This article provides an overview of the environmental notification process for the registration of antenna structures.
On December 9, 2011, the Commission released an Order on Remand that includes procedural measures to ensure, consistent with the Commission’s obligations under federal environmental statutes, that environmental effects of proposed communications towers, including their effects on migratory birds, are fully considered prior to construction.
Overview of the Environmental Notification Process
The environmental notification process applies to new tower registrations and to certain modifications of registered towers that may have a significant environmental effect. The process for submitting an Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) application that is subject to environmental notification involves two parts.
Part 1: Environmental Notification Process
Part 1 requires you to submit a partially completed FCC Form 854, Antenna Structure Registration (Form 854) including:
- Ownership information such as name, address, and phone number;
- Contact information such as name, address, and phone number;
- Antenna structure information such as the location, height, and type of structure;
- Proposed marking and/or lighting;
- Whether another federal agency is taking responsibility for the environmental review;
- The national notice date; and
- Whether an Environmental Assessment (EA) is included.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clearance can be obtained prior to or after submitting the partially completed Form 854. Once the partially completed Form 854 is submitted, an ASR File Number is assigned.
After submitting the partially completed Form 854, you are required to provide local notice of the proposed tower registration by publication in a local newspaper or by other means. You must provide this local notice on or before the date you selected for posting the proposed registration on the FCC's website. Beginning on the date you requested, the FCC will post the proposed tower registration on its website for a 30-day comment period. Members of the public will have an opportunity to file a request for further environmental review. After approximately 40 days, if the appropriate Bureau has determined that the application does not require additional environmental processing, you will be able to complete Part 2. Part 2 may not be completed until the Bureau has determined that no further environmental processing is required (or, in cases where an Environmental Assessment (EA) is required, has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact). You can determine which of your pending applications are ready for completion of Part 2 by logging into the ASR system, where these applications will be listed as Ready for Certification.
Part 2: Environmental Notification Process
Part 2 requires you to amend the Form 854 to provide the FAA Study Number and Issue Date, if not provided in Part 1, provide the local notice date, and certify that the tower will have no significant environmental impact. At this point, if all required information has been provided, the Form 854 will be deemed complete and can be processed accordingly.
How can I determine if a Request for Environmental Review is filed?
Enter the File Number of the application in the ASR Application Search. On the results screen, click the File Number. Requests for Environmental Review are listed under the Pleadings section towards the bottom of the page.
Why isn’t my application listed on the Ready For Certification page when I log in to the ASR system?
There are a few possibilities:
- Your application is currently under the environmental review process.
- A Request for Further Environmental Review was submitted and the FCC must determine whether additional environmental processing is required.
- An amendment application was started, but not submitted. You can access a saved version of an amendment application by clicking the Unsubmitted Applications button when you log in to the ASR system.