FCC: Small Cells Exempt from Environmental and Historical Review

A rule exempting small wireless facilities from environmental impact review.

A “small cell” is a radio access point used to enhance cellular coverage by complementing large “macro cell” towers. The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires historic preservation review for “undertakings,” and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires environmental review for “major Federal actions.” In this rule, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) clarifies that the deployment of small cells, is neither an “undertaking” nor a “major Federal action,” and thus does not require historic preservation review or environmental review. The FCC believes this rule will help to streamline and facilitate the deployment of next generation wireless facilities, also known as 5G.

Source: Brookings Deregulation Tracker

This rulemaking with remove some of the leverage Counties and Cities will have in extorting cash from the cell phone companies and will reduce local control of where the 5G small cells are placed in communities.  Prepare for the lawsuits, this is not going to go down easy.


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