Today, the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed an FCC order regarding tower siting as being in violation of the proper NEPA standard.
The case caption and introduction are below, followed by a PDF of the decision.
AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY, INC.
AND FOREST CONSERVATION COUNCIL,
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION,
CTIA – THE WIRELESS ASSOCIATION, ET AL.,
PER CURIAM: The American Bird Conservancy and Forest conservation Council petition for review of an order by the Commission denying in part and dismissing in part their petition seeking protection of migratory birds from collisions with communications towers in the Gulf Coast region. In Re Petition by Forest Conservation Council, American Bird Conservancy and Friends of the Earth for National Environmental Policy Act Compliance (“Order”), 21 F.C.C.R. 4462 (2006). Their petition claimed that Commission rules and procedures for approving new towers failed to comport with the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq., the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq., and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”), 16 U.S.C. § 701 et seq. We vacate the Order because the Commission failed to apply the proper NEPA standard, to provide a reasoned explanation on consultation under the ESA, and to provide meaningful notice of pending tower applications.