Health’ be established which has been in existence for more than five years under the General Telecommunications Act.

The national 5G plan implementing this technology in Spain was published in December 2017, on the previous Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda website, by the then Minister of Information Society and the Digital Agenda. It was not published in the official state paper, probably not to facilitate that the 5G plan could easily be challenged in court.

Although the Directorate-General for Telecommunications of the Minister of Digital Progress (Ministry of Economy and Business) is of the opinion that the 5G plan is neither a norm nor a binding document that generates effects against third parties, the truth is that the 5G plan is in practice as if it’s both. The proof is that under the protection of the same legislation, several norms and actions have been approved:

  • Regulation ETU / 416/2018 of 20 April amending Regulation ETU / 1033/2017 of 25 October approving the national frequency allocation table.
  • Regulation ETU / 531/2018, 25 May, approving the specifications for certain administrative clauses and technical requirements for the award of a license for the private use of radioelectric public domain in the 3600-3800 MHz band and the corresponding auction.
  • The resolution of 14. February 2018 by the Minister of the ‘Information Society and the Digital Agenda’ enabling the use of certain frequency bands for pilot trials scheduled in the National 5G Plan.
  • Regulation ECE / 1016/2018, September 28, laying down the regulatory basis for awarding grants for 5G technology pilot projects.
  • Council of Ministers agreement of 23 February 2018, approving the public business unit Red.es on the basis of the previous regulation, to grant support worth € 20 million to increase private sector development through two 5G pilot projects within the framework of the 5G National Plan and to contribute to the objectives of the National Plan for Intelligent Territories.
  • The establishment of a technical office for the national 5G plan, which will be responsible for coordinating the plan, framed in the Directorate-General for Telecommunications and Information Technology of the Minister of Information Society and the Digital Agenda.

The Ombudsman finds that the 5G National Plan did not take into account its environmental aspects and did not apply them, not even for the purpose of justifying that a regulated evaluation of the 5G National Plan was not required by the Environmental Regulation Act 21/2013, 9 December.
The Ombudsman has approached the Minister of Digital Promotion in the Ministry of Economy and Business and has reminded them of their legal obligation to “submit plans and projects in the field of telecommunications for strategic environmental assessment and environmental impact assessment when they comply with the requirements laid down by law. 21/2013 on environmental assessment ”. He also reiterated his proposal that a draft regulation be drafted together with the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, which Com should be regulated by.

Valladolid August 26, 2019.
The Ombudsman’s decision is attached in pdf below.
avaate@avaate.org

references:

Ombudsman’s document English version (translated): SpanishOmbudsman.pdf

Ombudsman’s document Spanish version (original): http://www.avaate.org/IMG/pdf/agosto_2019_1_18011666_4.pdf

Related articles:

-AVAATE press release: www.avaate.org/spip.php?article2834
-They file a complaint with the Ombudsman about the 5G implementation plan (Spanish): http://ultimocero.com/destacada/2019/08/27/defensor-del-pueblo-constata-plan-implantacion-del-5g-no-ha -pasado-evaluaciones-Ambientales /
-The Ombudsman notes that the 5G implementation plan has not passed
environmental assessments http://ultimocero.com/destacada/2018/07/15/presentan-una-queja-al-defensor-del-pueblo-plan-implantacion-5g/

Knowledge of EHS affected in Denmark:
http://ehsf.dk/aktuelt.htm#EHS-publikation

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Monika Gilabert
Monika Gilabert
6 months ago

Si, yo en el sur de España