Doug Lung /
09.01.2011 03:35 PM
FCC Issues Document Covering Broadcast Towers, Migratory Birds

The FCC released a 148 page Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment of the Antenna Structure Registration Program. Comments on the Assessment are due Oct. 3, 2011.

This assessment will have a major impact on owners and users of towers registered in the FCC's Antenna Structure Registration database. Towers located in areas where migratory birds could be affected by their presence will be required to submit an environmental assessment. Several alternatives are suggested. Depending on the alternative selected, some types of towers (self-supporting masts less than 450 feet in height and using a red steady-burning light, for example) would be excluded from the environmental assessment. Review the Assessment for details on specific alternatives.

Alternatives excluded by the FCC are those that would prohibit all new tower construction, prohibit towers exceeding a certain height, prohibit guy wires on new towers, or prohibit towers in certain locations.

Considering the amount of new tower work that is likely to be needed if the FCC implements the recommendations in the National Broadband plan and has to relocate many TV stations to new channels, the alternative selected could have an impact on the cost and time required for repacking. The alternatives presented in the Assessment offer some reasonable workarounds for protecting migratory birds from towers.

(Once the tower issue is dealt with, the government will be free to start working on methodologies for dealing with the impact of cats on migratory birds.)

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Posted by: Brian Smith
Mon, 09-05-2011 06:00 PM Report Comment
How ridiculous is this? Read these lines from the report conclusions in the event nothing is done to the status quo: Current annual avian mortality from existing communications towers is estimated at approximately 5 million birds, the majority of which are migratory birds. Assuming that approximately 2,800 new towers would be constructed annually under the existing ASR Program, avian mortality would increase to an estimated 6.6 million birds by the year 2021 due to collisions with communications towers. While this number is large and constitutes a major impact, it is only 0.05 percent of the overall U.S. bird population, which is estimated at 10 billion birds. Furthermore, when evaluated in context with other sources of avian mortality, towers cause approximately 0.2 percent of annual avian mortality. Thus, in the national context of overall migratory bird abundance and other, greater forces to which migratory birds are subject, the relative impact of communications towers is small.
Posted by: Brian Smith
Thu, 09-01-2011 05:01 PM Report Comment
How convenient that the cell phone industry gets exemptions. Considering the number of dead birds that have flown into house picture windows, and the fact that feral cats and west nile virus have killed more birds than all other sources of bird kills put together, it sure seems like any way that can be thought of to anihilate an industry in spite of the fact that it employs American workers is all that matters. The manufacture of all of the new internet wireless devices will certainly continue to employ more Asian workers than Americans.
Posted by: Brian Smith
Thu, 09-01-2011 05:10 PM Report Comment
Big cats or little ones

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