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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Radio Bonners Ferry, Inc. ) File Number EB-02-ST-197
Licensee of AM Radio Station ) NAL/Acct. No. 200332980001
KBFI ) FRN 0007741952
Bonners Ferry, Idaho )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: October 2, 2002
By the Enforcement Bureau, Seattle Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(``NAL''), we find that Radio Bonners Ferry, Inc., licensee of AM
radio station KBFI, Bonners Ferry, Idaho, apparently willfully
violated Section 73.49 of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'')1 by
failing to enclose its antenna structure within an effective
locked fence or other enclosure. We conclude, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
(''Act''),2 that Radio Bonners Ferry, Inc., is apparently liable
for a forfeiture in the amount of seven thousand dollars
2. On May 21, 2002, agents from the FCC Enforcement
Bureau's Seattle Field Office inspected the antenna structure of
radio station KBFI(AM) in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. The agents
observed that the fencing around the antenna structure was
leaning and the gate was unable to be closed or locked. The
antenna structure had radio frequency potential at the base.
3. The Seattle Field Office issued a Notice of Violation
to Radio Bonners Ferry, Inc., on June 7, 2002, detailing the
violation. Radio Bonners Ferry, Inc., replied on June 24, 2002,
stating that the old fence had been torn down. On July 24, 2002,
Radio Bonners Ferry, Inc., notified the Seattle Field Office that
construction of a new fence had been completed and submitted a
picture of the new fence.
4. Section 503(b) of the 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. The term "willful" as
used in Section 503(b) has been interpreted to mean simply that
the acts or omissions are committed knowingly.3
5. Section 73.49 of the Rules states in part that
"[a]ntenna towers having radio frequency potential at the base
(series fed, folded unipole, and insulated base antennas) must be
enclosed within effective locked fences or other enclosures."
Station KBFI's antenna system is series-fed. The AM transmission
fencing requirements thus apply to station KBFI. The May 21,
2002, inspection of the KBFI antenna structure found the fence
enclosing the antenna structure leaning and the gate unable to be
securely closed, allowing access to the radiating tower.
Effective base fencing is an important safety requirement. AM
series-fed antenna structures radiate energy that renders any
physical contact with the antenna structure itself extremely
dangerous. In addition, AM antenna structures are capable of
generating radio frequency fields at the base of the antenna
structure that may exceed the Commission's maximum permissible
exposure guidelines. Effective base fencing is thus important to
prevent possible contact with the radiating structure and
excessive radio frequency radiation exposure.
6. Based on the evidence before us, we find that on May
21, 2002, Radio Bonners Ferry, Inc., willfully violated Section
73.49 of the Rules by failing to provide an effective locked
fence or other enclosure around their antenna structure. The
base forfeiture amount set by The Commission's Forfeiture Policy
Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, ("Forfeiture Policy
Statement"),4 and Section 1.80 of the Commissions Rules,5 for
failure to comply with AM tower fencing is $7,000. In assessing
the monetary forfeiture amount, we must also take into account
the statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the
Act, which include 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 We note that Radio
Bonners Ferry, Inc., did replace the entire old fence with a new
fence. However, corrective action taken to come into compliance
with Commission rules or policy is expected, and does not nullify
or mitigate any prior forfeiture or violations.7 Considering the
entire record and applying the factors listed above, this case
warrants a $7,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act,8 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules,9 Radio Bonners Ferry, Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED of this
APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of seven
thousand dollars ($7,000) for willful violation of Section 73.49
of the Rules by failing to provide effective locked fences for
its antenna towers.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of this NAL,
Radio Bonners Ferry, Inc. SHALL PAY the full amount of the
proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
9. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by mailing a
check or similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, to the Forfeiture Collection Section,
Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The payment must include
the NAL/Acct. No. and FRN referenced above.
10. Request for payment of the full amount of this NAL
under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and
Receivable Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington,
11. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary, 445 12th
Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554, Attn: Enforcement Bureau-
Technical & Public Safety Division, and must include the
NAL/Acct. No. and the FRN referenced above.
12. 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
13. Under the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002,
Pub L. No. 107-198, 116 Stat. 729 (June 28, 2002), the FCC is
engaged in a two-year tracking process regarding the size of
entities involved in forfeitures. If you qualify as a small
entity and if you wish to be treated as a small entity for
tracking purposes, please so certify to us within thirty (30)
days of this NAL, either in your response to the NAL or in a
separate filing to be sent to the Technical & Public Safety
Division. Your certification should indicate whether you,
including your parent entity and its subsidiaries, meet one of
the definitions set forth in the list provided by the FCC's
Office of Communications Business Opportunities (OCBO) set forth
in Attachment A of this Notice of Apparent Liability. This
information will be used for tracking purposes only. Your
response or failure to respond to this question will have no
effect on your rights and responsibilities pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act. If you have questions
regarding any of the information contained in Attachment A,
please contact OCBO at (202) 418-0990.
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NAL shall be
sent by regular mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested
to Bonners Ferry, Inc., KBFI-AM, 327 Marion Avenue, Sandpoint,
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis J. Anderson
District Director, Seattle Office
1 47 C.F.R. § 73.49.
2 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
3 Section 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',
when used with reference to the commission or omission of any
act, 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).
4 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. Denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
5 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
7 KASA Radio Hogar, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 6256 (2002).
8 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
9 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
10 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.