Federal Communications Commission to regulate wind turbines?

Well, perhaps not just wind turbines, but any tall or thick structure near an AM radio tower.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a second further notice of proposed rulemaking in MM Docket No. 93-177 regarding the regulation of construction of towers near AM radio towers to avoid radio frequency interference.  While generally aimed at the construction of communications towers (which are FCC-regulated), the FCC indicated (see paragraph 19) that in contemplating new rules it seeks:

comment on whether the Commission may apply the proposed rules to the owners of structures that are not otherwise subject to Commission licensing processes, i.e., with regard to structures such as towers that do no require registration and which no Commission licensee or applicant uses or proposes to use. Do such towers fall within Part 15 [of the FCC rules] restrictions as incidental radiators… [emphasis added]

Tall steel wind turbines can interfere with radio transmissions (as turbine blades themselves are increasingly made of composites and plastic, they decreasingly impact radio transmissions). See an Australian report, or a Canadian report, or some information on RF interference from the good ol’ U.S. of A.

The FCC’s notice and proposed rules (See Appendix E) may be found here. Comments will be due no later than 30 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register.


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