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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of File No. EB-10-TP-0085
Power Ministries Facility ID No.133335
Licensee of Station WRLE-LP, NAL/Acct. No. 201132700008
Dunnellon, Florida FRN 0005344668
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: September 7, 2011 Released: September 7, 2011
By the District Director, Tampa Office, South Central Region, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that Power Ministries ("Power"), licensee of Station WRLE-LP, in
Dunnellon, Florida (the "Station"), apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated sections 73.1660(a)(2) of the Commission's rules
("Rules") by failing to operate with an FCC ("Federal Communications
Commission") certified transmitter. We conclude that Power is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of twelve thousand
2. On June 11, 2010, in response to a complaint of interference from the
Federal Aviation Administration's ("FAA's") Jacksonville Center to its
Air Traffic Control frequency 133.75 MHz, agents from the Enforcement
Bureau's Tampa Office ("Tampa Office") used direction-finding
techniques to locate the source of the interference to spurious
emissions emanating from Station WRLE-LP. Agents from the Tampa Office
explained to a representative of the station, the only person present
at the station, that it was causing interference to the FAA and was
creating an ongoing safety hazard. The representative refused to turn
off the transmitter. An agent spoke to the station owner on the
telephone, reiterating the safety of life hazard and requesting that
the station turn off its transmitter. The station owner refused to
turn off the transmitter or instruct his station representative to do
so, unless his station engineer was present. After a considerable
delay, almost thirty minutes after the agents first arrived, the
station owner arrived and allowed the agents to inspect the station.
The agents observed that the Station was using a transmitter that was
not certified by the FCC. After the station owner shut down the
transmitter, the spurious emissions and interference to the FAA
3. On August 10, 2010, the Tampa Office issued a Letter of Inquiry to
Power. In its response, Power admitted that its non-certified
transmitter, consisting of an amplifier and exciter, were in use from
March 19, 2010 until the inspection on June 11, 2010. Power stated
that an FCC certified transmitter was fully operational at Station
WRLE-LP on July 9, 2010.
4. Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("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. Section
312(f)(1) of the Act defines willful as the "conscious and deliberate
commission or omission of [any] act, irrespective of any intent to
violate" the law. The legislative history to section 312(f)(1) of the
Act clarifies that this definition of willful applies to both sections
312 and 503(b) of the Act, and the Commission has so interpreted the
term in the section 503(b) context. The Commission may also assess a
forfeiture for violations that are merely repeated, and not willful.
The term "repeated" means the commission or omission of such act more
than once or for more than one day.
5. Section 73.1660(a)(2) of the Rules states that an LPFM transmitter
shall be certified for compliance with the requirements of this part
following the procedures described in part 2 of this chapter. On June
11, 2010, an agent from the Tampa Office observed Station WRLE-LP
using a transmitter that was not certified by the Commission. It was
this transmitter that apparently was causing direct interference with
air traffic control. Power admitted that the station used this
transmitter from March 19, 2010 until June 11, 2010. Thus, based on
the evidence before us, we find that Power apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated section 73.1660(a)(2) of the Rules by utilizing a
non-certified LPFM transmitter.
6. Pursuant to the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and section
1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture amount for operating with
unauthorized equipment is $5,000. In assessing the monetary
forfeiture amount, we must also take into account the statutory
factors set forth in section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, which include
the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violations, 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. In this case, we find that the violation was particularly
egregious, warranting a $7,000 upward adjustment in the base
forfeiture. The violation in this instance was particularly serious
because the interference to FAA operations posed a hazard to the
safety of life and property. The violation was further exacerbated
because Power - through the conduct of the representative available at
the Station at the time the agents arrived, and later by its owner -
deliberately disregarded the FCC agents' request that it immediately
turn off the Station's transmitter in order to abate the ongoing
safety hazard to air traffic control. Applying the Forfeiture Policy
Statement, section 1.80 of the Rules, and the statutory factors to the
instant case, we conclude that Power is apparently liable for a
forfeiture of $12,000.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and sections 0.111, 0.204,
0.311, 0.314 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Power Ministries is
hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the
amount of twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) for violations of section
73.1660(a)(2) of the Rules.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the release date of this
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, Power Ministries SHALL
PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
9. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by credit card, check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal Communications
Commission. The payment must include the Account Number and FRN Number
referenced above. Payment by check or money order may be mailed to
Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO
63197-9000. Payment by overnight mail may be sent to U.S. Bank -
Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St.
Louis, MO 63101. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number
021030004, receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and account number 27000001. For
payment by credit card, an FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be
submitted. When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the NAL/Account
number in block number 23A (call sign/other ID), and enter the letters
"FORF" in block number 24A (payment type code). Requests for full
payment under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief Financial
Officer -- Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625,
Washington, D.C. 20554. If you have questions regarding payment
procedures, please contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk at
1-877-480-3201 or Email: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov. Power Ministries shall
send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
10. The written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
proposed forfeiture, if any, must include a detailed factual statement
supported by appropriate documentation and affidavits pursuant to
sections 1.80(f)(3) and 1.16 of the Rules. Mail the written statement
to Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, South
Central Region, Tampa Office, 4010 W. Boy Scout Blvd. Suite 425,
Tampa, Florida 33607 and include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the
caption. Power Ministries also shall email the written response to
11. 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.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture shall be sent by both Certified Mail, Return Receipt
Requested, and regular mail, to Power Ministries at 3092 SW Harbor
Hills Road, Dunnellon, Florida 34431.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Ralph M. Barlow
South Central Region
See 47 C.F.R. S: 73.1660(a)(2).
The agent observed a PTEK amplifier, model FM250E, and a CSI exciter,
model EX20F, in use.
See Letter from Ralph Barlow, District Director, Tampa Office, to Anthony
Downes, President of Power Ministries, dated August 10, 2010.
See Letter from Anthony Downes, President, Power Ministries, to Tampa
Office, dated August 14, 2010.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
See 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(1).
See H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982) ("This provision
[inserted in section 312] defines the terms `willful' and `repeated' for
purposes of section 312, and for any other relevant section of the act
(e.g., section 503). . . . As defined[,] . . . `willful' means that the
licensee knew that he was doing the act in question, regardless of whether
there was an intent to violate the law. `Repeated' means more than once,
or where the act is continuous, for more than one day. Whether an act is
considered to be `continuous' would depend upon the circumstances in each
case. The definitions are intended primarily to clarify the language in
sections 312 and 503, and are consistent with the Commission's application
of those terms . . . .").
See, e.g., Application for Review of Southern California Broadcasting Co.,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991) ("Southern
California Broadcasting Co.").
See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362 P: 10 (2001) ("Callais
Cablevision, Inc.") (proposing a forfeiture for, inter alia, a cable
television operator's repeated signal leakage).
Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 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 one day."
See 47 C.F.R. S: 73.1660(a)(2).
See The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section
1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, Report and
Order, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997) ("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), recon.
denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
The base forfeiture amount for causing interference is $7,000. See 47
C.F.R. S: 1.80.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80,
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission DA 11-1503
Federal Communications Commission DA 11-1503