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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File Number: EB-05-BF-152
Corry Communications Corporation ) NAL/Acct. No: 200632280001
AM Station WWCB )
Corry, Pennsylvania ) FRN 0011360369
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
By the Resident Agent, Buffalo Office, Northeast Region,
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
("NAL"), we that find Corry Communications Corporation,
licensee of Station WWCB in Corry, Pennsylvania, has apparently
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 11.35(a) of the
Commission's Rules (``the Rules'')1 by failing to maintain
operational Emergency Alert System (``EAS'') equipment. We
conclude, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended, (``the Act)''2 that Corry Communications
Corporation is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount
of eight thousand dollars ($8,000).
2. On May 3, 2005, an agent from the Buffalo Office
conducted an inspection at the main studio of WWCB in Corry,
Pennsylvania. Although EAS equipment was installed, the agent
found that it was not operational at the time of the
inspection. The agent found that the equipment was not set to
monitor any stations and the printer was not attached to the
unit. During the inspection, the operator on duty stated to
the agent that he had worked at the station for approximately
six months, but had never heard an EAS test received. He also
stated that he had never conducted an EAS test and that he was
not aware of the procedure for conducting such a test. The
station did not have a copy of the EAS handbook and the
operator stated that he was not aware that he was required to
keep a copy of the EAS handbook and he did not know how to
obtain a copy of the handbook.
3. During the May 3, 2005 inspection, the agent conducted
a review of the EAS logs and found that, during the period July
1, 2004, to December 31, 2004, no required monthly tests
(``RMTs'') or required weekly tests (``RWTs'') were received or
transmitted. No logs were available for the period January 1,
2005 to May 3, 2005, the date of the inspection. No log
entries existed in any station log identifying the cause of any
equipment failures or any actions taken to remedy any equipment
4. Later that day, the agent spoke with WWCB's chief
operator by telephone. The chief operator stated that the
equipment had not been working for quite some time and that he
had notified station management in the beginning of April,
2005. On May 13, 2005, the chief operator sent an e-mail
message to the agent confirming the information he had provided
orally during their telephone conversation on May 3, 2005. He
also reported that new EAS equipment had been purchased and
that he had installed the equipment the previous week. He
indicated that he had trained the operator on duty, transmitted
several tests, and placed the equipment in automatic mode.
5. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who
willfully or repeatedly fails to comply substantially with the
terms and conditions of any license, or willfully or repeatedly
fails to comply with any of the provisions of the Act or of any
rule, regulation or order issued by the Commission thereunder,
shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty. The term "willful"
as used in Section 503(b) of the Act has been interpreted to
mean simply that the acts or omissions are committed
knowingly.3 The term ``repeated'' means the commission or
omission of such act more than once or for more than one day.4
6. The Rules provide that every AM and FM broadcast
station is part of the nationwide EAS network and is
categorized as a participating national EAS source unless the
station affirmatively requests authority to not participate.5
The EAS provides the President and state and local governments
with the capability to provide immediate and emergency
communications and information to the general public.6 State
and local area plans identify local primary sources responsible
for coordinating carriage of common emergency messages from
sources such as the National Weather Service or local emergency
management officials.7 Required monthly and weekly tests
originate from EAS Local or State Primary sources and must be
retransmitted by the participating station.
7. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules requires all broadcast
stations to ensure that EAS encoders, EAS decoders and
attention signal generating and receiving equipment is
installed and operational so that the monitoring and
transmitting functions are available during the times the
station is in operation. Broadcast stations must also
determine the cause of any failure to receive required monthly
and weekly EAS tests, and must indicate in the station's log
why any required tests were not received and when defective
equipment is removed and restored to service.
8. Section 11.61(a)(1) and 11.61(a)(2) of the Rules
requires broadcast stations to receive monthly EAS tests from
designated local primary EAS sources and retransmit the monthly
test within 60 minutes of its receipt and to conduct tests of
the EAS header and EOM codes at least once a week at random
days and times.8 The requirement that stations monitor,
receive and retransmit the required EAS tests ensures the
operational integrity of the EAS system in the event of an
actual disaster. Section 11.61(b) of the Rules requires that
entries of each test and activation of the EAS must be made in
the broadcast station log as specified in Sections 73.1820 and
73.1840 of the Rules.9
9. On May 3, 2005, an agent conducted an inspection at
WWCB's main studio and found that the EAS equipment was
installed, but not functioning. During the inspection, the
operator on duty stated to the agent that he had been working
at the station for six months and had never heard an EAS test
received. He further stated that he had never transmitted an
EAS test and that he was not aware of the procedure for doing
so. A comprehensive review of the EAS logs for the period July
1, 2004, to December 31, 2004, revealed that WWCB had not
received or transmitted any RWTs or RMTs during that period.
There were no appropriate entries made in the EAS logs to
indicate reasons why any tests were not received or
transmitted. There were no logs available for the period
January 1, 2005 to May 3, 2005. During subsequent oral and
written communications with WWCB's chief operator, the chief
operator confirmed that WWCB's EAS equipment had not been
working for some period of time and that he had notified
station management in April, 2005.
10. Based on the evidence before us,
we find that Corry Communications Corporation apparently
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 11.35 of the Rules by
failing to ensure the operational readiness of the EAS
equipment at WWCB.
11. In The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement
and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the
Forfeiture Guidelines ("Forfeiture Policy Statement"),10 and
Section 1.80 of the Rules,11 the base forfeiture amount is set
at eight thousand dollars ($8,000) for failure to maintain
operational EAS equipment. 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 Act,12 which
include the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the
violations, and with respect to the violator, the degree of
culpability, and history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and
other such matters as justice may require. Applying the
Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80, and the statutory
factors to the instant case, we conclude that Corry
Communications Corporation is apparently liable for a
forfeiture in the amount of $8,000.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
12. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to
Sections 4(i), 4(j), and 503(b) of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules,13 Corry Communications Corporation is
hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in
the amount of eight thousand dollars ($8,000) for willful and
repeated violation of Section 11.35 of the Rules.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section
1.80 of the Commission's Rules, within thirty (30) days of the
release date of this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, Corry Communications Corporation SHALL PAY the full
amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
14. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission. The payment must include the
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN No. referenced above. Payment by check
or money order may be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8340.
Payment by overnight mail may be sent to Mellon
Bank /LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room 1540670, Pittsburgh, PA
15251. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA
Number 043000261, receiving bank Mellon Bank, and account
15. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Northeast
Region, Buffalo Office, 6400 Sheridan Drive, Suite 140, Box #6,
Williamsville, New York, 14221, within thirty (30) days from
the release date of this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture and must include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the
16. 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 submitted.
17. Requests for payment of the full amount of this
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture under an
installment plan should be sent to: Associate Managing Director
- Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1A625,
Washington, D.C. 20554.14
18. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice
of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture shall be sent by Certified
Mail, Return Receipt Requested, and regular mail, to Corry
Communications Corporation at its address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David A. Viglione
147 C.F.R. § 11.35(a).
2 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
3Section 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 or any rule or regulation of the Commission authorized
by this Act...." See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC
Rcd 4387 (1991).
4Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2), which also
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under
Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that "[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
547 C.F.R. §§ 11.11 and 11.41.
647 C.F.R. §§ 11.1 and 11.21.
747 C.F.R. § 11.18. State EAS plans contain guidelines that must
be followed by broadcast and cable personnel, emergency officials
and National Weather Service personnel to activate the EAS for
state and local emergency alerts. The state plans include the
EAS header codes and messages to be transmitted by the primary
state, local and relay EAS sources.
847 C.F.R. §§ 11.61(a)(1) and (a)(2).
947 C.F.R. §§ 11.61(b), 73.1820, 73.1840.
1012 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
1147 C.F.R. § 1.80.
12 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
13 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311.
14 C.F.R. § 1.1914.