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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Palouse Country, Inc. ) File No. EB-01-ST-014
Licensee of KMAX (AM) )
Colfax, Washington ) NAL/Acct. No.
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: August 30, 2001
By the District Director, Seattle Office, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find that Palouse Country,
Inc., licensee of radio broadcast station KMAX (AM) in Colfax,
Washington has apparently violated Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (``Act'')1 and has
apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Sections
73.1400(a)(1)(ii), 73.1560(a), 73.1580, and 73.1870(c)(3) of the
Commission's Rules2 by operating the station without required
monitors, operating in non-compliance with the station license
regarding power, failing to perform periodic complete inspections
of the transmitting system, and failing to provide verification
that the station has been operating as required by the Rules or
the station authorization with appropriate log entries in the
station log. We conclude that Palouse Country, Inc. is apparently
liable for forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars
2. On January 12, 2001, the Commission's Seattle District
Office received a case referral from the Enforcement Bureau's
Technical and Public Safety Division requesting the Seattle
office investigate a complaint that KMAX was not reducing power
at night as required. Station KMAX is authorized to operate with
nominal day-time power of 10,000 watts and nominal night-time
power of 280 watts.3 Station KMAX's license specifies the
average hours of sunrise and sunset for January as 7:30 a.m. and
4:30 p.m., respectively.
3. On January 17 and 18, 2001, an agent from the Seattle
Field Office monitored the on-air signal of KMAX radio on the
frequency of 840 KHz near Colfax, Washington. During the period
of approximately 3:45 p.m. on January 17th to 8:30 a.m. on
January 18th, no power level changes occurred. At all times
throughout the monitoring period, the field strength measurements
taken by the Seattle Field Office agent indicated that KMAX was
operating with an output power of approximately three times that
authorized. Between 4:30 p.m. on January 17th and 7:30 a.m. on
January 18th, when night-time operation at 280 watts was required
by the station authorization, KMAX was operating with
approximately 790 watts of power. Operation with 790 watts is
the equivalent of 282% of the authorized 280 watts.
4. On January 18, 2001, at approximately 9:00 a.m., the
Seattle agent performed a broadcast inspection of the KMAX
broadcast station at 840 Fairview Road, Colfax, Washington. The
only station logs available for inspection were EAS logs and
program logs. The program logs provided for a checkmark when
power levels were changed. There were no checkmarks indicating
power level changes on either January 17 or January 18, 2001. To
the extent any power level changes were made, the station log
indicated the station used April's sunrise and sunset schedule
rather than January's.
5. The inspection also revealed that the remote control
system did not provide meter readings of the transmitter system.
It was determined the remote control portions of the control
equipment were not hooked up. The high/low power switching
system did function correctly. However, during the inspection,
the requisite metering capability was not available to determine
the transmitter's output power by the direct method. The station
operator, Mr. Rob Hauser, requested that the FCC let the station
engineer, Mr. Steve Franko, make power measurements of the
transmitter and file a written report to the Seattle office. On
January 24, 2001, the Seattle Field Office received a report from
Mr. Franko stating that tests conducted on January 22, 2001
indicated that at the low (night-time) power setting the
transmitter was operating at 790 watts.
6. On March 1, 2001, the Seattle Field Office issued an
Official Notice of Violation (NOV) to broadcast station KMAX (AM)
for operating the station day and night with an output power of
approximately 790 watts, failing to provide remote control
metering of the transmission system, failing to maintain weekly
verification of proper station operation, and failing to maintain
a station log.
7. On April 2, 2001, the Seattle Field Office received a
response to the NOV from Palouse Country, Inc., licensee of
station KMAX (AM), dated March 28, 2001. In the response letter,
Mr. Robert Hauser, President of Palouse Country, Inc., stated
that the Mosley remote control unit was now installed, that KMAX
now conducted regular inspections of it's transmission system and
all required monitors to ensure proper station operation, that
KMAX now maintained the proper station operating log and the
chief operator was instructed to make the requisite weekly review
to ensure checks and inspections are done.
8. 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 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. 4 It is not pertinent whether
or not the licensee's act or omissions are intended to violate
9. The Commission's Rules state that each licensee is
responsible for maintaining and operating its broadcast station
in a manner which complies with the technical rules and in
accordance with the terms of the station license.5 Remote control
systems must provide sufficient transmission monitoring and
control capability to ensure compliance with the rules.6 AM
stations are required to maintain antenna input power as near as
practicable to the authorized antenna input power.7 In addition,
licensees must conduct periodic complete inspections of the
transmitting systems and all required monitors to ensure proper
station operation,8 and must review station records at least once
a week to determine if required entries are being made correctly
and verify that the station has been operating as required by the
Commission's rules and the station's authorization.9
10. Based on the evidence before us, we find that on
January 17 and 18, 2001, Palouse Country, Inc., licensee of
station KMAX (AM) willfully and repeatedly violated Sections
73.1350(a), 73.1400(a)(1)(ii), and 73.1560(a) of the Commission's
Rules when it operated station KMAX(AM) with excessive power
during the night time mode in contravention of its station
authorization and failed to connect remote control systems to
provide transmitter monitoring capability to ensure compliance
with the station authorization. We further find that Palouse
Country, Inc., willfully and repeatedly violated section 73.1580
and 73.1870(c)(3) of the Commission's Rules by its failure to
conduct required inspections of the transmitting and monitoring
sytems to ensure proper station operation and failure to review
station records and verify that the station was operating as
required by the Commission's Rules and station authorization.
11. The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and
Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the
Forfeiture Guidelines (``Forfeiture Policy Statement''),10 set
base forfeiture amounts of $4,000 for exceeding power limits,
$3,000 for violation of transmitter control and metering
requirements, $2,000 for failure to make required measurements or
conduct required monitoring, and $1,000 for failure to maintain
required records. 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(s), 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.11 Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement
and statutory factors to the instant case, a $10,000 forfeiture
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
12. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act12 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules,13 Palouse Country, Inc., is hereby NOTIFIED of their
APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand
dollars ($10,000) for violating Section 73.1400(a)(1)(ii),
73.1560(a), 73.1580, and 73.1870(c)(3) of the Rules.14
13. 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, Palouse Country, Inc., SHALL
PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a
written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
14. 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 should note the
NAL/Acct. No. 200132980002.
15. Any response to this NAL must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical and
Public Safety Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
20554 and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct. No. 200132980002.
16. 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
17. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief, Revenue and Receivable Operations Group, 445 12th
Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.15
18. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to Palouse Country, Inc., 840 Fairview Road, P.O.Box
710, Colfax, Washington, 99111
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis J. Anderson
1 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
2 47 C.F.R. §§ 73.1400(a)(1)(ii), 73.1560(a), 73.1580, and
3 Palouse Country, Inc., Station KMAX(AM) License File No. BL-
980803AC, granted November 9, 1998.
4 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to 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 ....'' See Southern California
Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
5 47 C.F.R. § 73.1350(a).
6 47 C.F.R. § 73.1400(a)(1)(ii).
7 47 C.F.R. § 73.1560(a).
8 47 C.F.R. § 73.1580.
9 47 C.F.R. § 73.1870(c)(3).
10 The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of
Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture
Guidelines 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), (recon. denied), 15 FCC Rcd
303 (1999) (``Forfeiture Policy Statement'').
11 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
1247 U.S.C. § 503(b).
13 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
14 47 C.F.R. §§ 73.1400(a)(1)(ii), 73.1560(a), 73.1580, and
15 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.