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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Northern Electric Cooperative ) File Number EB-02-
Bath, South Dakota ) PL-157
) NAL/Acct. No.
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: April 18,
By the Resident Agent, Saint Paul Office, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture (``NAL''), we find that Northern
Electric Cooperative (``Northern''), owner of an
antenna structure located in Bath, South Dakota,
has apparently violated Section 17.4(a) of the
Commission's Rules (the ``Rules''),1 by failing to
register the tower. We conclude that Northern is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount
of three thousand dollars ($3,000).
2. On December 3 and 4, 2002, an agent from the FCC
Enforcement Bureau's Saint Paul Office inspected a
painted and lighted tower located at the rear of
Northern's building on Route 12, Bath, SD. The
agent determined the coordinates of the tower
using a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver.
A later database search revealed no registration
for the tower.
3. On January 24, 2003, the agent sent a letter of
inquiry to Northern regarding the towers on their
4. On February 18, 2003, the engineer for Northern
replied to the letter. The engineer stated that
the painted and lighted tower at the rear of
Northern's building was not registered.
5. Section 17.4(a) of the Rules requires tower owners
to register their towers. On December 3 and 4,
2002, an agent measured the coordinates of the
tower as approximately N 45 27 41, W 98 20 15. No
tower registration exists at or near those
coordinates that match the physical description of
6. Based on the evidence before us, we find that
Northern willfully3 and repeatedly4 violated
Section 17.4(a) of the Rules by failing to
register the tower. Pursuant to Section
1.80(b)(4) of the Rules,5 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'')6, sets the base
forfeiture amount for failure to file required
forms or information at $3,000. 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, as
amended (the ``Act''), 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.7 Considering the entire
record and applying Forfeiture Policy Statement
and the factors listed above, we believe that a
three thousand dollar ($3,000) monetary forfeiture
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Act,8 and Sections 0.111,
0.311 and 1.80 of the Rules,9 Northern Electric
Cooperative is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT
LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of three
thousand dollars ($3,000) for willful violation of
Section 17.4(a) of the Rules, by failing to
register the tower.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
1.80 of the Commission's Rules, within thirty days
of the release date of this NOTICE OF APPARENT
LIABILITY, Northern Electric Cooperative SHALL PAY
the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or
SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction
or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
9. 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. 200332420001 and FRN 0002-
10. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Office of the
Secretary, 445 12th Street SW, Washington DC
20554, Attn: Enforcement Bureau-Technical & Public
Safety Division and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct. No.
11. 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
12. 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. 20554.10
13. Under the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of
2002, Pub L. No. 107-198, 116 Stat. 729 (June 28,
2002), the FCC is engaged in a two-year tracking
process regarding the size of entities involved in
forfeitures. If you qualify as a small entity and
if you wish to be treated as a small entity for
tracking purposes, please so certify to us within
thirty (30) days of this NAL, either in your
response to the NAL or in a separate filing to be
sent to the Technical and Public Safety Division.
Your certification should indicate whether you,
including your parent entity and its subsidiaries,
meet one of the definitions set forth in the list
provided by the FCC's Office of Communications
Business Opportunities (OCBO) set forth in
Attachment A of this Notice of Apparent Liability.
This information will be used for tracking
purposes only. Your response or failure to
respond to this question will have no effect on
your rights and responsibilities pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Communications Act. If you
have questions regarding any of the information
contained in Attachment A, please contact OCBO at
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE
OF APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified
Mail Return Receipt Requested to Northern Electric
Cooperative, West Highway 12, Bath, SD 57427.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
F. M. Evans, P. E.
Saint Paul Office
Attachment A: Condensed List of Small Entities
1 47 C.F.R § 17.4(a)
2 Northern has three tower registrations for this facility. Two
are for towers # 1041652 and # 1041643. Both of these towers are
properly lighted, registered, and have the registration number
posted as required. A third registration, tower # 1211916, was a
duplicate registration for tower # 1041643. The coordinates for
the two registrations are very close, and the tower description
is the same.
3 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under
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).
4 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.
547 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
6 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
8 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
9 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, and 0.311.
10 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.