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Battle lines drawn over smart meter safety

OKLAHOMA CITY – Some Oklahoma families continue to fight to have smart meters removed from their homes because of health concerns.

On Tuesday, a hearing was held with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to decide if commissioners will hear Sherry Lamb’s entire case.

After a smart meter was installed in her home, Lamb was diagnosed with electromagnetic hypersensitivity disorder, or EHS.

Don Powers, Lamb’s attorney, said, “I have clients from eight different counties and all of them have been impacted by smart meters from different providers.”

Customers cite studies that shows 3 percent of the population is hypersensitive to smart meters and 30 percent will be in the future.

OG&E disagrees with that science.

After several failed attempts to have her OG&E smart meter removed, Lamb brought her complaints to the corporation commission.

Click here to learn more about the original stories about smart meters.

Don Powers said, “You have a constitutional duty to allow my client to be heard.”

However, experts say it all boils down to jurisdiction and whether or not the commission has the right to force OG&E to remove the smart meter from Lamb’s home.

Powers says the commission approved the smart meter installation and the agency should be obligated to hear cases regarding safety concerns.

He said, “It appears this is not a type of consumer complaint that you [commissioners] want to deal with and you are wanting to say that it’s other people’s responsibility.”

OG&E representatives could not disagree more.

Kimebr Shoop, OG&E’s attorney, said, “The argument that this commission can, if it sees something harmful or wrong, can go outside of its jurisdictional limits is just flat wrong.”

Shoop said the commission has no reason to hear the case because ultimately, it can’t make the utility company remove smart meters because that decision should be made by OG&E officials.

He argued Lamb’s concerns for safety should be taken up somewhere else.

Shoop said, “The FCC is the recognized expert regarding the health effects and safety of radio frequency and non-ionizing radiation.”

That answer did not satisfy everyone on the commission.

Commissioner Dana Murphy asked, “Where would be the place for this case to be brought? It doesn’t seem like it will be the FCC, it doesn’t seem like it would be district court. Where would it be?”

It was a question the company’s team could not answer but OG&E’s stance is supported by the Public Utility and Consumer Services division.

Eric Davis, with the Public Utility and Consumer Services division, said, “I do not believe that we could tell OG&E to remove a smart meter from someone’s home.”

Powers has until Friday to present evidence that supports his claims that this really is a matter the Corporation Commission should have the power to decide.