New Bill May Clear Path for Denver DTV Tower

A bill passed by Congress could clear the way for Lake Cedar Group to construct a DTV broadcast tower for Denver Channels 4 (KCNC, CBS), 7 (KMGH, ABC), 9 (KUSA, NBC) and 20 (KTVD, MyTV). As readers of RF Report know, Lake Cedar Group has struggled to overcome opposition from the town of Golden and residents who live near the tower. Senate Bill S. 4092 is simple. The full text of the bill, which was approved by the House of Representatives on Saturday, states:

"Notwithstanding any applicable State or local land use or condemnation laws or regulations, and subject to all applicable Federal laws and regulations, any person that holds an approved Federal Communications Commission permit to construct or install either a digital television broadcast station antenna or tower, or both, located on Lookout Mountain in Jefferson County in the State of Colorado, may, at such location, construct, install, use, modify, replace, repair, or consolidate such antenna or tower, or both, and all accompanying facilities and services associated with such digital television broadcasts, if such antenna or tower is of the same height or lower than the tallest existing analog broadcast antenna or tower at such location."

Lake Cedar Group praised the action with the headline "Colorado Wins! Congress Takes Action to Bring Digital TV to Colorado" on its Web site The group said, "Opponents have used intimidation, misinformation and fear to stall the process in Jefferson County. Congress was forced to take this action because it is time to make free over-the-air Digital TV available to Jefferson County and all of Front Range Colorado."

Lake Cedar Group refuted arguments that the tower would hurt the environment, stating, "The Lake Cedar Group has worked carefully with Jefferson County government and residents living near the consolidated tower site to create compromise after compromise that addressed citizen concerns. The Lake Cedar Group plan for the consolidated tower improves Lookout Mountain by taking down four towers and replacing them with a single, shorter tower." The group said that the new tower would lower overall RF emissions on the mountain, and as the current emissions are below federal mandates, the use of the consolidated tower would make the area even safer in that respect.

The group Canyon Area Residents for the Environment (C.A.R.E.) strongly criticized the bill, calling it "a huge violation of the 10th Amendment."

"This bill destroys everything we have worked for during the last decade and subordinates all our property rights to the broadcasters," the organization said in a statement on the Web site. "...It ignores the findings of the CSU study that increasing amounts of RF (at levels 100 times less than the FCC says is safe) causes increasing biological changes in our body, the sworn testimony of numerous scientists, physicians, engineers."

For more news about the decision and community reaction, see "Congress oks TV tower" and "Surprise bill may put TV tower on mountain" in the Denver Post. KCNC covered the bill in its article "Golden Digital TV Tower Bill Reaches Bush's Desk."