Joint Economic Development Committee/Legislative Affairs Briefing: What's next for 5G in Montgomery County?
On September 15, 2021, MCCC held a joint Economic Development Committee/Legislative Affairs Committee meeting focused on what happens next for 5G in Montgomery County. Joining the joint committee meeting were Councilmember Hans Riemer, Ashlie Greenspan, Public Affairs Manager, Crown Castle and LaTara Harris, Regional Director, External & Legislative Affairs, AT&T.
After several years of deliberation, the Montgomery County Council passed a zoning text amendment (ZTA) that creates a regulatory pathway to the adoption and installation of 5G technologies. Councilmember Riemer, the sponsor of ZTA 19-07, said that it was important to move Montgomery County forward by allowing 5G technologies. Panelists noted that these new technologies not only provide great connectivity and faster Internet speeds, but they help close the digital divide. They also pave the way for smart cities technology and improved telehealth capabilities.
There are still challenges that remain with the implementation of 5G, including the lack of local authority to allow microtrenching, which is a quicker and less disruptive construction method for installing fiber to support 5G technologies.
The Chamber is a longtime supporter of 5G technologies and will continue to advocate in support of this issue.
Infrastructure and Land Use Committee Briefing: MC Department of Environment and the Building Energy Performance Standards Legislation
MCCC’s Infrastructure and Land Use Committee met on September 14, 2021. This meeting featured a discussion with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regarding the Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) legislation and how it relates to the County’s proposed Climate Action Plan. DEP Director Adam Ortiz provided remarks along with Lindsey Shaw, Manager of Energy and Sustainability Programs, Stan Edwards, Chief of DEP’s Energy, Climate and Compliance Division, and Emily Curley, Commercial Energy Program Manager.
To meet long-term County energy performance standards, the BEPS bill expands the number of buildings covered by benchmarking requirements. Currently, the only jurisdictions that have BEPS are Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Missouri, New York City, and Washington State.
The Chamber advocated that the Montgomery County Council make several amendments to the BEPS bill, including a delayed implementation of 18 months while the County recovers from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
View the powerpoint presented below.