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From NCAI: FCC Action Published on Streamlining Tribal Section 106 Review

May 15, 2017

May 10, 2017
FCC Action Published on Streamlining Tribal Section 106 Review
Today, The FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on “Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment” was published in the Federal Register. Tribes will have 30 days to comment on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and 60 days to file reply comments.
The FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks to streamline and limit Tribal Section 106 Review when considering the impacts of wireless infrastructure on historic and cultural properties. The Notice asks if Tribal Nations should be required to provide certification to the FCC for determining their areas of interest. The Notice also asks if wireless industry applicants should self-certify their Section 106 compliance if a Tribe takes too long to consider the impacts on historic properties. It is important for the FCC to see that Indian Country is engaged on the first major action limiting tribal involvement in off reservation infrastructure decision making in 2017.
NCAI, USET and NATHPO submitted joint comments, as did many Tribes, while it was a “Draft” Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Since its publication in the Federal Register today, the action is in the process of a formal rulemaking and no longer a draft. Tribes are encouraged to file again now that the process is a formal rulemaking.
The NCAI, USET and NATHPO draft comments found here explain the following: The FCC’s treaty and trust obligations to Tribes, the importance of Tribal Section 106 Review, certifying tribal areas of interest, situations when multiple tribes review one application, collocations, Rights of Ways and costs of Tribal Review.  NCAI, USET and NATHPO conducted a webinar on the Draft Notice, watch it here.
Although there are minor edits and changes from the Draft that NCAI filed comments on, the changes are not substantive on Tribal Policy. With this Public Notice in the Federal Register today, Tribes, Historic Preservation Departments and the public are able to file comments with the FCC.
Timeline for Filing Comments
May 10th
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Published in the Federal Register
Comment Period Begins for 30 days
June 9th
Comments are Due
July 9th
Reply Comments are Due
How to File comments with the FCC:
  • Go to the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System- https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/
  • Click “Submit a Filing” – https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings
  • Enter “17-79” in the Section labeled “Proceeding(s)”
    • o   “Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barrier to Infrastructure Investment” should pop up below and click
    • Enter your information
    • Attach your comment as a PDF or Word Document
    • Confirm your submission
    • If possible, please copy Maria Givens at mgivens@ncai.org on any comments so that NCAI can have comprehensive record of tribal interest on this issue.
If you have questions contact Maria Givens, Policy Analyst, mgivens@ncai.org

Last modified: February 25, 2022