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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
) File No.: EB-FIELDSCR-13-00009401
Caribe Federal Credit Union ) Citation No.: C201332680001
San Juan, PR )
Incidental Radiator Causing Harmful Interference
Adopted: July 17, 2013 Released: July 17, 2013
By the Resident Agent, San Juan Office, South Central Region, Enforcement
1. This is an official CITATION (Citation) issued pursuant to Section
503(b)(5) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
(Communications Act or Act),^ to Caribe Federal Credit Union (CFCU).
Specifically, CFCU is being cited for operating incidental radiators
and causing harmful interference in violation of Sections 15.5(b) and
15.5(c) of the Commission's rules (Rules).^
2. Notice of Duty to Comply With Laws: CFCU should ensure that it does
not utilize the incidental radiators prior to their repair or
replacement and that it take steps to eliminate all harmful
interference. CFCU is hereby on notice that if it subsequently
engages in any conduct of the type described in this Citation,
including any violation of Section 15.5(b) of the Rules, it may be
subject to civil penalties, including but not limited to substantial
monetary fines (forfeitures) and seizure of equipment. Such
forfeitures may be based on both the conduct that led to this Citation
and the conduct following it.^
3. On June 12, 2013, in response to complaints of interference to
licensed communications, an agent from the Commission's San Juan
Office of the Enforcement Bureau (San Juan Office) used direction
finding techniques to locate the source of transmissions on 712.5 MHz
to the CFCU building at 193-195 O'Neill Street, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The agent conducted on/off testing and confirmed that CFCU's interior
lighting on the highest ceiling within the facility (15 light fixtures
about 40 feet above the floor) was the source of the interference. The
agent observed the signal cease when the lighting was turned off, and
the licensee confirmed that the interference ceased. On June 13, 2013,
the agent informed CFCU's operations manager about the interference
via telephone and directed CFCU to cease operation of the lighting
fixtures, pending resolution of the interference. The agent reiterated
the verbal warnings in writing via email on June 24, ^ 2013. On June
25, 2013, due to renewed complaints of harmful interference, the agent
again observed that transmissions on 712.5 MHz were emanating from the
CFCU building. On June 28, 2013, CFCU acknowledged receipt of the
written warning on June 24, 2013 and stated that the lights would be
turned off at 3:00 P.M. that day.^
III. APPLICABLE LAWS AND VIOLATIONS
4. Section 15.5(b) of the Rules states that "[o]peration of an
intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiator is subject to the
conditions that no harmful interference is caused."^ Section 15.3(m)
of the Rules defines harmful interference as "any emission, radiation
or induction that . . . seriously degrades, obstructs or repeatedly
interrupts a radio communications service operating in accordance with
this chapter."^ Section 15.3(n) defines an "incidental radiator" as
"[a] device that generates radio frequency energy during the course of
its operation although the device is not intentionally designed to
generate or emit radio frequency energy."^ Section 15.5(c) of the
Rules requires that "[t]he operator of the radio frequency device
shall be required to cease operating the device upon notification by a
Commission representative that the device is causing harmful
interference." ^ ^
5. Pursuant to Section 15.5(c) of the Rules, on June 13, 2013, CFCU was
notified that incidental radiators, the lighting fixtures, were
causing harmful interference to licensed communications and was
directed to cease operating the devices. On June 25, 2013, CFCU
operated the incidental radiators and again caused harmful
interference to licensed communications. CFCU acknowledged that it
continued to operate the incidental radiators until June 28, 2013.
Based on the foregoing evidence, we find that CFCU violated Sections
15.5(b) and 15.5(c) of the Rules by operating incidental radiators and
causing harmful interference.
IV. RESPONDING TO THIS CITATION
6. CFCU may, if it so chooses, respond to this Citation--challenging the
factual and legal findings herein--within thirty (30) calendar days
from the release date of this Citation either through (1) a written
statement, (2) a teleconference interview, or (3) a personal interview
at the Commission Field Office nearest to your place of business.
7. If you would like to arrange a teleconference or personal interview,
please contact Reuben Jusino at (787) 306-1193. The nearest Commission
Field Office is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Such teleconference
or interview must take place within thirty calendar (30) days of the
date of this Citation. If you would like to submit a written response,
including any supporting documentation, you must send the response
within thirty (30) calendar days of the date of this Citation to the
contact and address provided in paragraph 10, below.
8. All written communications should be provided to the address below.
Federal Communications Commission
San Juan Office
* Carlos Chardon Street, Room 762
San Juan, PR 00918-1731
9. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available
upon request. Include a description of the accommodation you will
need, and include as much detail as you can. Also include a way we can
contact you if we need more information. Please allow at least five
(5) business days advance notice; last minute requests will be
accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an e-mail to
email@example.com or call the FCC's Consumer & Governmental Affairs
For sign language interpreters, CART, and other reasonable accommodations:
202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty);
For accessible format materials (braille, large print, electronic files,
and audio format): 202-418-0531 (voice), 202-418-7365 (tty).
10. Please be advised that it is a violation of Section 1.17 of the
Commission's rules (47 C.F.R. S 1.17) for any person or a staff member
of that person to make any false or misleading written or oral
statement of fact. Specifically, no person shall:
(1) In any written or oral statement of fact, intentionally provide
material factual information that is incorrect or intentionally omit
material information that is necessary to prevent any material factual
statement that is made from being incorrect or misleading; and
(2) In any written statement of fact, provide material factual information
that is incorrect or omit material information that is necessary to
prevent any material factual statement that is made from being incorrect
or misleading without a reasonable basis for believing that any such
material factual statement is correct and not misleading.^
11. Further, the knowing and willful making of any false statement, or the
concealment of any material fact, in reply to this Citation is
punishable by fine or imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. S 1001.
12. If you violate Section 1.17 of the Commission's rules or the criminal
statute referenced above, you may be subject to further legal action,
including monetary fines pursuant to Section 503 of the Communications
13. Under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. S 552a(e)(3), we are informing
you that the Commission's staff will use all relevant material
information before it, including information that you disclose in your
interview or written statement, to determine what, if any, enforcement
action is required to ensure your compliance with the Communications
Act and the Commission's rules.
V. FUTURE VIOLATIONS
14. If, after receipt of this Citation, CFCU again violates Sections
15.5(b) or 15.5(c) of the Rules by engaging in conduct of the type
described herein, the Commission may impose monetary forfeitures not
to exceed $16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing
violation, and up to $112,500 for any single act or failure to act.^
For instance, the Commission could impose separate forfeitures for
each day on which its incidental radiators cause harmful interference.
Further, as discussed above, such forfeitures may be based on both the
conduct that led to the Citation and the conduct following it.^ In
addition, violations of the Communications Act or the Rules also can
result in seizure of equipment through in rem forfeiture actions,^ as
well as criminal sanctions, including imprisonment.^
VI. ORDERING CLAUSES
15. IT IS ORDERED that a copy of this Citation shall be sent both by First
Class U.S. Mail and Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to
Caribe Federal Credit Union at #195 O'Neill Street, San Juan, PR
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Resident Agent, San Juan Office
South Central Region
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(5).
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 15.5(b), 15.5(c).
^ See 47 U.S.C S 503(b)(5). See also S. Rep. No. 95-580, 95th Cong., 1st
Sess. at 9 (1977) (If a person or entity that has been issued a citation
by the Commission thereafter engages in the conduct for which the citation
of violation was sent, the subsequent notice of apparent liability "would
attach not only for the conduct occurring subsequently but also for the
conduct for which the citation was originally sent.") (emphasis added).
^ E-mail from Jorge Menendez, Operations Manager, Caribe Federal Credit
Union, to Reuben Jusino, Resident Agent, San Juan Office (June 28, 2013,
1:28 P.M.); E-mail from Jorge Menendez, Operations Manager, Caribe Federal
Credit Union, to Reuben Jusino, Resident Agent, San Juan Office (June 28,
2013, 6:05 P.M.).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 15.5(b).
^47 C.F.R. S 15.3(m).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 15.3(n). Under this definition, light fixtures, such as the
ones used by CFCU, are incidental radiators.
^47 C.F.R. S 15.5(c).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 1.17.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503.
^ See 47 U.S.C. SS 401, 501, 503; 47 C.F.R. S 1.80(b)(7). This amount is
subject to further adjustment for inflation (see 47 C.F.R. S 1.80(b)(9)),
and the forfeiture amount applicable to any violation will be determined
based on the statutory amount designated at the time of the violation.
^ See paragraph 2, supra.
^ See 47 U.S.C. S 510.
^ See 47 U.S.C. SS 401, 501.
Federal Communications Commission DA 13-1584
Federal Communications Commission DA 13-1584