|November 1, 2013|
Previously published on October 29, 2013
The FCC is seeking comments on a proposed Program Comment to govern the review of PTC wayside facilities construction under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (“NHPA”). The ideas under consideration for the potential Program Comment are described in a Section 106 Scoping Document recently issued by the Commission. With the December 31, 2015 deadline for PTC implementation fast approaching, the Commission is exploring ways to streamline the Section 106 review process for the estimated 20,000+ wayside poles/towers it estimates are needed.
The Commission’s review process under Section 106 of the NHPA, as modified by two Nationwide Programmatic Agreements, seeks to ascertain whether proposed wireless siting facilities may affect historic properties. If adopted, a Program Comment would identify alternative procedures for an applicant to follow in order to determine if its proposed PTC wayside facilities may affect historic properties that are listed, or are eligible to be listed, in the National Register for Historic Places. As part of this review process, Tribal Nations are provided with the opportunity to participate as stakeholders and object to any project that impacts historic tribal lands, meaning not just current reservations, but ancestral homelands stretching from Long Island to Long Beach.
While this proceeding is focused on expediting the process for review of PTC facilities, it is entirely possible that the expedited procedures established here could later be applied to the siting industry writ large. Comments are due to the FCC by November 15, and because of the expedited nature of this proceeding, there will be no opportunity for reply comments. For assistance in preparing and filing your comments, or any other questions regarding this proceeding, please contact Michael Higgs.
Now is the time to make your voice heard!