Two FMs Must Videotape RFR Workshop for FCC
In a case involving
RFR levels at two FM stations in Hawaii, the FCC has decided to use short-term
license renewals as an enforcement tool.
The Media Bureau has
granted limited 12-month license renewals and required that the owner implement
a radiofrequency radiation training program — and send a video of the workshop
to the FCC.
Entertainment owns KNUQ in Paauilo and KAOI in Wailuku. The case resulted from
complaints by a local arboretum and one of its employees, who objected to
license renewals. (As with many FCC cases, this played out over several years;
the objections were filed in January 2006, and the case dates at least back to
FCC rules set maximum permissible exposure levels of
human exposure to RFR, and separate MPE limits for areas of “occupational/controlled”
exposure and areas for “general population/uncontrolled” exposure. Stations can
demonstrate compliance by restricting public access in areas where RFR exceeds
public MPE limits.
At both stations,
after a lot of back-and-forth
involving fencing, signage and antenna height, Visionary eventually asked for
permission to move its transmitter sites. It received program test authority to
do so; and the FCC now considers both KAOI and KNUQ to be in compliance.
problems found earlier caused the FCC staff to decide: “Visionary’s conduct has
fallen far short of the standard of compliance with the act and the rules that
would warrant routine license renewal.” It said the violations had been
“serious” and that they constituted a pattern of abuse over a period of years
at each station.
“We believe that
additional measures are necessary in order to ensure that the stations are
operated in compliance with the act and the rules in the future,” so it granted
short, 12-month renewal applications, adding that it has used this approach in
other cases in the past.
renewal period will afford the commission an opportunity to review the
stations’ compliance with the act and the rules and to take whatever corrective
actions, if any, that may be warranted at that time.” It also required the
company to implement a training program on RFR compliance for employees, agents
and contractors. Visionary must videotape its workshop, use it to train staff
and send a copy to the FCC.
The FCC emphasized
in a footnote that “places great emphasis on licensees’ compliance with safety
and health regulations.”