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Title 47

Displaying title 47, up to date as of 9/21/2021. Title 47 was last amended 9/20/2021.

Title 47

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§ 1.1307 Actions that may have a significant environmental effect, for which Environmental Assessments (EAs) must be prepared.

(a) Commission actions with respect to the following types of facilities may significantly affect the environment and thus require the preparation of EAs by the applicant (see §§ 1.1308 and 1.1311) and may require further Commission environmental processing (see §§ 1.1314, 1.1315 and 1.1317):

(1) Facilities that are to be located in an officially designated wilderness area.

(2) Facilities that are to be located in an officially designated wildlife preserve.

(3) Facilities that:

(i) May affect listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitats; or

(ii) are likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any proposed endangered or threatened species or likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitats, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Note:

The list of endangered and threatened species is contained in 50 CFR 17.11, 17.22, 222.23(a) and 227.4. The list of designated critical habitats is contained in 50 CFR 17.95, 17.96 and part 226. To ascertain the status of proposed species and habitats, inquiries may be directed to the Regional Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.

(4) Facilities that may affect districts, sites, buildings, structures or objects, significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering or culture, that are listed, or are eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places (see 54 U.S.C. 300308; 36 CFR parts 60 and 800), and that are subject to review pursuant to section 1.1320 and have been determined through that review process to have adverse effects on identified historic properties.

(5) Facilities that may affect Indian religious sites.

(6) Facilities to be located in floodplains, if the facilities will not be placed at least one foot above the base flood elevation of the floodplain.

(7) Facilities whose construction will involve significant change in surface features (e.g., wetland fill, deforestation or water diversion). (In the case of wetlands on Federal property, see Executive Order 11990.)

(8) Antenna towers and/or supporting structures that are to be equipped with high intensity white lights which are to be located in residential neighborhoods, as defined by the applicable zoning law.

(b)

(1) Requirements.

(i) With respect to the limits on human exposure to RF provided in § 1.1310 of this chapter, applicants to the Commission for the grant or modification of construction permits, licenses or renewals thereof, temporary authorities, equipment authorizations, or any other authorizations for radiofrequency sources must either:

(A) Determine that they qualify for an exemption pursuant to § 1.1307(b)(3);

(B) Prepare an evaluation of the human exposure to RF radiation pursuant to § 1.1310 and include in the application a statement confirming compliance with the limits in § 1.1310; or

(C) Prepare an Environmental Assessment if those RF sources would cause human exposure to levels of RF radiation in excess of the limits in § 1.1310.

(ii) Compliance with these limits for fixed RF source(s) may be accomplished by use of mitigation actions, as provided in § 1.1307(b)(4). Upon request by the Commission, the party seeking or holding such authorization must electronically submit technical information showing the basis for such compliance, either by exemption or evaluation. Notwithstanding the preceding requirements, in the event that RF sources cause human exposure to levels of RF radiation in excess of the limits in § 1.1310 of this chapter, such RF exposure exemptions and evaluations are not deemed sufficient to show that there is no significant effect on the quality of the human environment or that the RF sources are categorically excluded from environmental processing.

(2) Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply.

Available maximum time-averaged power for an RF source is the maximum available RF power (into a matched load) as averaged over a time-averaging period;

Category One is any spatial region that is compliant with the general population exposure limit with continuous exposure or source-based time-averaged exposure;

Category Two is any spatial region where the general population exposure limit is exceeded but that is compliant with the occupational exposure limit with continuous exposure;

Category Three is any spatial region where the occupational exposure limit is exceeded but by no more than ten times the limit;

Category Four is any spatial region where the exposure is more than ten times the occupational exposure limit or where there is a possibility for serious injury on contact.

Continuous exposure refers to the maximum time-averaged exposure at a given location for an RF source and assumes that exposure may take place indefinitely. The exposure limits in § 1.1310 of this chapter are used to establish the spatial regions where mitigation measures are necessary assuming continuous exposure as prescribed in § 1.1307(b)(4) of this chapter.

Effective Radiated Power (ERP) is the product of the maximum antenna gain which is the largest far-field power gain relative to a dipole in any direction for each transverse polarization component, and the maximum delivered time-averaged power which is the largest net power delivered or supplied to an antenna as averaged over a time-averaging period; ERP is summed over two polarizations when present;

Exemption for (an) RF source(s) is solely from the obligation to perform a routine environmental evaluation to demonstrate compliance with the RF exposure limits in § 1.1310 of this chapter; it is not exemption from the equipment authorization procedures described in part 2 of this chapter, not exemption from general obligations of compliance with the RF exposure limits in § 1.1310 of this chapter, and not exemption from determination of whether there is no significant effect on the quality of the human environment under § 1.1306 of this chapter.

Fixed RF source is one that is physically secured at one location, even temporarily, and is not able to be easily moved to another location while radiating;

Mobile device is as defined in § 2.1091(b) of this chapter;

Plane-wave equivalent power density is the square of the root-mean-square (rms) electric field strength divided by the impedance of free space (377 ohms).

Portable device is as defined in § 2.1093(b) of this chapter;

Positive access control is mitigation by proactive preclusion of unauthorized access to the region surrounding an RF source where the continuous exposure limit for the general population is exceeded. Examples of such controls include locked doors, ladder cages, or effective fences, as well as enforced prohibition of public access to external surfaces of buildings. However, it does not include natural barriers or other access restrictions that did not require any action on the part of the licensee or property management.

Radiating structure is an unshielded RF current-carrying conductor that generates an RF reactive near electric or magnetic field and/or radiates an RF electromagnetic wave. It is the component of an RF source that transmits, generates, or reradiates an RF fields, such as an antenna, aperture, coil, or plate.

RF source is Commission-regulated equipment that transmits or generates RF fields or waves, whether intentionally or unintentionally, via one or more radiating structure(s). Multiple RF sources may exist in a single device.

Separation distance (variable R in Table 1) is the minimum distance in any direction from any part of a radiating structure and any part of the body of a nearby person;

Source-based time averaging is an average of instantaneous exposure over a time-averaging period that is based on an inherent property or duty-cycle of a device to ensure compliance with the continuous exposure limits;

Time-averaging period is a time period not to exceed 30 minutes for fixed RF sources or a time period inherent from device transmission characteristics not to exceed 30 minutes for mobile and portable RF sources;

Transient individual is an untrained person in a location where occupational/controlled limits apply, and he or she must be made aware of the potential for exposure and be supervised by trained personnel pursuant to § 1.1307(b)(4) of this chapter where use of time averaging is required to ensure compliance with the general population exposure limits in § 1.1310 of this chapter.

(3) Determination of exemption.

(i) For single RF sources (i.e., any single fixed RF source, mobile device, or portable device, as defined in paragraph (b)(2) of this section): A single RF source is exempt if:

(A) The available maximum time-averaged power is no more than 1 mW, regardless of separation distance. This exemption may not be used in conjunction with other exemption criteria other than those in paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(A) of this section. Medical implant devices may only use this exemption and that in paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(A);

(B) Or the available maximum time-averaged power or effective radiated power (ERP), whichever is greater, is less than or equal to the threshold Pth (mW) described in the following formula. This method shall only be used at separation distances (cm) from 0.5 centimeters to 40 centimeters and at frequencies from 0.3 GHz to 6 GHz (inclusive). Pth is given by:

(C) Or using Table 1 and the minimum separation distance (R in meters) from the body of a nearby person for the frequency (f in MHz) at which the source operates, the ERP (watts) is no more than the calculated value prescribed for that frequency. For the exemption in Table 1 to apply, R must be at least λ/2π, where λ is the free-space operating wavelength in meters. If the ERP of a single RF source is not easily obtained, then the available maximum time-averaged power may be used in lieu of ERP if the physical dimensions of the radiating structure(s) do not exceed the electrical length of λ/4 or if the antenna gain is less than that of a half-wave dipole (1.64 linear value).

Table 1 to § 1.1307(b)(3)(i)(C) - Single RF Sources Subject to Routine Environmental Evaluation

RF Source
frequency
(MHz)
Threshold ERP
(watts)
0.3-1.34 1,920 R2.
1.34-30 3,450 R2/f2.
30-300 3.83 R2.
300-1,500 0.0128 R2f.
1,500-100,000 19.2R2.

(ii) For multiple RF sources: Multiple RF sources are exempt if:

(A) The available maximum time-averaged power of each source is no more than 1 mW and there is a separation distance of two centimeters between any portion of a radiating structure operating and the nearest portion of any other radiating structure in the same device, except if the sum of multiple sources is less than 1 mW during the time-averaging period, in which case they may be treated as a single source (separation is not required). This exemption may not be used in conjunction with other exemption criteria other than those is paragraph (b)(3)(i)(A) of this section. Medical implant devices may only use this exemption and that in paragraph (b)(3)(i)(A).

(B) in the case of fixed RF sources operating in the same time-averaging period, or of multiple mobile or portable RF sources within a device operating in the same time averaging period, if the sum of the fractional contributions to the applicable thresholds is less than or equal to 1 as indicated in the following equation.

Where:

a = number of fixed, mobile, or portable RF sources claiming exemption using paragraph (b)(3)(i)(B) of this section for Pth, including existing exempt transmitters and those being added.

b = number of fixed, mobile, or portable RF sources claiming exemption using paragraph (b)(3)(i)(C) of this section for Threshold ERP, including existing exempt transmitters and those being added.

c = number of existing fixed, mobile, or portable RF sources with known evaluation for the specified minimum distance including existing evaluated transmitters.

Pi = the available maximum time-averaged power or the ERP, whichever is greater, for fixed, mobile, or portable RF source i at a distance between 0.5 cm and 40 cm (inclusive).

Pth,i = the exemption threshold power (Pth) according to paragraph (b)(3)(i)(B) of this section for fixed, mobile, or portable RF source i.

ERPj = the ERP of fixed, mobile, or portable RF source j.

ERPth,j = exemption threshold ERP for fixed, mobile, or portable RF source j, at a distance of at least λ/2π according to the applicable formula of paragraph (b)(3)(i)(C) of this section.

Evaluatedk = the maximum reported SAR or MPE of fixed, mobile, or portable RF source k either in the device or at the transmitter site from an existing evaluation at the location of exposure.

Exposure Limitk = either the general population/uncontrolled maximum permissible exposure (MPE) or specific absorption rate (SAR) limit for each fixed, mobile, or portable RF source k, as applicable from § 1.1310 of this chapter.

(4) Mitigation.

(i) As provided in paragraphs (b)(4)(ii) through (vi) of this section, specific mitigation actions are required for fixed RF sources to the extent necessary to ensure compliance with our exposure limits, including the implementation of an RF safety plan, restriction of access to those RF sources, and disclosure of spatial regions where exposure limits are exceeded.

(ii) Category One - INFORMATION: No mitigation actions are required when the RF source does not cause continuous or source-based time-averaged exposure in excess of the general population limit in s§ 1.1310 of this part. Optionally a green “INFORMATION” sign may offer information to those persons who might be approaching RF sources. This optional sign, when used, must include at least the following information: Appropriate signal word “INFORMATION” and associated color (green), an explanation of the safety precautions to be observed when closer to the antenna than the information sign, a reminder to obey all postings and boundaries (if higher categories are nearby), up-to-date licensee (or operator) contact information (if higher categories are nearby), and a place to get additional information (such as a website, if no higher categories are nearby).

(iii) Category Two - NOTICE: Mitigation actions are required in the form of signs and positive access control surrounding the boundary where the continuous exposure limit is exceeded for the general population, with the appropriate signal word “NOTICE” and associated color (blue) on the signs. Signs must contain the components discussed in paragraph (b)(4)(vi) of this section. Under certain controlled conditions, such as on a rooftop with limited access, a sign attached directly to the surface of an antenna will be considered sufficient if the sign specifies a minimum approach distance and is readable at this separation distance and at locations required for compliance with the general population exposure limit in § 1.1310 of this part. Appropriate training is required for any occupational personnel with access to controlled areas within restrictive barriers where the general population exposure limit is exceeded, and transient individuals must be supervised by trained occupational personnel upon entering any of these areas. Use of time averaging is required for transient individuals to ensure compliance with the general population exposure limit.

(iv) Category Three - CAUTION: Signs (with the appropriate signal word “CAUTION” and associated color (yellow) on the signs), controls, or indicators (e.g., chains, railings, contrasting paint, diagrams) are required (in addition to the positive access control established for Category Two) surrounding the area in which the exposure limit for occupational personnel in a controlled environment is exceeded by no more than a factor of ten. Signs must contain the components discussed in paragraph (b)(4)(vi) of this section. If the boundaries between Category Two and Three are such that placement of both Category Two and Three signs would be in the same location, then the Category Two sign is optional. Under certain controlled conditions, such as on a rooftop with limited access, a sign may be attached directly to the surface of an antenna within a controlled environment if it specifies the minimum approach distance and is readable at this distance and at locations required for compliance with the occupational exposure limit in § 1.1310 of this part. If signs are not used at the occupational exposure limit boundary, controls or indicators (e.g., chains, railings, contrasting paint, diagrams, etc.) must designate the boundary where the occupational exposure limit is exceeded. Additionally, appropriate training is required for any occupational personnel with access to the controlled area where the general population exposure limit is exceeded, and transient individuals must be supervised by trained personnel upon entering any of these areas. Use of time averaging is required for transient individuals to ensure compliance with the general population exposure limit. Further mitigation by reducing exposure time in accord with six-minute time averaging is required for occupational personnel in the area in which the occupational exposure limit is exceeded. However, proper use of RF personal protective equipment may be considered sufficient in lieu of time averaging for occupational personnel in the areas in which the occupational exposure limit is exceeded. If such procedures or power reduction, and therefore Category reduction, are not feasible, then lockout/tagout procedures in 29 CFR 1910.147 must be followed.

(v) Category Four - WARNING/DANGER: Where the occupational limit could be exceeded by a factor of more than ten, “WARNING” signs with the associated color (orange), controls, or indicators (e.g., chains, railings, contrasting paint, diagrams) are required (in addition to the positive access control established for Category Two) surrounding the area in which the occupational exposure limit in a controlled environment is exceeded by more than a factor of ten Signs must contain the components discussed in paragraph (b)(4)(vi) of this section. “DANGER” signs with the associated color (red) are required where immediate and serious injury will occur on contact, in addition to positive access control, regardless of mitigation actions taken in Categories Two or Three. If the boundaries between Category Three and Four are such that placement of both Category Three and Four signs would be in the same location, then the Category Three sign is optional. No access is permitted without Category reduction. If power reduction, and therefore Category reduction, is not feasible, then lockout/tagout procedures in 29 CFR 1910.147 must be followed.

(vi) RF exposure advisory signs must be viewable and readable from the boundary where the applicable exposure limits are exceeded, pursuant to 29 CFR 1910.145, and include at least the following five components:

(A) Appropriate signal word, associated color {i.e., {DANGER” (red), “WARNING” (orange), “CAUTION,” (yellow) “NOTICE” (blue)};

(B) RF energy advisory symbol;

(C) An explanation of the RF source;

(D) Behavior necessary to comply with the exposure limits; and

(E) Up-to-date contact information.

(5) Responsibility for compliance.

(i) In general, when the exposure limits specified in § 1.1310 of this part are exceeded in an accessible area due to the emissions from multiple fixed RF sources, actions necessary to bring the area into compliance or preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) as specified in § 1.1311 of this part are the shared responsibility of all licensees whose RF sources produce, at the area in question, levels that exceed 5% of the applicable exposure limit proportional to power. However, a licensee demonstrating that its facility was not the most recently modified or newly-constructed facility at the site establishes a rebuttable presumption that such licensee should not be liable in an enforcement proceeding relating to the period of non-compliance. Field strengths must be squared to be proportional to SAR or power density. Specifically, these compliance requirements apply if the square of the electric or magnetic field strength exposure level applicable to a particular RF source exceeds 5% of the square of the electric or magnetic field strength limit at the area in question where the levels due to multiple fixed RF sources exceed the exposure limit. Site owners and managers are expected to allow applicants and licensees to take reasonable steps to comply with the requirements contained in paragraph (b)(1) of this section and, where feasible, should encourage co-location of RF sources and common solutions for controlling access to areas where the RF exposure limits contained in § 1.1310 of this part might be exceeded. Applicants and licensees are required to share technical information necessary to ensure joint compliance with the exposure limits, including informing other licensees at a site in question of evaluations indicating possible non-compliance with the exposure limits.

(ii) Applicants for proposed RF sources that would cause non-compliance with the limits specified in § 1.1310 at an accessible area previously in compliance must submit an EA if emissions from the applicant's RF source would produce, at the area in question, levels that exceed 5% of the applicable exposure limit. Field strengths must be squared if necessary to be proportional to SAR or power density.

(iii) Renewal applicants whose RF sources would cause non-compliance with the limits specified in § 1.1310 at an accessible area previously in compliance must submit an EA if emissions from the applicant's RF source would produce, at the area in question, levels that exceed 5% of the applicable exposure limit. Field strengths must be squared if necessary to be proportional to SAR or power density.

(c) If an interested person alleges that a particular action, otherwise categorically excluded, will have a significant environmental effect, the person shall electronically submit to the Bureau responsible for processing that action a written petition setting forth in detail the reasons justifying or circumstances necessitating environmental consideration in the decision-making process. If an interested person is unable to submit electronically or if filing electronically would be unreasonably burdensome, such person may submit the petition by mail, with a request for waiver under § 1.1304(b). (See § 1.1313). The Bureau shall review the petition and consider the environmental concerns that have been raised. If the Bureau determines that the action may have a significant environmental impact, the Bureau will require the applicant to prepare an EA (see §§ 1.1308 and 1.1311), which will serve as the basis for the determination to proceed with or terminate environmental processing.

(d) If the Bureau responsible for processing a particular action, otherwise categorically excluded, determines that the proposal may have a significant environmental impact, the Bureau, on its own motion, shall require the applicant to electronically submit an EA. The Bureau will review and consider the EA as in paragraph (c) of this section.

Note to paragraph (d):

Pending a final determination as to what, if any, permanent measures should be adopted specifically for the protection of migratory birds, the Bureau shall require an Environmental Assessment for an otherwise categorically excluded action involving a new or existing antenna structure, for which an antenna structure registration application (FCC Form 854) is required under part 17 of this chapter, if the proposed antenna structure will be over 450 feet in height above ground level (AGL) and involves either:

1. Construction of a new antenna structure;

2. Modification or replacement of an existing antenna structure involving a substantial increase in size as defined in paragraph I(C)(1)(3) of Appendix B to part 1 of this chapter; or

3. Addition of lighting or adoption of a less preferred lighting style as defined in § 17.4(c)(1)(iii) of this chapter. The Bureau shall consider whether to require an EA for other antenna structures subject to § 17.4(c) of this chapter in accordance with § 17.4(c)(8) of this chapter. An Environmental Assessment required pursuant to this note will be subject to the same procedures that apply to any Environmental Assessment required for a proposed tower or modification of an existing tower for which an antenna structure registration application (FCC Form 854) is required, as set forth in § 17.4(c) of this chapter.

(e) No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the regulations contained in this chapter concerning the environmental effects of such emissions. For purposes of this paragraph:

(1) The term personal wireless service means commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services;

(2) The term personal wireless service facilities means facilities for the provision of personal wireless services;

(3) The term unlicensed wireless services means the offering of telecommunications services using duly authorized devices which do not require individual licenses, but does not mean the provision of direct-to-home satellite services; and

(4) The term direct-to-home satellite services means the distribution or broadcasting of programming or services by satellite directly to the subscriber's premises without the use of ground receiving or distribution equipment, except at the subscriber's premises or in the uplink process to the satellite.

[51 FR 15000, Apr. 22, 1986]