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FCC Advances Procedures on RF Safety Rules

In  March 27, 2013, the FCC voted to advance its review of its various rules pertaining to the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements related to radiofrequency (RF) emissions from radio transmitters. 

The FCC has divided this process into three parts:

  • a Report and Order (Order) and a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Further Notice ) in ET Docket No. 03-137, and

  • a Notice of Inquiry (Inquiry) in a new docket, ET Docket No. 13-84.

 In the Order the FCC concludes several technical and semantic issues initiated in 2003 that revise and update its regulations implementing NEPA.  In the Further Noticethe FCC proposes to further update and revise its procedures beyond its 2003 proposals.  In theInquirythe FCC requests comment to determine whether its RF exposure limits and policies need to be reassessed.  Since consideration of the limits themselves is explicitly outside of the scope of ET Docket No. 03-137, the FCC opens a new docket, ET Docket No. 13-84, with the Inquiryto consider these limits in light of more recent developments.  The Inquiryis intended to open discussion on both the currency of our RF exposure limits and possible policy approaches regarding RF exposure.   While the FCC has continuously monitored research and conferred with experts in this field, and is confident in its RF exposure guidelines and the soundness of the basis for its rules, it is a matter of good government to periodically reexamine regulations and their implementation.  The FCC looks forward to developing a complete record by soliciting the input of qualified expert agencies and organizations and the public, to determine whether the current rules and policies should remain unchanged, or should be relaxed or tightened.  June 21, 20130

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