FCC Issues NPRM on Effects of Towers on Migratory Birds

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FCC Issues NPRM on Effects of Towers on Migratory Birds

Nov 8, 2006 9:30 AM

Washington - Nov 7, 2006 - The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to seek comments on whether the agency should take measures to reduce the number of instances in which migratory birds collide with communications towers. In the Migratory Bird Notice of Inquiry (NOI), released in August 2003, the Commission launched an inquiry regarding the impact that collisions with communications towers may have on migratory birds. The NOI requested information supported by scientific evidence on a number of topics in three general categories: the number of migratory bird collisions with communications towers; the role that certain factors, such as lighting, height and type of antenna structure, weather, location and migration paths, might play in the incidence of such collisions; and the effectiveness of any measures to mitigate migratory bird collisions with communications towers. The Commission stated that based on the record developed in response to the NOI, it would consider whether further Commission action is warranted, including possible amendments of the environmental rules.

To assist the Commission in evaluating the existing research on the issue, the FCC hired Avatar Environmental to provide a report with its findings and recommendations.

Following this report, the FCC has tentatively concluded that towers regulated by Part 17 of the FCC Rules should use medium-intensity white strobe lights at night as a preferred system over red obstruction lighting systems.

The FCC seeks comment on whether scientific evidence supports such a requirement and, if so, how it should be implemented. The FCC also seeks comment on other measures that might be considered with regard to the effects of towers on migratory birds.

Read the NPRM at this link.

Adopted Nov. 3, 2006, released Nov. 7, 2006. Comments are due 60 days from publication in the Federal Register. Reply comments are due 90 days from publication in the Federal Register. WT Docket No. 03-187