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FCC Hands Down $19,000 EAS Fine

Part of penalty is for not answering agency questions, it says

The Federal Communications Commission fined Opp Educational Broadcasting Foundation, licensee of WJIF(FM), Opp, Ala., $19,000 for EAS violations. Those include failing to maintain operable EAS equipment, not conducting required EAS tests and not providing certain information to Enforcement Bureau questions, according to the commission.

The case goes back to 2008 when the agency responded to a complaint alleging WJIF did not take part in EAS and had never transmitted an EAS test. The agency was trying to find out if WJIF had working EAS equipment and whether it conducted EAS tests. The commission specifically asked for copies of station EAS procedures and logs recording EAS test transmissions.

In the Opp Ed’s December 2008 response, the licensee didn’t answer the questions, except to state in general terms that WJIF had participated in EAS in the past but now its EAS gear was broken and the station intended to fix it as soon as possible, said the FCC in its decision this week.

The FCC followed up in March and warned WJIF that not responding appropriately could lead to enforcement action. As of Aug. 31, WJIF hadn’t responded, the FCC said as it levied the fine.

The commission gave WJIF 10 additional days to respond or risk facing further penalties.