Rally against radio towers to span international boundary

Protests are planned on both sides of the border next Sunday afternoon

Residents on both sides of the border are planning a rally on Sunday, Dec. 1 to voice their opposition to a proposal to erect several radio transmission towers in Point Roberts.

The Coalition to Stop the Radio Towers and Point Roberts Conservation Society are co-ordinating demonstrations on Tyee Drive in Point Roberts and along 56th Street in Tsawwassen at noon.

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BBC Broadcasting Inc. wants to erect five 45-metre (150-foot) steel towers at an undeveloped lot in Point Roberts near the border with Tsawwassen. The towers would transmit South Asian radio station KRPI, AM 1550, which broadcasts from studios in Richmond.

The company currently broadcasts using 50,000 watts during the day using antenna located in Ferndale, Wash., but wants to relocate them.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission last year granted a construction permit but a conditional use permit is still required from Whatcom County.

Residents on both sides of the border have been voicing opposition, citing a myriad of concerns, including health impacts and interference with electronic devices.

Last month a town hall meeting at South Delta Secondary heard the entire community of Tsawwassen doesn't appear to even exist in the application.

Concerned residents have written to Delta council asking the municipality to urge Whatcom County officials to reject the application.

Tsawwassen resident Ernst Stjernberg wrote that the so-called "blanketing zone" where interference with other electronic devices might occur covers most or all of Tsawwassen.

"Since Tsawwassen's location with respect to the proposed new transmission towers is comparable to Ferndale's with respect to the existing towers, similar nuisance and potential adverse health effects can be expected in Tsawwassen."

Mayor Lois Jackson has written to the Whatcom County Hearing Examiner to express concerns regarding the proposed tower relocation and the potential impacts on Tsawwassen residents.

For more information on the rally, check out www.notowers.webs.com.

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