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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
MAPA Broadcasting, L.L.C. )
WSLA (AM) )
File No. EB-01-OR-138
Slidell, Louisiana )
NAL/Acct. No. 200132620005
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
By the Enforcement Bureau, New Orleans Field Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we
find that MAPA Broadcasting, L.L.C. (``MAPA''), licensee of AM
broadcast station WSLA, apparently violated Sections 11.35(a) and
73.49 of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'') by failing to ensure
that Emergency Alert System (``EAS'') equipment was installed and
operating, and failing to enclose the tower within an effective
locked fence or other enclosure.1 We conclude that MAPA is
apparently liable for forfeiture in the amount of fifteen
thousand dollars ($15,000).
2. On March 14, 2001, agents from the Commission's New
Orleans Field Office (``Field Office'') inspected AM broadcast
station WSLA. During this inspection, the agents determined that
no EAS equipment was installed, and the gate on the fence
surrounding the tower was unlocked.
3. On April 26, 2001, a Notice of Violation (``NOV'') was
issued to MAPA citing these deficiencies. On May 14 and 21,
2001, MAPA submitted written replies stating that it has ordered
the EAS equipment and will install it when it is received, and
the tower site gate is now locked.
4. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules states in part that,
``[b]roadcast stations and cable systems and wireless systems are
responsible for ensuring that EAS Encoders, EAS Decoders and
Attention Signal generating and receiving equipment used as part
of the EAS are installed so that the monitoring and transmitting
functions are available during the times the stations and systems
are in operation.'' However, no EAS equipment was installed at
WSLA (AM) at the time of inspection.
5. Section 73.49 of the Rules requires the owners of
antenna towers having radio frequency potential at the base to
enclose the tower within an effective locked fence or other
enclosure. While WSLA (AM)'s antenna tower is grounded at the
base, the antenna configuration includes a ``skirt'' with radio
frequency potential that surrounds the tower and is within reach
of an average person from the ground near the base of the tower.
As such, an effective locked fence or other enclosure is
required. However, at the time of inspection, the gate to the
fence surrounding the tower was unlocked.
6. Based on the evidence before us, we find that on March
14, 2001, MAPA willfully2 violated Sections 11.35(a), and 73.49
of the Rules by failing to have EAS equipment installed so that
monitoring and transmitting functions were available, and failing
to enclose the tower within an effective locked fence or other
7. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules, Guidelines
for Assessing Forfeiture, the base forfeiture amount for failure
to install and have operational EAS equipment is $8,000, and the
base forfeiture amount for AM tower fence violations is $7,000.3
In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we must also take
into account the statutory factors set forth in Section
503(b)(2)(D) of the Communications Act of 1934 (``Act''), as
amended, which include the nature, circumstances, extent, and
gravity of the violation(s), and with respect to the violator,
the degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability
to pay, and other such matters as justice may require.4 Applying
Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules and statutory factors to the
instant case, we find no compelling evidence to support any
adjustments to the base forfeiture amounts. Therefore, a total
forfeiture in the amount of $15,000 is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,5 and
Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules,6 MAPA
Broadcasting, L.L.C. is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY
FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of fifteen thousand dollars
($15,000) for violating Sections 11.35(a), and 73.49 of the
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules8,
within thirty days of the release date of this NOTICE OF APPARENT
LIABILITY, MAPA Broadcasting, L.L.C., SHALL PAY the full amount
of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement
seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
10. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by mailing a
check or similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, to the Forfeiture Collection Section,
Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The payment should note the
NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the letterhead above.
11. The response, if any, must be mailed to Office of the
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554, ATTN: Enforcement Bureau -
Technical and Public Safety Division, and MUST INCLUDE THE
NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the letterhead above.
12. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling
a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability to pay unless
the petitioner submits: (1) federal tax returns for the most
recent three-year period; (2) financial statements prepared
according to generally accepted accounting practices (``GAAP'');
or (3) some other reliable and objective documentation that
accurately reflects the petitioner's current financial status.
Any claim of inability to pay must specifically identify the
basis for the claim by reference to the financial documentation
13. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Federal Communications Commission, Chief, Revenue and
Receivables Operation Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington,
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail, Return
Receipt Requested, to MAPA Broadcasting, L.L.C., WSLA (AM), P.O.
Box 1175, Slidell, Louisiana 70459.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
James C. Hawkins
New Orleans Field Office
1 47 C.F.R. §§ 11.35(a), 73.49.
2 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. §312(f)(1), which
applies to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term
`willful', when used with reference to commission or omission of
any act, means that conscious and deliberate commission or
omission of such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any
provision of this Act....'' See Southern California Broadcasting
Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
3 47 C.F.R. §1.80(b)(4).
4 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
5 47 U.S.C § 503(b).
6 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
7 47 C.F.R. §§ 11.35(a), 73.49.
8 47 C.F.R. §1.80.
9 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.