On June 16th the FCC issued a request for Comment Sought on Proposed Amended Nationwide Programmatic Agreement for the Collocation of Wireless Antennas. It is a complicated legal document to “address the review of deployments of small wireless antennas and associated equipment under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).”
First, the average person doesn’t know about Section 106. But, City Planners do! The Section 106 review process (established in 1966) gives the public the opportunity to alert the federal government to the historic properties that could be impacted by “development.” Section 106 requires Federal Agencies to work with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation ACHP to consider the effects of projects before they are implemented or funded. This is a good thing when we are talking 150’ towers. This is a time consuming process when you are talking about installing antennas that could virtually go unnoticed.
The Federal Register (Vol. 81, No. 117 / Friday, June 17, 2016) sites the following:
The proposed amendment to the Collocation Agreement would add new Stipulation VI, which establishes an exclusion for small wireless antennas and associated equipment mounted on buildings or non-tower structures or in the interior of buildings that are over 45 years of age if they are not historic properties and are outside of historic districts. Under the terms of the proposed exclusion, a small wireless antenna may be mounted on an existing building or non-tower structure or in the interior of a building regardless of the building’s or structure’s age without review under the Section 106 process set forth in the NPA unless:
- The building or structure is inside the boundary of a historic district, or if the antenna is visible from the ground level of a historic district, the building or structure is within 250 feet of the boundary of the historic district;
- The building or structure is either a designated National Historic Landmark, or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places;
- The licensee or owner of the building or structure has received notification that the Commission has received a complaint from a member of the public, a Tribal Nation, a SHPO, or ACHP that the collocation has an adverse effect on one or more historic properties. This amendment establishes volumetric limits for antennas and other wireless equipment associated with the structure that are eligible for the exclusion, and restrictions on ground disturbance, with an exemption for up to four lightning grounding rods not exceeding a specified size per project. The volume of any deployed equipment that is not visible from public spaces at the ground level from 250 feet or less may be omitted from the calculation of volumetric limits cited in this Stipulation.
Now is the time to let your voices be heard!
To submit your comments electronically: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/
Make sure you reference DA/FCC # : 16-519
Comments are due on or before June 27, 2016.