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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                 )
                                )    File No. EB-02-PL-157
Northern Electric Cooperative    )
Antenna Structure at             )    NAL/Acct. No. 200332420001
Approximately                    )
N 45 27' 41'', W 98 20' 15'',  )    FRN:  0002-4325-40
Bath, South Dakota 

                        FORFEITURE  ORDER

   Adopted:  October 13, 2004           Released:  October 15, 

By the Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau:


     1.        In this Forfeiture Order  (``Order''), we issue  a 
monetary  forfeiture in  the  amount of  three  thousand  dollars 
($3,000)  to Northern  Electric Cooperative  (``Northern''),  the 
owner of an antenna structure located at approximately N 45  27' 
41'',  W 98 20'  15'', in  Bath, South Dakota,  for willful  and 
repeated violation of  Section 17.4(a) of the Commission's  Rules 
(``Rules'').1   The noted violation  involves Northern's  failure 
to register its antenna structure. 

     2.        On April  18,  2003,  the  Commission's  St.  Paul 
District  Office  (``St.  Paul  Office'')  issued  a  Notice   of 
Apparent  Liability for Forfeiture  (``NAL'') to  Northern for  a 
forfeiture  in the amount  of three  thousand dollars  ($3,000).2  
Northern filed a response to the NAL on May 1, 2003.


     3.        On December 3 and 4,  2002, an agent from the  St. 
Paul  Office inspected a  painted and  lighted antenna  structure 
located  at the rear  of Northern's building  on Route 12,  Bath, 
South  Dakota.   The  agent  measured  the  coordinates  of   the 
structure using a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver.   The 
agent found no Commission records that the antenna structure  had 
been registered.  

     4.        On January 24, 2003, the St. Paul Office issued  a 
Letter  of Inquiry  (LOI) to  Northern, asking,  inter alia,  for 
information  pertaining to the  apparently unregistered tower  at 
the  rear of Northern's  building.  Northern  responded on  March 
13,  2003, stating that  the antenna  structure had  a height  of 
192' above ground level, but that in October 2002 an antenna  was 
added to  the structure that increased  its height to 211'  above 
ground level.

     5.        On April 18, 2003, the  St. Paul Office issued  an 
NAL to Northern  for three thousand dollars ($3,000) for  willful 
and  repeated violation of  Section 17.4(a)  of the  Commission's 
Rules  (``Rules'').  Northern  responded  to the  NAL on  May  1, 

     6.        Northern states that it believed that the  antenna 
structure   was  exempt   from  the   Commission's   registration 
requirement because the  structure itself was less than 200  feet 
in height.  Northern  permits Station WB0TPF3 to use the  antenna 
structure, and states  that it was Station WB0TPF that added  the 
antenna that increased  the height of the structure to 211  feet.  
Northern  asserts  that   after  the  St.  Paul  Office   agent's 
inspection, it became  aware that the antenna structure  required 
registration with  the Federal Aviation Administration  (``FAA'') 
and the Commission.   Northern indicates that air safety was  not 
viewed as a problem with regard to the 211 foot tower because  of 
the other large guyed towers in the area.

     7.        Northern argues that it expected Station WB0TPF to 
notify  Northern   if  the  height   of  the  antenna   structure 
necessitated   registration.    Northern   contends   that    the 
Commission  erred  in  identifying its  actions  as  willful  and 
repeated, and  that the fine  was unjustly assessed.4   Northern, 
apparently believing that  the proposed forfeiture would be  owed 
by  Station WB0TPF,  argues  that Station  WB0TPF should  not  be 
assessed  a fine  for putting  up an  antenna that  benefits  the 
community, and asks that the forfeiture be cancelled.    Northern 
states that it will register the tower.   


     8.        The NAL assessed the proposed forfeiture amount in 
this case in accordance with Section 503(b) of the Act,5  Section 
1.80  of  the  Rules,6 and  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) (``Policy Statement'').   In 
examining Northern's response  to the NAL, Section 503(b) of  the 
Act requires  that the Commission take  into account 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 such  other matters  as 
justice may require.7    

     9.        Section 503 of the Communications Act of 1934,  as 
amended   (``Act''),8  authorizes   the  Commission   to   impose 
forfeitures  for ``willful''  and/or ``repeated''  violations  of 
applicable statutory  or regulatory requirements.   Specifically, 
Sections 503(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the Act provide that any   party 
who  ``willfully'' and/or  ``repeatedly''  violates any  term  or 
condition of a Commission issued license, permit,  certification, 
or other  authorization, or any provision of  the Act, or any  of 
the  Commission's  Rules,  shall  be  liable  for  a   forfeiture 

     10.       The Act defines ``willful'' as ``the conscious and 
deliberate commission or omission of an act, irrespective of  any 
intent  to  violate'' the  law.   Consistent  with  Congressional 
intent, the Commission has interpreted ``willful'' in  forfeiture 
proceedings  to mean  actions  or omissions  that  are  committed 
knowingly  (i.e, that a  violator intended to  commit the act  or 
omission  that was  found  to have  violated a  statutory  and/or 
regulatory provision).9

     11.       The Act defines  ``repeated'' as ``the  commission 
or omission of such act more than once or, if such commission  or 
omission is continuous, for more than one day.''10  

     12.       Section 17.4(a) of the Rules states that the owner 
of  an  antenna  structure  that  requires  notice  of   proposed 
construction  to the Federal  Aviation Administration  (``FAA''), 
must   also  register  the   structure  with  the   Commission.11  
Northern  concedes  that   it  is  the  owner  of  this   antenna 
structure.   Northern's  antenna structure  height  exceeded  200 
feet  after Northern's permittee  added an antenna.  Accordingly, 
Northern  was required to  give notice to  the FAA, and  register 
the  structure  with  the  Commission.   We  note  that  in   its 
response, Northern states that it was aware that the addition  of 
an antenna made the antenna structure taller than 200 feet.     

     13.       The Commission  holds  the  owner  of  an  antenna 
structure primarily  responsible for awareness of and  compliance 
with  its  Rules.12   In  this  case, it  appears  that  Northern 
erroneously assumed  that its permittee  was responsible for  any 
tower registration matters.   In fact, Northern, as the owner  of 
the  tower, is  the responsible  party.  It  is well  established 
that mistake or  inadvertence resulting in a rule violation  does 
not exonerate the tower owner and the violation is considered  to 
be willful.13   Accordingly,  we conclude that it was  Northern's 
responsibility  to  register  the  antenna  structure  when   its 
permittee added an antenna that increased the structure's  height 
to exceed 200 feet.  Northern's failure to register the tower  is 
significant;   the   Commission   has   repeatedly   found   that 
registration of towers  is of utmost importance in the  interests 
of public safety.14   

     14.       Section 303(q) of the Act requires the tower owner 
to maintain painting and lighting of the tower as the  Commission 
prescribes.  The  Commission's requirement of tower  registration 
is  integral to  its oversight  of all  tower owners'  compliance 
with  painting and lighting  specifications.   Northern  concedes 
that its  antenna structure was unregistered  from the time  that 
its  permittee added  an  antenna.  Commission  records  indicate 
that to date, and notwithstanding its promise to do so,  Northern 
still  has not  registered the  211 foot  antenna structure.   In 
view of this ongoing failure on Northern's part, we require  that 
it provide  a report to the  Enforcement Bureau showing that  its 
structure  located at approximately  N 45  27' 41'',  W 98  20' 
15'', is  in compliance with the  Commission's Rules and  further 
showing its plan for maintaining future compliance.  This  report 
shall  be submitted within 30  days of the  release date of  this 

     15.       We have examined  Northern's response  to the  NAL 
pursuant to the statutory factors above, and in conjunction  with 
the  Policy Statement as  well.  As  a result of  our review,  we 
conclude that Northern willfully and repeatedly violated  Section 
17.4  of the  Rules,  and we  find  no basis  for  rescinding  or 
reducing the $3,000 forfeiture for this violation. 


     16.       Accordingly,  IT  IS  ORDERED  that,  pursuant  to 
Section  503(b)  of  the  Act,  and  Sections  0.111,  0.311  and 
1.80(f)(4) of  the Rules,15 Northern Electric Cooperative,  owner 
of  the antenna  structure  located at  approximately N  45  27' 
41'',  W 98 20'  15'', in Bath,  South Dakota, IS  LIABLE FOR  A 
MONETARY  FORFEITURE in  the amount  of  three  thousand  dollars 
($3,000) for its violation of Section 17.4(a) of the Rules.  

     17.       IT IS FURTHER  ORDERED that,  pursuant to  Section 
303(q) of the Act, Northern must submit the reports described  in 
paragraph  14 no later  than thirty  (30) days  from the  release 
date  of  this  Forfeiture  Order  to:   Federal   Communications 
Commission,  Enforcement Bureau,  Spectrum Enforcement  Division, 
445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554, Attention:   Susan 

     18.       Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or 
similar  instrument,  payable   to  the  order  of  the   Federal 
Communications   Commission.   The  payment   must  include   the 
NAL/Acct. No.  and FRN No. referenced  above.  Payment by   check 
or money  order may be mailed  to Forfeiture Collection  Section, 
Finance  Branch,  Federal  Communications  Commission,  P.O.  Box 
73482, Chicago,  Illinois 60673-7482.  Payment by overnight  mail 
may  be sent to  Bank One/LB  73482, 525 West  Monroe, 8th  Floor 
Mailroom, Chicago,  IL 60661.   Payment by  wire transfer may  be 
made  to  ABA Number  071000013,  receiving bank  Bank  One,  and 
account number 1165259.    

     19.       IT IS FURTHER  ORDERED that a  copy of this  Order 
shall be  sent by First Class  and Certified Mail Return  Receipt 
Requested  to Northern  Electric  Cooperative, West  Highway  12, 
Bath, South Dakota 57427.

                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

                              George R. Dillon
                              Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau

1 47 C.F.R.  17.4(a).  
2 Notice  of Apparent  Liability  for Forfeiture,  NAL/Acct.  No. 
200332420001 (released April 18, 2003).  
3 Station WB0TPF  is the  Ham Radio  Club that  uses the  antenna 
structure for the SKYWARN weather storm warning system. 
4  Northern Response at 2.  
5  47 U.S.C.  503(b).
6  47 C.F.R.  1.80.
7  47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).
8  47 U.S.C.  503. 
9 See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387,  4388 
 5 (1991) recon. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992).  
10  Id.
11 47 C.F.R.  17.7(a). 
12  See, e.g. Eure Family Limited Partnership, 17 FCC Rcd  21861, 
21863-64  6-7 (2002).
13 Southern  California Broadcasting  Company,  6 FCC  Rcd.  4387 
(1991)(citing Vernon  Broadcasting,  Inc.,  60  RR2d  1275,  1277 
(1986); Fay Neel Eggleston, 19 FCC2d 829 (1969)).   See also  PBJ 
Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088 (1992); Standard 
Communications Corp., 1  FCC Rcd 358  (1986); Triad  Broadcasting 
Co., Inc., 96 FCC 2d 1235, 1242 (1984).
14  AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. 16 FCC Rcd. 814, 815 (Enf.  Bur. 
2001), 17 FCC Rcd. 7891, 7896 (2002); SpectraSite Communications, 
Inc. 17 FCC Rcd. 7884, 7888 (2002).
15 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).