Lake Ronkonkoma residents speak out against proposed cell tower in neighborhood

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Kristin Thorne has details on a battle brewing on Long Island over a proposed cell tower. (WABC)

There is a battle brewing on Long Island over a proposed cell tower that area residents fear could expose them to potentially dangerous levels of radiation.

The tower is supposed to go up on Bay Avenue and 11th Street in Lake Ronkonkoma, very close to several homes. It was approved in September of 2012, prompting residents to begin collecting signatures against the project.

They are protesting it for a variety of reasons, mostly due to safety concerns. It was approved at 149 feet, with the construction now set for 138 feet.

"We don't want it," resident Kathy Lupo said. "Health, safety, children in every single one of these homes. No one should have to really deal with this in their neighborhood."

They already live below high voltage power lines, and they're concerned that radiation from the cell tower will cause health problems.

"It would actually be in my front yard, and it would be next to a young child who sleeps in that top window," resident Darrin Pfaff said. "These people have a young child. and she's expecting any day now."

According to the American Cancer Society, there is no evidence that cell phone towers cause cancer. And other scientific studies have shown there are no health risks to living near a cell phone tower.

"The fear of the unknown, actually," resident Joe Gilde said. "You don't know the long-term effects of it. It's bad enough the electrical lines are here. Luckily, nothing happened since then, but they're not supposed to be in residential areas."

T-Mobile released a statement reading, "This cell site will be in full compliance with the FCC's regulations involving wireless transmissions and will also provide community security and protection as it will be a vital link to e-911 service for customers and first responders."

A community meeting with T-Mobile was held Wednesday night at the Town of Brookhaven auditorium.

T-Mobile told residents it's conducted an environmental impact study and the tower will be in compliance with FCC regulations.
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