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Wireless bureau announces changes to antenna-related environmental notification process

On May 9, the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau released a public notice offering guidance on using the environmental notification process for registering antenna structures.

The public notice explains changes in the process that must be followed by FCC Form 854 as part of the agency’s mandatory antenna structure registration process. It also addresses how the public should file requests for environmental review. The bureau also said it was making additional guidance available on the FCC website.

The environmental notification process described in the public notice applies to new tower registrations and certain modifications of towers that are already registered. The notice outlines a two-step process for submitting an Antenna Structure Registration application that is subject environmental notification.

The notice also details the types of filings subject to the environmental review process. Those include new tower registrations, certain modifications to the height and lighting of an existing structure and certain amendments to pending applications.

In all, the changes made to implement the environmental notification process impact five areas, including:

• changes to FCC Form 854, including a new environmental compliance section;
• changes to the FCC’s Antenna Structure Registration system to incorporate the changes to Form 854;
• a new website showing proposed tower registrations on environmental notice;
• an update of the online Pleadings system to let requests for further environmental review to be made;
• an update of FCC Form 601.

The notice also reviews the filing process for members of the public. Thirty days before the end of the posting period on the FCC website, members of the public can request further environmental review of a proposed tower or changes to an existing tower. Environmental requests from the public can be fled online using the commission’s Pleadings system.

Requests must state the specific reason the proposed construction will have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. Those filing requests that are the agency agrees may have a significant impact will be required to submit an Environmental Assessment.

The bureau also said it would present the changes to the ASR system on May 21 at 11 a.m. during a demonstration in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The demonstration is open to the public and also will be available as a webcast.