Here’s How They Do It in The Great White North

The Yukon territory capital, Whitehouse, unanimously adopted a three-tiered policy regulating the installation of different types of cell towers on February 26, laying the groundwork for a streamlined approval and construction process. According to a report from the Whitehouse Daily Star, officials reached out to both the community and wireless companies including Bell Mobility, Total North Communications Ltd., and Northwestel Inc., for feedback before voting on the policy but received only one health-related inquiry from the public.

Lands and building manager Pat Ross surmised that the lack of feedback was due to the policy’s alignment with existing Industry Canada standards. He also addressed health concerns noting, “Health Canada sets radio frequency exposure guidelines, identified in Safety Code 6, to establish safety limits for human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic energy.” 

The policy sets forth timelines and requirements for three different categories of submissions, based on size and potential for community impact, according to the Whitehouse Daily Star. Type A submissions are for towers within 200 meters of residential areas, towers placed in environmentally, historically, or strategically important areas, and proposals to increase the high of any tower by 25 percent. Such submissions require a public meeting, allow the city a longer consultation period, and must be processed within 45 days.

Type B submissions are those identified as having low or no community impact, including rooftop antennas and those installed on existing utility or light poles. They require no public consultation and must be processed within 21 days.

Finally, Type C submissions are those determined to have no adverse community impacts, including temporary structures used during special events or emergencies and co-location of antennas, and only 10 days of notice is required, which can be waived during emergencies.

March 9, 2018

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