WASHINGTON-The Federal Communications Commission unveiled its Tower Construction Notification System to allow historic preservationists and tribal cultural authorities the ability to warn if a proposed tower could be problematic.
“By providing early notification of proposed tower construction, this new Tower Construction Notification System will increase communication between the FCC, tower builders and the communities where the towers are located. It will also improve compliance with the commission’s rules and streamline the review process for tower construction,” said FCC Chairman Michael Powell.
The tower industry and historic preservationists have participated in demonstrations of the new system, said the FCC.
The announcement of the Tower Construction Notification System came in conjunction with the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the United South and Eastern Tribes Inc., an organization representing Native Americans from Maine to Florida to Texas, which seeks to maintain the government-to-government relationship between the FCC and Native Americans while allowing tower construction to continue.
The system “includes a secure and limited access database of geographic areas (defined at the county level) in which tribes may attach religious and cultural significance to historic properties as identified by the tribes and an automated method through which applicants may voluntarily provide initial notification to such tribes of potential construction in these areas, and through which tribes may respond to such notifications. The Tower Construction Notification System includes explicit legal disclaimers indicating that the information therein is provided solely for the purpose of complying with the National Historic Preservation Act and that it does not reflect, nor can it be used for evaluating tribal land, water and other related claims,” reads the MOU.
Representatives of USET were in town for Washington Impact Week.