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Commission proposes to fine Los Angeles stations $40,000 for excessive RF radiation

Two weeks ago, the FCC issued a notice of proposed forfeiture against three radio stations and one television station in the Los Angeles area for exceeding the permissible exposure limits to radio frequency radiation from a multi-user site.

Commission agents found that the maximum permissible exposure limits to RF radiation were exceeded in a publicly accessible area about 100 feet from a U.S. Post Office. RF levels there exceeded exposure limits by more than 60 percent.

The four stations targeted for the forfeiture are KBIG-FM, KKBT, KRTH-FM and KWHY-TV. They are licensed to AMFM Radio Licenses, Radio One Licenses, Infinity Broadcasting Operations and Telemundo of Los Angeles License, respectively. The commission has proposed that each station pay $10,000, or a total of $40,000.

In this instance, the power density level produced by individual licensees at the Mount Wilson site was within acceptable limits, but the cumulative output exceeded FCC limits. Commission rules spell out maximum permissible exposure levels to RF radiation from transmitters. If that level is exceeded from the emissions of multiple transmitters, then all transmitters at the site exceeding five percent of the power density exposure limit share responsibility for reducing RF radiation to permissible levels.

According to the commission, agents also found that the four stations did not take adequate steps to prevent the public from gaining access to areas where the RF radiation exposure limits were being violated. However, after the FCC informed the stations of the violations, they did limit public access to those areas.

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