Thursday, August 16, 2018

Court Counters Tribes’ Pleas for Tighter Control

UPDATE A federal appeals court yesterday denied a motion to stay an FCC order to ease wireless infrastructure siting by exempting most small cells on non-Tribal lands from environmental and historic review.  

The Seminole Tribe of Florida most recently asked the D.C. Circuit for a stay, pending the court’s review of the Tribe’s Petition for Review. The Seminoles joined with 15 other tribes, plus the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States in fighting the FCC, saying the agency did not properly consult with Tribes before adopting the order in March and its decision violated federal law. The Seminoles said in their July 18 motion the decision: “effectively eliminates the Tribe’s ability to collect fees for its review of macro cell towers and gives industry applicants the discretion to contract important review and mitigation work to non-tribal entities unqualified to protect the Tribe’s historic and cultural properties.”

The order was due to go into effect July 2. Sprint and CTIA recently joined the FCC in the case, Inside Towers reported last week. The Commission consistently said it consulted with the Tribes before making the change and did not violate federal law. Continue Reading

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