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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
) File No. EB-02-DT-151
Station WOBC-FM )
) NAL/Acct. No.
Oberlin College Student Network, Inc. )
Oberlin, Ohio ) FRN: 0005-0115-72
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: May 23,
By the District Director, Detroit Office, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
("NAL"), we find that Oberlin College Student Network, Inc.
(``Oberlin''), the licensee of WOBC-FM, has apparently violated
Section 11.35(a) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'')1 by
failing to have Emergency Alert System (EAS) equipment installed
and operating. We conclude that Oberlin is apparently liable for
a forfeiture in the amount of eight thousand dollars ($8,000).
2. On March 12, 2002, an FCC agent from the Detroit Office
conducted an Emergency Alert System inspection of WOBC-FM. At
the time of inspection, the EAS equipment was not installed and
there were no entries in the station log indicating that the EAS
equipment had been operational or had been taken out of service
for repair. The agent was also told that the station had not
conducted any EAS transmission or receiving tests from at least
January 1, 2001.
3. On March 22, 2002 the Detroit Office issued a Notice of
Violation (``NOV'') to Oberlin regarding WOBC-FM. On April 15,
2002, the Detroit Office received a written response that
included ``...We are in consultation with our professional
engineer to update our current EAS equipment...'' They also
wrote ``...Due to current budgetary constraints, it may not be
possible to purchase the equipment until early June...''
4. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules requires all
broadcast stations to ensure that EAS equipment is installed so
that the monitoring and transmitting functions are available
during the times the station is in operation. At the time of
inspection, Oberlin failed to have Emergency Alert System (EAS)
equipment installed and operating.
5. Based on the evidence before us, we find that
Oberlin willfully2 and repeatedly3 violated Section 11.35(a) by
failing to install and maintain operational EAS equipment. The
Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section
1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, 12
FCC Rcd 17087, 17113 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303(1999)
(``Forfeiture Policy Statement'')4, sets the base forfeiture
amount at $8,000 for failure to install and have operational EAS
equipment. In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we must
take into account the statutory factors set forth in Section
503(b)(2)(D) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, (the
``Act''),5 which include the nature, circumstances, extent, and
gravity of the violation, 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. The record
reveals that Oberlin has previously had an overall history of
compliance and showed good faith surrounding the violations by
the voluntary disclosure of information; however, the violation
is egregious. Applying the Policy Statement and the statutory
factors to the instant case and applying the inflation
adjustments, we believe that an eight thousand dollar ($8,000)
monetary forfeiture is warranted.
IV. Ordering Clauses
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act6 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules7, Oberlin College Student Network, Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED
of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of eight
thousand dollars ($8,000) for willfully and repeatedly violating
Section 11.35(a) of the Rules by failing to install and have
operational EAS equipment.
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of this NOTICE
OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Oberlin SHALL PAY the full amount of the
proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
8. 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. 200232360005, FRN: 0005-0115-72.
9. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical and
Public Safety Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
20554 and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct. No. 200232360005, FRN: 0005-
10. 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
11. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th
Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.8
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT this NOTICE OF APPARENT
LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt
Requested, to Oberlin College Student Network, Inc., Wilder Hall
- Room 319, 135 West Lorain Street, Oberlin, Ohio 44074.
James A. Bridgewater
47 C.F.R. § 11.35(a).
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 the commission or omission
of any act, means the 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 Section 312(f)(2), which also applies to Section 503(b),
provides: [t]he term ``repeated'', when used with reference to
the commission or omission of any act, means the commission or
omission of such act more than once or, if such commission or
omission is continuous, for more than one day.
447 C.F.R. § 1.80.
5 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
7 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, and 0.311.
8 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.