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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Farmworkers Educational Radio )
Network, Inc. File Number: EB-05-SD-072
Licensee of Station KCEC-FM NAL/Acct. No.: 200532940003
Wellton, Arizona FRN: 0010057685
Facility ID #21207
Adopted: June 27, 2006 Released: June 29, 2006
By the Regional Director, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of eight thousand dollars ($8,000) to Farmworkers
Educational Radio Network, Inc. ("Farmworkers"), the licensee of FM
Broadcast Radio station KCEC-FM in Wellton, Arizona, for repeatedly
violating Section 11.35 of the Commission's Rules ("Rules"). On July
20, 2005, the Enforcement Bureau's San Diego Office issued a Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL") to Farmworkers for failing
to ensure the operational readiness of KCEC-FM's Emergency Alert
System ("EAS") equipment. In this Order, we consider Farmworkers'
arguments that the EAS transmission equipment was fully operational,
and that the proposed forfeiture should be cancelled or reduced.
2. On April 8, 2005, an agent from the Commission's San Diego Office
conducted an inspection at the main studio of KCEC-FM located at 670
E. 32^nd Street, Suite 12A, Yuma, Arizona. Although EAS equipment was
installed, the agent found that it was not operational at the time of
inspection. No audio from the EAS receiver for the designated first
and second local primary stations ("LP-1" and "LP-2") could be heard.
At the request of the agent, the designated LP-1 and LP-2 stations ran
a required weekly test ("RWT") during this inspection and the
station's EAS equipment did not detect the activation. A review of the
EAS log and printouts generated by the EAS encoder/decoder indicated
that from January 2004 through April 2005, only four monthly tests
("RMT") were received from the local primary stations and none of
these tests were retransmitted. EAS logs also indicated that numerous
RWTs were not transmitted by KCEC-FM and numerous RWTs were not
received from either designated LP-1 or LP-2 stations during this same
period. No entries were made by KCEC-FM staff in the EAS log to
identify the causes of these failures or what steps were taken to
remedy any failures.
3. On April 22, 2005, the San Diego agent spoke with KCEC-FM's Chief
Engineer. The Chief Engineer acknowledged that problems were found
with the EAS equipment during the engineer's inspection of the
station's EAS equipment on April 9, 2005. Specifically, he indicated
that the EAS equipment was originally set for the automatic mode to
receive and to forward the information received for the tests from the
local primary stations. However, the EAS equipment was switched to the
manual mode, requiring a staff person to manually resend the RMT.
Also, the Chief Engineer indicated that the EAS receiver was not
connected properly to a power source which explained why the tests
sent by the LP-1 and LP-2 had not been received by KCEC-FM.
4. On July 20, 2005, the Enforcement Bureau's San Diego Office issued a
NAL in the amount of $8,000 to Farmworkers. In the NAL, the San Diego
Office found that Farmworkers apparently repeatedly violated Section
11.35 of the Rules, by failing to ensure the operational readiness of
KCEC-FM's EAS equipment. Farmworkers filed a response on August 22,
2005 ("Response"). In its Response, Farmworkers argues that the San
Diego agent found overall compliance with the Commission's Rules, and
that the only violations discovered concerned the EAS equipment and
logging. While Farmworkers acknowledges lapses in the station's EAS
monitoring and logging, it contends that KCEC-FM made a conscientious
effort to comply with the EAS Rules; that the EAS transmission
equipment was at all times fully operational; that the station had
most of the required logging slips; and that if someone had not
"jostled loose" the plug on the EAS receiver, the station would have
been in full compliance.
5. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Act, Section 1.80 of the Rules, and The
Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines. In examining
the 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. 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. 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. 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. Required monthly and weekly tests originate from EAS Local
or State Primary sources and must be retransmitted by the
7. Section 11.35 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
8. Section 11.61(a)(1) and (2) of the Rules requires broadcast stations
to (a) receive monthly EAS tests from designated local primary EAS
sources and retransmit the monthly test within 60 minutes of its
receipt and (b) conduct tests of the EAS header and EOM codes at least
once a week at random days and times. 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. Appropriate entries must be made in the broadcast station
log as specified in Sections 73.1820 and 73.1840, indicating reasons
why any tests were not received or transmitted.
9. Farmworkers argues that the EAS transmission equipment was fully
operational at all times, that the EAS equipment had transmitted the
RWT's in automatic mode, and that whether the equipment was in
automatic or manual mode had no bearing on the transmission by the
station of the self-generated RWT. Farmworkers supports this argument
by attaching an affidavit from the KCEC-FM Chief Engineer who
describes in detail how the KCEC-FM EAS equipment was set up to
automatically transmit the RWT's. While we do not dispute the
statements made concerning the transmission of the RWT's, we note that
neither the Response nor the affidavit contain any evidence to refute
the San Diego Office's finding that no audio from the RWT's
transmitted by the LP-1 and LP-2, at the request of the San Diego
agent, could be heard from the station's EAS receiver. Farmworkers,
and the Chief Engineer, acknowledge that the EAS receiver was not
plugged in, and the Chief Engineer acknowledges that only after he
restored power to the EAS receiver did the lights indicating audio on
the receiver's front panel as well as on the encoder/decoder light up.
While Farmworkers admits that the receiver's plug had been "jostled
loose" at some point in time prior to the inspection by the San Diego
agent, we note that no one in the KCEC-FM studio noticed the EAS
receiver's failure until the inspection. KCEC-FM's lack of operational
readiness concerning its EAS equipment was also exemplified by the
fact that the staff was unable to run a RWT without contacting the
station's Chief Engineer.
10. Farmworkers also argues that while there were lapses in KCEC-FM's EAS
monitoring and logging, the station had most of the required logging
slips. We disagree. The San Diego agent conducted a comprehensive
review of the EAS logs and printouts generated by the KCEC-FM EAS
encoder/decoder from January 2004 through April 2005, and found that
only four RMT's were received from the LP-1 and LP-2 and none of these
tests were retransmitted. Additionally, the station logs contained no
entries indicating why tests were not received or transmitted.
Farmworkers provides no evidence to dispute this finding.
11. Farmworkers acknowledges the failure of the EAS receiver but asserts
that the failure was a minor violation. Again, we disagree. The
failure of the receiver resulted in a failure of the KCEC-FM EAS
system. If the EAS receiver is unable to receive the signals from the
LP-1 and LP-2, it is unable to receive the RMT's sent by those
stations and, consequently, is unable to retransmit those RMT's, as
required by the Rules. In the case of an actual emergency, KCEC-FM
would have been unable to receive or retransmit emergency
communications from the President, or state or local governments,
because KCEC-FM was unable to receive the LP-1 and LP-2. Contrary to
Farmworkers' assertions, we do not find such a situation to be a minor
violation. The requirement that stations monitor, receive and
retransmit the required EAS tests, particularly the RMT's, ensures the
operational integrity of the EAS system in the event of an actual
12. Farmworkers also argues that the forfeiture amount should be reduced
because the agent found overall compliance with the Commission's
Rules, and because KCEC-FM has an overall history of compliance with
the Rules. In 2005, however, Farmworkers was assessed a $7,000
forfeiture for willful and repeated violation of Section 73.1125 of
the Rules. Because Farmworkers was previously the subject of an
enforcement action, we find Farmworkers does not have an overall
history of compliance and that reduction of the assessed forfeiture
amount is not warranted.
13. Farmworkers also seeks a reduction based on its good faith and
voluntary disclosure of the facts and circumstances in this case. A
good faith reduction is permissible when a licensee notices a
violation and attempts to remedy it before the Commission conducts its
inspection, or, it provides evidence of an established compliance
program in place, prior to the Commission's involvement. Farmworkers
meets neither standard. Additionally, Farmworkers only made
disclosures to the San Diego agent once the agent had begun the
inspection and therefore is not entitled to a reduction for
voluntarily disclosing violations prior to a Commission inspection.
14. We have examined the 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 conclude that Farmworkers
repeatedly violated Section 11.35 of the Rules, by failing to ensure
the operational readiness of the EAS equipment at KCEC-FM. Considering
the entire record and the factors listed above, we find that neither
reduction nor cancellation of the proposed $8,000 forfeiture is
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
15. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), and Sections 0.111,
0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules, Farmworkers
Educational Radio Network, Inc. IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in
the amount of $8,000 for repeatedly violating Section 11.35 of the
16. 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. 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, Room
1A625, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.
17. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class Mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Farmworkers
Educational Radio Network, Inc. at its address of record, and its
counsel of record, Anne Thomas Paxson, Esquire, Borsari and Paxson.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Rebecca L. Dorch
Regional Director, Western Region
47 C.F.R. S 11.35.
We note that in the NAL, the San Diego Office indicated multiple receivers
were part of the system, one to receive the LP-1 and one to receive the
LP-2. In its Response, Farmworkers indicates that only one receiver, an
"EAS 930A Multi-Module Receiver," was part of the EAS system.
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200532940003
(Enf. Bur., Western Region, San Diego Office, released July 20, 2005). We
note that in the NAL, the San Diego Office inadvertently listed an
incorrect Facility ID Number for KCEC-FM. The station's correct Facility
ID Number is listed in the caption of this Order.
47 C.F.R. S 11.35.
47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(D).
47 C.F.R. SS 11.11 and 11.41.
47 C.F.R. SS 11.1 and 11.21.
47 C.F.R. S 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
47 C.F.R. S 11.35(a) and (b).
The required monthly and weekly tests are required to conform to the
procedures in the EAS Operational Handbook. See also, Amendment of Part 11
of the Commission's Rules Regarding the Emergency Alert System, EB Docket
No. 01-66, Report and Order, FCC 02-64 (Feb. 26, 2002); 67 Fed Reg 18502
(April 16, 2002) (effective May 16, 2002, the required monthly EAS test
must be retransmitted within 60 minutes of receipt).
47 C.F.R. SS 73.1820 and 73.1840.
See Farmworker Educational Radio Network - Licensee of FM Station KRIT,
Forfeiture Order, DA 05-729, 2005 WL 2180500 (rel. September 8, 2005).
See, e.g., Petracom of Texarkana, 19 FCC Rcd 8096 (EB 2004).
See Aquila, Inc., 19 FCC Rcd 22507 (EB 2004).
See MAPA Broadcasting, L.L.C. WSLA(AM), 17 FCC Rcd 10519 (EB 2002).
47 C.F.R. S 11.35.
47 U.S.C. S 503(b), 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4), 11.35.
47 U.S.C. S 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 06-1330
Federal Communications Commission DA 06-1330