Action Alert: Request for G2G Consultation for FCC’s Twilight Towers Program Comment Request
Action Alert: Request for Government-to-Govern
Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (NATHPO) announces the action alert for Request for G2G Consultation for FCC’s Twilight Towers Program Comment Request.
On August 24, 2020, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) received a request from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to issue a Program Comment for collocations on “twilight towers.” FCC would like to develop a process for considering the effects of collocations on towers that were built between March 16, 2001, and March 7, 2005. Currently, telecommunications companies do not use these towers for collocations because FCC cannot confirm that the Section 106 process was completed for the original tower construction.
In accordance with the Section 106 regulations, the ACHP has 45 days in which to review the Twilight Towers Program Comment and decide whether to approve it as proposed, approve it with revisions, request an extension, or decline to comment. During the 45-day period, the ACHP is required to consult with Indian tribes who may attach religious and cultural significance to historic properties that may be affected by undertakings subject to the Program Comment.
Accordingly, the ACHP invites you to a consultation meeting on one of two dates via telephone or videoconferencing:
- Wednesday, September 16, at 10:00 am Eastern, or
- Thursday, September 17, at 2:00 pm Eastern.
The meeting may be accessed by telephone or videoconferencing.
Wednesday’s (9/16) call registration: https://achp.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_SDWtdzgWT6yb1a0DTXZ1ag.
Thursday’s (9/17) call registration: https://achp.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_LF5p7kJRTA6uJ0Kr7dhokQ.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar, either by phone or video. The draft program comment proposed by the FCC and a summary of FCC’s outreach efforts is attached to this email for your review prior to the call.
Here are the draft Program Comment (.pdf, 392KB) and FCC’s summary of tribal consultation and comments received (.pdf, 283KB). NATHPO has drafted a letter to the ACHP (.doc, 14KB) dressing the multiple and various issues with this approach and requesting an extension beyond the 45-day comment period. We encourage you to submit your own letter to the ACHP as soon as possible and feel free to use ours as a template.
Dear Chairman Jorjani:
I write on behalf of [insert Tribe or THPO] (the [Tribe or THPO]) and request that the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) obtain the consent of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to extend its review of the FCC’s proposed program comment an additional ninety days. Should the FCC refuse to consent to this request for an extension, we urge the ACHP to decline to provide comment. Finally, we object to the adequacy of the ACHP’s proposed consultations.
The ACHP received the FCC’s proposed program comment on August 24, 2020, but did not notify the Tribe or announce its intended consultations until Friday, September 11, 2020, eighteen days later. The ACHP has provided us only five days, starting on a Friday (the nineteenth anniversary of one of the greatest American tragedies, nonetheless) to review the program comment before the first consultation. This is not enough time for us and our staff to review the proposed program comment to meaningfully engage with the ACHP during the proposed consultations. Nor is this enough time for us to review and provide comments on the entire proposed program comment. The ACHP must delay the scheduled tribal consultations and extend the timeline for reviewing and commenting on the proposed program comment.
Furthermore, the two videoconference consultations proposed by the ACHP are not adequate. We do not consider two videoconferences adequate consultation, especially for an issue as important as Twilight Towers. The ACHP and the FCC must engage in meaningful and early consultation with our Tribe. What the ACHP has proposed is not meaningful consultation.
We are very concerned about Twilight Towers and believe that the ACHP and the FCC must engage in meaningful and early consultation with tribes to solve this issue. What the ACHP has proposed misses the mark. We therefore request that the ACHP extend the time period to review and comment on the proposed program comment by an additional ninety days, delay the scheduled consultations so that we have enough time to review the proposed program comment, and to actually engage in meaningful consultation on this issue.