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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                )
                                )
MAPA Broadcasting, L.L.C.       )  File No. EB-01-OR-138  
WSLA(AM)                        )  NAL/Acct. No. 200132620005
Slidell, Louisiana              )  FRN 0005-0234-60

                  MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Adopted:  May 31, 2002                  Released:  June 4, 2002

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.   INTRODUCTION

1.        In this Memorandum  Opinion and  Order (``Order''),  we 
  deny   a   petition   for   reconsideration   filed   by   MAPA 
  Broadcasting, L.L.C. (``MAPA''), licensee of Station  WSLA(AM), 
  of a  Forfeiture Order1 which issued  a monetary forfeiture  in 
  the amount  of two  thousand five hundred  dollars ($2,500)  to 
  MAPA for willful  violations of Sections 11.35(a) and 73.49  of 
  the  Commission's  Rules (``Rules'').2   The  noted  violations 
  involved MAPA's failure to install operational Emergency  Alert 
  System  (``EAS'') equipment  at  WSLA(AM) and  its  failure  to 
  enclose  WSLA(AM)'s antenna  tower within  an effective  locked 
  fence or  other enclosure.   For the reasons  which follow,  we 
  deny the petition for reconsideration.

                         II.  BACKGROUND

2.        On March  14, 2001,  agents from  the Commission's  New 
  Orleans,  Louisiana  Field  Office  (``New  Orleans   Office'') 
  inspected  WSLA(AM).    During  the   inspection,  the   agents 
  determined that no  EAS equipment was installed.  In  addition, 
  the  agents observed  that the  gate to  the fence  surrounding 
  WSLA(AM)'s  antenna tower  was  unlocked.  The  agents  further 
  observed that, although  WSLA(AM)'s antenna tower was  grounded 
  at the base,  the antenna included a ``skirt'' surrounding  the 
  tower.  The  ``skirt'' had  radio frequency  potential and  was 
  within reach from the  ground near the base of the tower.   The 
  agents  also observed  that the  tower was  located next  to  a 
  tract  of houses  and  within one-half  mile  of a  child  care 
  center. 

3.        On April  26, 2001,  the New  Orleans Office  issued  a 
  Notice of  Violation (``NOV'')  citing MAPA  for violations  of 
  Sections 11.35(a)  and 73.49 of the Rules.   On May 14 and  May 
  21, 2001, MAPA submitted  responses to the NOV stating that  it 
  had ordered EAS equipment and locked the tower gate.

4.        On July  24,  2001, the  New  Orleans Office  issued  a 
  Notice of  Apparent Liability (``NAL'') to  MAPA in the  amount 
  of $15,000 for failure to install operational EAS equipment  in 
  willful violation of Section 11.35(a) of the Rules and  failure 
  to  enclose the  AM antenna  tower within  an effective  locked 
  fence or other enclosure in willful violation of Section  73.49 
  of  the  Rules.3  In  its  response  to the  NAL,  MAPA  sought 
  reduction of the forfeiture amount.

5.        In its Forfeiture  Order, released  December 19,  2001, 
  the Bureau concluded  that MAPA violated Sections 11.35(a)  and 
  73.49  of  the   Commission's  Rules  by  failing  to   install 
  operational EAS  equipment at WSLA(AM)  and failing to  enclose 
  WSLA(AM)'s antenna  tower within an  effective locked fence  or 
  other  enclosure.    The  Forfeiture  Order   found  that   the 
  violations  were willful.   In addition,  the Forfeiture  Order 
  stated  that  MAPA's   use  of  a  ``modified  EBS   [Emergency 
  Broadcast System] unit with an AM tuner'' capable of  receiving 
  the  EAS transmissions  of a  New Orleans  AM station  did  not 
  comply  with  Section  11.35(a) of  the  Rules,  and  that  the 
  licensee's claim  that it  was unclear as  to the  Commission's 
  EAS requirements did not warrant a reduction of the  forfeiture 
  amount.  Finally, the  Forfeiture Order reduced the  forfeiture 
  amount by  nearly 85 percent,  from $15,000 to  $2,500, on  the 
  basis of  MAPA's inability to pay  a larger amount.   Following 
  the  same  proportions  set out  in  the  NAL,  $1,325  of  the 
  forfeiture is attributable  to the EAS violation and $1,175  of 
  the forfeiture is attributable to the locked fence forfeiture.

6.        MAPA  filed  a  petition  for  reconsideration  of  the 
  Forfeiture Order on  January 24, 2002.  In this petition,  MAPA 
  requests that  we reconsider  and remit  the Forfeiture  Order.  
  MAPA contends that only an admonishment is appropriate in  this 
  case.  MAPA  states that the  NOV in this  case cited MAPA  for 
  violating  Sections 11.35(a)  (failure to  install  operational 
  EAS  equipment); 17.50  (failure  to clean  and  paint  antenna 
  structure); 73.49 (failure to enclose antenna structure  within 
  an    effective    locked   fence    or    other    enclosure); 
  73.1820(a)(1)(iii)  (failure  to make  appropriate  entries  in 
  station log).   MAPA argues that it  was unreasonable to add  a 
  sanction for failure to comply with Section  73.1820(a)(1)(iii) 
  of the Rules, in  addition to a sanction for violating  Section 
  11.35(a) of  the Rules.  With respect  to Section 17.50 of  the 
  Rules, MAPA  complains that  the cleaning and  painting of  its 
  tower is not a proper basis for any forfeiture in this case. 

7.        Further, MAPA asserts that it has in place a fence that 
  locks  appropriately   and  that  this   fence  complies   with 
  Commission requirements.  MAPA  states that at the time of  the 
  inspection, the gate  had been left open for yard  maintenance, 
  despite  a sign warning  that the  gate must be  locked at  all 
  times. MAPA argues that  the fact that the gate was opened  for 
  maintenance at  the time of the  inspection is not a  violation 
  of Section 73.49 of the Rules.  MAPA states that Section  73.49 
  of the Rules requires  that ``ready access must be provided  to 
  each  antenna tower  base  for meter  reading  and  maintenance 
  purposes at  all times''.4   Moreover, MAPA  contends that  the 
  Commission  has no  evidence  that  the gate  had  been  opened 
  except  for maintenance  on one  occasion.  In  addition,  MAPA 
  argues  that  its  general  manager  was  confused  about   the 
  licensee's EAS  requirements, and that  assessment of the  base 
  forfeiture amount  of $8,000 for the  EAS violation and  $7,000 
  for the  ``alleged'' fencing violation  is unwarranted in  this 
  case.   Further,  MAPA   asserts  that  all  of  the   downward 
  adjustment criteria are applicable.5  

8.        In support  of  its  argument  regarding  the  downward 
  adjustment criteria,  MAPA states that  its failure to  install 
  EAS equipment is a minor violation.  It states that the  second 
  criterion,  good  faith   or  voluntary  disclosure,  is   also 
  applicable because in spite of its general manager's  confusion 
  about the  EAS requirements,  it made  a good  faith effort  to 
  comply  by requesting  information  about its  EAS  obligations 
  during a Commission  inspection in 1998, and by installing  the 
  ``modified   EBS   unit''  capable   of   receiving   the   EAS 
  transmissions of  an AM station in  New Orleans.  In  addition, 
  MAPA argues that it has a history of overall compliance.   MAPA 
  states that its general manager has had 70 years of  experience 
  in  his broadcasting  career.   Finally, MAPA  claims  that  in 
  reducing the  forfeiture amount, the  Forfeiture Order did  not 
  demonstrate the  basis for  reducing the  forfeiture amount  to 
  $2,500  rather  than  a lower  amount,  or  for  retaining  any 
  forfeiture amount at all.

                      III.      DISCUSSION

9.        We are not persuaded that rescission of the  forfeiture 
  amount  is warranted  in this  case.  Although  MAPA  correctly 
  points out that the  NOV cited MAPA for violations of  Sections 
  17.50 and  73.1820(a)(1)(iii) of the  Rules, no forfeiture  was 
  issued based on  these violations.  Since these violations  did 
  not form  the basis for the  forfeiture assessed in this  case, 
  they are of no  relevance to a review of the Forfeiture  Order.  
  We therefore do not address those other matters here.  

10.       With  respect  to   MAPA's  arguments  concerning   the 
  forfeiture assessed for  violating Section 73.49 of the  Rules, 
  there is no dispute that the gate to the fence was unlocked  at 
  the time  of the inspection.  The fact  that the gate was  left 
  open  for  yard  maintenance  does  not  provide  a  basis  for 
  rescission or reduction  of the forfeiture below $1,175 as  the 
  licensee  is  responsible  for  ensuring  compliance  with  our 
  rules.6  Moreover,  MAPA's failure to ensure  that the gate  to 
  the fence was locked posed a threat to public safety, in  light 
  of the tower's proximity to a tract of houses and a child  care 
  center.  Further, because the violation was observed during  an 
  inspection,  evidence that  the gate  had been  left opened  on 
  prior occasions  is not  necessary to impose  a forfeiture  for 
  violating Section 73.49 of the Rules.   

11.       With respect to  the EAS violation,  we do not  believe 
  that not having the required EAS equipment, and therefore,  not 
  being  able to  participate  in the  EAS  program, is  a  minor 
  violation.  In addition,  with respect to a reduction based  on 
  good faith, given the extensive broadcast experience of  MAPA's 
  general manager,  we reject  its argument  that the  forfeiture 
  amount  should be  further  reduced below  $1,325  because  its 
  general  manager  was  confused  as  to  the  Commission's  EAS 
  requirements or because it made some other EAS related  efforts 
  in  the past.7   Further,  the  violations in  this  case  were 
  discovered  by inspection;  therefore,  the violation  was  not 
  voluntarily disclosed.

12.       Regarding  the   licensee's  arguments   concerning   a 
  reduction of the  forfeiture amount based on inability to  pay, 
  the Forfeiture Order explained the basis upon which we  reduced 
  the forfeiture amount to $2,500.  Specifically, the  Forfeiture 
  Order concluded that  a reduction to $2,500 was appropriate  in 
  light of  the gross  revenues indicated by  MAPA's 1998,  1999, 
  and  2000 tax  returns.8  MAPA  has not  persuaded us  that  it 
  cannot afford this amount.

13.       Finally, MAPA  argues  that the  forfeiture  should  be 
  reduced because  it has  no history of  prior violations.   Had 
  MAPA's history of  compliance with the Commission's rules  been 
  raised previously, we likely would have reduced the  forfeiture 
  from  $15,000   to  about  $12,000,   prior  to  reducing   the 
  forfeiture  to $2,500  for inability  to pay.   Given that  the 
  forfeiture still would have  been $2,500, we find no basis  for 
  further reduction.

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

14.       Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED that,  pursuant to  Section 
  405  of the  Communications  Act  of 1934,  as  amended  (``the 
  Act''),9 and Section 1.106 of the Rules,10 MAPA's petition  for 
  reconsideration of the  Forfeiture Order in this proceeding  IS 
  hereby DENIED.

15.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section  503(b) 
  of  the   Act11  and   Section  1.80  of   the  Rules,12   MAPA 
  Broadcasting, L.L.C. shall pay the amount of two thousand  five 
  hundred  dollars  ($2,500)  for  the  above-stated   violations 
  within 30 days of the release date of this Order.  Payment  may 
  be  made by check  or money  order, drawn on  a U.S.  financial 
  institution, payable to the Federal Communications  Commission.  
  The remittance should  be marked ``NAL/Acct. No.  200132620005, 
  FRN  0005-0234-60" and  mailed  to the  Federal  Communications 
  Commission, P.O. Box  73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.   If 
  the forfeiture  is not  paid within the  period specified,  the 
  case  may  be  referred  to  the  Department  of  Justice   for 
  collection pursuant to  Section 504(a) of the Act.13   Requests 
  for full payment under  an installment plan should be sent  to: 
  Chief, Revenue  and Receivables Operations  Group, 445  Twelfth 
  Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.14

16.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, a copy of this Order  shall 
  be  sent  by  Certified  Mail,  Return  Receipt  Requested,  to 
  counsel for  MAPA Broadcasting, L.L.C.,  Christopher D.  Imlay, 
  Esq., 
     Booth, Freret, Imlay & Tepper, P.C., 5101 Wisconsin  Avenue, 
N.W., Suite 307, Washington, D.C. 20016, and to MAPA Broadcasting 
L.L.C., WSLA(AM),  P.O. Box  1175,  38230 Coast  Blvd.,  Slidell, 
Louisiana, 70459.


                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         


                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau


_________________________

  1 MAPA Broadcasting, L.L.C., 16 FCC Rcd 22403 (EB 2001).

  2 47 C.F.R.  11.35(a) and 73.49.

  3 Notice  of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.  No. 
200132620005 (Enf. Bur.,  New Orleans Office,  released July  24, 
2000).

  4 47 C.F.R.  73.49.

  5  See  47  C.F.R.    1.80(b)(4)  Note  to  Paragraph  (b)(4):  
Section II.  Adjustment  Criteria  for  Section  503  Forfeitures 
(minor violation; good faith or voluntary disclosure; history  of 
overall compliance; and inability to pay).

  6 Sitka Broadcasting Co., Inc., 70  FCC 2d 2375, 2378 (1979).

  7 Id.

  8 See  generally, PJB Communications of  Virginia, Inc., 7  FCC 
Rcd 2088 (1992)  (concluding that the  forfeiture amount was  not 
excessive in comparison to gross revenues).

  9 47 U.S.C.  405. 

  10 47 C.F.R.  1.106. 

  11 47 U.S.C.  503(b). 

  12 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

  13  47 U.S.C.  504(a).

  14  47 C.F.R.  1.1914.