Woodstock bans smart meters

smart meter SQIn response to residents’ concerns about health and privacy risks, the Town Board on May 24 voted unanimously to prohibit the use of so-called smart electrical meters in Woodstock, although the town supervisor acknowledged that the board may lack the legal authority to enforce the ban.

The board’s action followed complaints by a local resident, Steve Romine, that a member of his household became ill after Central Hudson installed an encoder receiver transmitter (ERT) meter at the residence. While Central Hudson denied installing any smart meters in the local area, Romine, citing Internet research findings, maintained that ERT devices belong to the “smart meter family.”

When he replaced the ERT device with a standard analog meter and notified Central Hudson that he had done so, said Romine, the utility company disconnected power to his house.


According to research conducted by councilman Ken Panza, anecdotal evidence suggests that the levels of radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted by smart meters may be associated with the development of various disorders, ranging from headaches to heart problems and joint pain, in individuals who are unusually sensitive to that form of radiation.

Smart meters reportedly enable utility companies to tailor the supply of electricity to the measured level of demand, at a time when power is increasingly provided by renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind installations. The generation of electricity by such means is affected by environmental factors — the presence or absence of wind or sunlight, for example — that are beyond the control of the utilities.

Panza also reported that local prohibitions on smart meters have proved legally toothless in other localities. Several communities that enacted such measures “have quickly found out that their bans are unlawful and unenforceable,” wrote the councilman in a May 26 e-mail. In a May 28 interview, town supervisor Jeremy Wilber admitted that Woodstock’s ban on smart meters might not withstand a court challenge. “We are absolutely aware that we might have no authority whatsoever” to enforce the ban, he said.

Meanwhile, Wilber provided a copy of a May 28 letter that he wrote to Central Hudson, in which he asked the utility to restore service to the Romine residence and to undertake a campaign of public outreach if it planned a widespread installation of smart meters or similar devices.

“The town some years ago replaced analog water meters with battery-powered devices that cut the cost of quarterly readings considerably,” wrote Wilber. “The town did this after considerable public notice, public meetings, and ample press coverage. The town supervisor’s residence was the first to have its meter replaced, which (resulted in) a front-page article in the local paper. Long story short, the public was engaged, not surprised, by the technology.

“It would behoove Central Hudson, before sapping out the old analog meters for the (newer) model, to initiate similar public outreach. The town cannot support the utility’s program of stealth.”

There are 14 comments

  1. Larry Mudd

    Maybe the town board’s next move should be to set aside some money in the town budget for bulk aluminum foil purchase, so concerned residents can wrap their heads in it.

  2. Joshua

    Who the f are you Larry “Mudd”? Central Hudson shill? Lets put all the “smart” meters at Larry Mudd’s house.

    This is NOT over. We the people wil not rest untill we remove all of these devices.

  3. sue

    I agree whole heartedly Joshua. Those meters are here in Rosendale also. We need to organize and get them out!!

  4. Jana Reed

    I was shocked to find I have a Centron Itron Digital meter put on my house in Wurtsboro N.Y. by Orange and Rockland Utilities.According to the person I spoke to at O&R it was installed in 2005. I did not know anything about smart meters so I had no cause for alarm,but now I do and I want it off my house. O&R person I spoke with on the telephone said they will not replace it with an analog meter. I am being forced against my will in being exposed to microwave radiation IN MY OWN HOME. What would Thomas Jefferson say about this? Something’s very wrong here.

  5. GP

    Thank you for banning these smart meters. I have been having significant health problems from them and cannot sleep in my own home and have been sleeping in my car out in the country or big Walmart parking lots in Central IL. I am going to have to uproot my entire life and move away from family and friends to live in a community free of smart meters. Even if you opt out your house there is radiation from all of the other meters in town. I am researching various communities that I can hopefully have a choice to live in that are free of smart meters. Although I have been only dealing with this for two months, my health has deteriorated considerable and the meters are very clear precipitants of my decline. I am sick when I am around them and start to feel better whenever I get away from them. This is life changing and almost all of the governments and utilities don’t care.

    1. steve romine

      I think the Josh Hart and family are a courageous crew and I applaud them for taking a stand . When you don’t stand up and exercise your rights,you basically have no rights. For al who want o no more about this issue go to Josh Hats website stopsmartmeters.org. It’s a great website.

  6. Chris Smith


    1. Stephen Romine

      Chris, You should make a call to GE’s smart meter division and you will find out that the GE I-210 which Central Hudson is calling an ERT meter is actually a smart meter. I was told by 3 different GE tech reps that no one in the field calls them ERT meters. That they are a type of smart meter and are listed as one of the three types os smart meters that GE sells. I was told they are a “smart meter with a n ERT module” which are one way communicators. They also have smart meters with a TOU module which are two way communicators. What makes them smart is “their solid state circuitry” and their ability to communicate. .The bottom line Chris is that either way they both transmit pulsing microwave radiation into your living space 24/7 seconds apart.By the way I called up Itron ,who makes the other so called “ERT” meter ,and was told the same thing. by their tech rep that these ERT meters are smart meters with an ERT module. For your information when Central Hudson did a pilot project in Red Hook in the 90’s they themselves referred to these ERT meters as smart meters. Since many people around the country started experiencing adverse health effect ,Central Hudson stopped calling their meters smart meters.

  7. steve romine

    As a person who has had their electricity disconnected for over a year now I think it is bold and blatant violation of our rights . When you can’t live in your home without a class 2B carcinogen being pulsed into your living space every 30 seconds 24/7 ,your right to live in a toxic free environment is being violated. It’s called “toxic trespass”. Then when you act in self defense you have your electricity cut off by the power company who has a monopoly on the supply of electricity. iI’s the privatization of our public Utilities that has allowed this to happen along with the revolving door between corporations and government officials which is called Fascism under the pretense of democracy. It’s no coincidence that Tom Wheeler ,the chief lobbyist for the wireless industry, is now the head of the FCC. It’s no coincidence that The Telecom Act of 1996 got passed that forbids the public from suing the wireless industry for harm to the publics health from cell towers. It is no coincidence that the Public Service Commissions in New York didn’t stand up for us when we were disconnected. I feel for Josh Hart and family and everyone nationwide who has been disconnected for taking a stand. The truth will prevail and we will overcome.

  8. steve romine

    Ken Panza is disinforming the WT readership by stating there is only “anectodal evidence” that adverse health effects occur from transmitting meters.There happens to be a mountain of research demonstrating adverse a wide range of health effects from transmitting meters. One of those sources of research was done by a working group of 21 PHD’s and ten M.D.’s who reviewed 2.000 mostly peer reviewed studies that demonstrated adverse health effects from EMF/ microwave which is what is emitted from transmitting meters. That report is called “The Bioinitiative Report of 2012 (bioinitiative.org). To say there is only anecdotal evidence is totally misleading. Please everyone do your own research.

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