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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
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Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

Report No. GN 97-11GENERAL ACTIONAugust 25, 1997



(ET Docket 93-62, WT Docket 97-192)

The Commission today adopted its Second Memorandum Opinion and Order in this proceeding, amending its rules to clarify its decisions regarding the use of new guidelines and methods for evaluating the environmental effects of radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields or emissions. The Second Memorandum Opinion and Order responds to petitions for reconsideration or clarification filed in this proceeding in response to the Commission's 1996 Report and Order. In the Second Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Commission:

Affirmed the RF exposure limits previously adopted in its 1996 Report and Order.

Modified certain aspects of its policy that categorically excluded certain transmitters, including some Specialized Mobile Radio transmitters, from routine environmental evaluation.

Revised certain aspects and clarified its guidelines regarding RF emissions involving evaluation of multiple-transmitter sites. Amended the rules to raise the responsibility threshold, above which licensees at multiple transmitter locations must share responsibility for addressing RF exposure non-compliance problems, from 1% to 5%.

Extended the initial transition period for implementation of the new guidelines for fixed stations and transmitters to October 15, 1997, (the transition period for the Amateur Radio Service will remain January 1, 1998).

Established a date certain when existing transmitting facilities and devices are expected to be in compliance with the new RF guidelines of September 1, 2000.

A number of minor changes and clarifications were also adopted. In addition, the revised version of OET Bulletin 65, dealing with compliance with the RF guidelines and policies, has been released. An electronic version of OET Bulletin 65 is available on the Commission's World Wide Web site (www.fcc.gov). A limited number of paper copies are available and additional paper copies will be made available shortly.

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice), released with the Second Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Commission initiated a new proceeding to consider procedures for reviewing requests for relief, filed pursuant to Section 332(c)(7)(B)(iv)-(v) of the Communications Act, from state and local regulations pertaining to the placement, construction, or modification of personal wireless service facilities that are based on concerns about the environmental effects of RF emissions. The Commission cited the increase in local siting disputes and local governments' desires to be able to confirm whether individual personal wireless service facilities comply with the Commission's RF emissions guidelines. Among the issues in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:

The Commission sought comment on whether to establish guidelines regarding the types of information that a state or local government can request concerning the possible effects of RF emissions.

Until a final rule is adopted, the Commission provided a policy statement on the types of RF information that localities may request from a service provider to demonstrate RF compliance without being preempted by the Commission. The Commission advises that the state and local governments may request a uniform showing that demonstrates compliance with the RF guidelines. The Commission provided a list of the criteria for such a uniform showing.

The Commission sought comment on procedural methods that would be employed in responding to a request for relief filed pursuant to Section 332(c)(7)(B)(v) of the Act. More specifically, the Commission sought comment on whether to adopt a presumption that licensed personal wireless service facilities, as well as unlicensed personal wireless service facilities that employ type-accepted equipment, comply with the Commission's RF emissions guidelines.

The Commission views this Notice as another important step in its ongoing efforts to assist in the resolution of state and local disputes concerning the siting of personal wireless service facilities.

Action by the Commission, August 25, 1997, by Second Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 97-303). Chairman Hundt, Commissioners Quello, Ness and Chong.

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News Media Contact: Audrey Spivack at (202) 418-0654
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