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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Oberlin College Student Network, Inc.) File No. EB-02-DT-151
) NAL/Acct. No. 200232360005
Licensee of Station WOBC-FM ) FRN 0005-0115-72
Oberlin, Ohio )
Adopted: November 5, 2002 Released: November 7,
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of one thousand dollars
($1,000) to Oberlin College Student Network, Inc.
(``Oberlin''), licensee of Station WOBC-FM, Oberlin, Ohio, for
willful and repeated violation of Section 11.35(a) of the
Commission's Rules (``Rules'').1 The noted violation involves
Oberlin's failure to maintain operational Emergency Alert
System (``EAS'') equipment at Station WOBC.
2. On May 23, 2002, the Commission's Detroit, Michigan
Field Office (``Detroit Office'') issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to Oberlin for a forfeiture
in the amount of eight thousand dollars ($8,000).2 Oberlin
filed a response to the NAL on June 24, 2002.
3. On March 12, 2002, an FCC agent from the Detroit Office
inspected Station WOBC. At the time of the inspection, there
was no EAS equipment installed and there were no entries in
the station log indicating that EAS equipment had been
installed but had been taken out of service for repair. The
station manager showed the agent old EAS equipment which was
not connected. The station manager also told the agent that
the station had not conducted any EAS tests since at least
January 1, 2001.
4. On March 22, 2002, the Detroit Office issued a Notice
of Violation (``NOV'') to Oberlin for failing to maintain
operational EAS equipment at WOBC in violation of Section
11.35(a). On April 15, 2002, the Detroit Office received
Oberlin's response to the NOV. In this response, Oberlin
stated that it was in consultation with its professional
engineer to update its current EAS equipment and projected
that the equipment could not be purchased until June 2002.
5. On May 23, 2002, the Detroit Office issued an NAL for
an $8,000 forfeiture to Oberlin for failing to maintain
operational EAS equipment at WOBC in willful and repeated
violation of Section 11.35(a). Oberlin filed a response to
the NAL on June 24, 2002. In its response, Oberlin admits
that it did not have operational EAS equipment installed at
WOBC at the time of the inspection, but requests cancellation
or reduction of the forfeiture amount. Oberlin states that it
has installed EAS equipment and has established protocols to
ensure that EAS tests are conducted and logged by station
personnel. In addition, Oberlin asserts that payment of the
proposed $8,000 forfeiture would impose a financial hardship
on it and submits financial information for 1999, 2000 and
2001 in support of this assertion.
6. The forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in
accordance with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended, (``Act''),3 Section 1.80 of the Rules,4 and
The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of
Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture
Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd
303 (1999) (``Policy Statement''). In examining Oberlin's
response, Section 503(b) of the Act requires that the
Commission take into account 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
7. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules requires broadcast
stations to install and maintain operational EAS equipment so
that monitoring and transmitting functions are available
during the times when the station is in operation. Oberlin
admits in its response to the NAL that it did not have EAS
equipment installed at the time of the inspection and that
such equipment was not installed until sometime after the
inspection. Accordingly, based on the available evidence, we
conclude that Oberlin willfully and repeatedly violated
Section 11.35(a) of the Rules.
8. Although Oberlin indicates that it has installed EAS
equipment and has established protocols to ensure that EAS
tests are conducted and logged by station personnel, the
Commission has stated that remedial actions taken to correct a
violation are not mitigating factors warranting reduction of a
forfeiture.6 However, based on the financial documentation
provided by Oberlin, we conclude that payment of the proposed
$8,000 forfeiture would impose a financial hardship on
Oberlin. Therefore, we will reduce the forfeiture from $8,000
9. We have examined Oberlin's response to the NAL pursuant
to the statutory factors above, and in conjunction with the
Policy Statement as well. As a result of our review, we
conclude that Oberlin willfully and repeatedly violated
Section 11.35(a) of the Rules, but we reduce the forfeiture
amount from $8,000 to $1,000 based on its inability to pay the
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
10. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section
503 of the Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of
the Rules,7 Oberlin College Student Network, Inc. IS LIABLE
FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of one thousand
dollars ($1,000) for willful and repeated violation of Section
11.35(a) of the Rules.
11. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner
provided for in Section 1.80 of the Rules within 30 days of
the release of this Order. 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.8 Payment may be made by mailing a check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, to the Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The
payment should reference NAL/Acct. No. 200232360005 and FRN
0005-0115-72. Requests for full payment under an installment
plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables
Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall
be sent by first class mail and certified mail return receipt
requested to Oberlin College Student Network, Inc., 135 West
Lorain Street, Oberlin, Ohio 44074.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. § 11.35(a).
2 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200232360005 (Enf. Bur., Detroit Office, released May 23, 2002).
3 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
4 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
5 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
6 See Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973).
7 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
8 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
9 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.