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Get That New Tower Proposal In

Law firm advises clients on likely impact of rule change

“If you’re thinking about building a tower 200 feet tall (or taller) ­— and especially if you’re planning to build something taller than 450 feet — you might want to get that proposal on file sooner rather than later.”

So writes Dan Kirkpatrick in the newsletter of communications law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth. He riffs on new procedures for proposed tower construction, which Radio World has reported.

He notes that the changes arose from concerns of environmental groups about the impact of towers on birds, especially those that migrate.

Kirkpatrick reminds stations that the new rules have not yet taken effect. Once they do, anticipated tower construction subject to the program must be brought to the commission’s attention beforeany application is filed.

He explains the new rules in his helpful summary here.

But when will the procedures take effect? “It’s hard to say,” Kirkpatrick concludes, because the Office of Management and Budget hasn’t signed off yet, which may not finish for a couple of months.

(Even then, the new rules are essentially interim, pending the outcome of the FCC’s assessment of the environmental impact of its own program. But that, he says, could take a long time.)

In short, though, once the current new procedures take effect in a few months, you’ll have to comply. So, “folks planning to build a tower subject to the ASR rules might want to get their applications filed as quickly as possible, to avoid that additional delay.”