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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Family Educational Association ) File Number EB-05-SJ-015
) NAL/Acct. No.: 200532680002
Licensee of Station WPLI )
Levittown, PR ) FRN 0010628246
Facility ID # 11620 )
Adopted: November 22, 2005 Released: November
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of five thousand six hundred
dollars ($5,600) to Family Educational Association Inc.
(``Family''), licensee of station WPLI, in Levittown, Puerto
Rico, for willful and repeated violation of Section 73.1350(a) of
the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').1 The noted violation
involves Family's failure to operate its station in accordance
with the terms of the station authorization.
2. On April 21, 2005, as a follow-up to a previous
inspection that uncovered a violation, agents from the
Commission's San Juan Office of the Enforcement Bureau (``San
Juan Office'') conducted an inspection of WPLI's transmitter site
located on the roof of the Atlantico Condominium at Naranjal
Street, Levittown, Puerto Rico. The agents discovered that the
station was operating with a non-directional antenna. The agents
also found that the station was operating at an ERP of 26.4 watts
on a horizontally polarized antenna, with no vertical component.
The engineer for the station stated that the non-directional
antenna was already in place when he was hired by the station in
early 2005. On May 26, 2005, the owner of the station admitted
that the non-directional antenna had been installed earlier in
April. WPLI's license requires that it utilize a directional
antenna and operate at 34 watts on a horizontally polarized
antenna and 100 watts on a vertically polarized antenna.
3. On August 24, 2005, the San Juan Office issued a Notice
of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to Family in the amount of
seven thousand dollars ($7,000) for the apparent willful and
repeated violation of Section 73.1350(a) of the Rules.2 On
September 22, 2005, Family submitted a response to the NAL
requesting a reduction or cancellation of the proposed
4. Section 73.1350(a) of the Rules3 states that each
licensee is responsible for maintaining and operating its
broadcast station in a manner which complies with the technical
rules set forth elsewhere in this part and in accordance with the
terms of the station authorization. On April 21, 2005, station
WPLI was transmitting with a non-directional antenna (Telecom
Radio Antenna model TFC1K) with no vertical component and an ERP
of 26.4 watts horizontal. According to the terms of its station
authorization, the station is licensed to operate with a
directional antenna (ODD model ODD930823IG) and an ERP of 34
watts horizontal and 100 watts vertical. The station owner
admitted that the station installed the non-directional antenna
with no vertical component earlier in April.
5. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the Act,4 Section
1.80 of the Rules,5 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) (``Forfeiture Policy
Statement''). In examining Family'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 may require.6
6. In its response, Family argues that the proposed
forfeiture should be reduced or canceled because the station
intended only to use the non-directional antenna for a short
period of time as a basis for testing the station's interference
in preparation for the filing of a modification application.
Family claims that the antenna was installed in early April, that
the tests were intended to last, at most, a week and a half, and
that it voluntarily disclosed to the San Juan Office that the
tests would soon commence.
7. We do not find Family's arguments persuasive. By its
own admission, Family intentionally installed and operated an
antenna not authorized by its license for a period of at least
two weeks.7 The fact that Family may not have intended to
operate this unauthorized antenna permanently is irrelevant in
determining whether a violation occurred. We note that the
station engineer made no mention of any such tests during the
inspection on April 21, 2005 and that there is no record that the
station notified the San Juan Office of its intention to conduct
8. Moreover, Section 73.1690(b)(3) of the Rules states
that modifications to transmission systems that would require an
increase along any azimuth in the composite directional antenna
pattern of an FM station from the composite directional antenna
pattern authorized may only be made after the grant of a
construction permit application.8 No modification application
has been filed with the Commission. Thus, based on the evidence
before us, we find that Family willfully9 and repeatedly10
violated Section 73.1350(a) of the Rules by failing to operate
its station in accordance with the terms of the station
9. Family also requests a reduction of the forfeiture
based on its good faith efforts to comply and its history of
compliance with the Rules. Family claims that it immediately
shut down the test antenna when it was informed by the agent of
the violation. Corrective action taken to come into compliance
with the Rules and cooperation with agents is expected, and does
not nullify or mitigate any prior forfeitures or violations.11
However, we have reviewed Family's record and conclude a
reduction of the forfeiture to $5,600 based on history of
compliance is appropriate.
10. We have examined Family's response to the NAL pursuant
to the statutory factors above, and in conjunction with the
Forfeiture Policy Statement. As a result of our review, we
reduce the forfeiture proposed for this violation to $5,600,
based on Family's history of compliance with the Rules.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
11. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and
Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules,
Family Educational Association Inc. IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY
FORFEITURE in the amount of five thousand six hundred dollars
($5,600) for willfully and repeatedly violating Section
73.1350(a) of the Rules.
12. 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.12
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 number 911-6106. Requests for full payment under an
installment plan should be sent to: Associate Managing Director,
Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1A625,
Washington, D.C. 20554.13
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall
be sent by First Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to Family Educational Association Inc. at its record of
address and to its attorney, William D. Silva, Law Offices of
William D. Silva, 5335 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Suite 400, Washington,
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central
147 C.F.R. § 73.1350(a).
2Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200532680002 (Enf. Bur., San Juan Office, August 24, 2005)
347 C.F.R. § 73.1350(a).
447 U.S.C. § 503(b).
547 C.F.R. § 1.80.
647 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
7We note that the station's engineer stated that the non-
directional antenna was installed prior to his joining the
station in early 2005.
847 C.F.R. § 1690(b)(3).
9Section 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,'
... 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).
10The 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.'' 47 U.S.C. §
11See Seawest Yacht Brokers, Forfeiture Order, 9 FCC Rcd 6099
1247 U.S.C. § 504(a).
13See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.