[USC02] 43 USC 1761a: Streamlining the Forest Service process for consideration of communications facility location applications
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43 USC 1761a: Streamlining the Forest Service process for consideration of communications facility location applications Text contains those laws in effect on September 20, 2019
From Title 43-PUBLIC LANDSCHAPTER 35-FEDERAL LAND POLICY AND MANAGEMENTSUBCHAPTER V-RIGHTS-OF-WAY

§1761a. Streamlining the Forest Service process for consideration of communications facility location applications

(a) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Communications facility

The term "communications facility" includes-

(A) any infrastructure, including any transmitting device, tower, or support structure, and any equipment, switches, wiring, cabling, power sources, shelters, or cabinets, associated with the licensed or permitted unlicensed wireless or wireline transmission of writings, signs, signals, data, images, pictures, and sounds of all kinds; and

(B) any antenna or apparatus that-

(i) is designed for the purpose of emitting radio frequency;

(ii) is designed to be operated, or is operating, from a fixed location pursuant to authorization by the Federal Communications Commission or is using duly authorized devices that do not require individual licenses; and

(iii) is added to a tower, building, or other structure.

(2) Communications site

The term "communications site" means an area of covered land designated for communications uses.

(3) Communications use

The term "communications use" means the placement and operation of a communications facility.

(4) Communications use authorization

The term "communications use authorization" means an easement, right-of-way, lease, license, or other authorization to locate or modify a communications facility on covered land by the Forest Service for the primary purpose of authorizing the occupancy and use of the covered land for communications use.

(5) Covered land

The term "covered land" means National Forest System land.

(6) Forest Service

The term "Forest Service" means the United States Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture.

(7) Organizational unit

The term "organizational unit" means, within the Forest Service-

(A) a regional office;

(B) the headquarters;

(C) a management unit; or

(D) a ranger district office.

(b) Regulations

Notwithstanding section 1455 of title 47 or section 606 of the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act of 2018 (Public Law 115–141), not later than 1 year after December 20, 2018, the Secretary shall issue regulations-

(1) to streamline the process for considering applications to locate or modify communications facilities on covered land;

(2) to ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that the process is uniform and standardized across the organizational units of the Forest Service; and

(3) to require that the applications described in paragraph (1) be considered and granted on a competitively neutral, technology neutral, and non-discriminatory basis.

(c) Requirements

The regulations issued under subsection (b) shall include the following:

(1) Procedures for the tracking of applications described in subsection (b)(1), including-

(A) identifying the number of applications-

(i) received;

(ii) approved; and

(iii) denied;


(B) in the case of an application that is denied, describing the reasons for the denial; and

(C) describing the amount of time between the receipt of an application and the issuance of a final decision on an application.


(2) Provision for minimum lease terms of not less than 15 years for leases with respect to the location of communications facilities on covered land.

(3) A structure of fees for-

(A) submitting an application described in subsection (b)(1), based on the cost to the Forest Service of considering such an application; and

(B) issuing communications use authorizations, based on the cost to the Forest Service of any maintenance or other activities required to be performed by the Forest Service as a result of the location or modification of the communications facility.


(4) Provision for prioritization or streamlining of the consideration of applications to locate or modify communications facilities on covered land in a previously disturbed right-of-way.

(d) Additional considerations

In issuing regulations under subsection (b), the Secretary shall consider-

(1) how discrete reviews in considering an application described in subsection (b)(1) can be conducted simultaneously, rather than sequentially, by any organizational units of the Forest Service that must approve the location or modification; and

(2) how to eliminate overlapping requirements among the organizational units of the Forest Service with respect to the location or modification of a communications facility on covered land administered by those organizational units.

(e) Communication of streamlined process to organizational units

The Secretary shall, with respect to the regulations issued under subsection (b)-

(1) communicate the regulations to the organizational units of the Forest Service; and

(2) ensure that the organizational units of the Forest Service follow the regulations.

(f) Deposit and availability of fees

(1) Special account

The Secretary of the Treasury shall establish a special account in the Treasury for the Forest Service for the deposit of fees collected by the Forest Service under subsection (c)(3) for communications use authorizations on covered land granted, issued, or executed by the Forest Service.

(2) Requirements for fees collected

Fees collected by the Forest Service under subsection (c)(3) shall be-

(A) based on the costs described in subsection (c)(3); and

(B) competitively neutral, technology neutral, and nondiscriminatory with respect to other users of the communications site.

(3) Deposit of fees

Fees collected by the Forest Service under subsection (c)(3) shall be deposited in the special account established for the Forest Service under paragraph (1).

(4) Availability of fees

Amounts deposited in the special account for the Forest Service shall be available, to the extent and in such amounts as are provided in advance in appropriation Acts, to the Secretary to cover costs incurred by the Forest Service described in subsection (c)(3), including the following:

(A) Preparing needs assessments or other programmatic analyses necessary to designate communications sites and issue communications use authorizations.

(B) Developing management plans for communications sites.

(C) Training for management of communications sites.

(D) Obtaining or improving access to communications sites.

(5) No additional appropriations authorized

Except as provided in paragraph (4), no other amounts are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section.

(g) Savings provisions

(1) Real property authorities

Nothing in this section, or the amendments made by this section, shall be construed as providing any executive agency with any new leasing or other real property authorities not existing prior to December 20, 2018.

(2) Effect on other laws

Nothing in this section, or the amendments made by this section, and no actions taken pursuant to this section, or the amendments made by this section, shall impact a decision or determination by any executive agency to sell, dispose of, declare excess or surplus, lease, reuse, or redevelop any Federal real property pursuant to title 40, the Federal Assets Sale and Transfer Act of 2016 (40 U.S.C. 1303 note; Public Law 114–287), or any other law governing real property activities of the Federal Government. No agreement entered into pursuant to this section, or the amendments made by this section, may obligate the Federal Government to hold, control, or otherwise retain or use real property that may otherwise be deemed as excess, surplus, or that could otherwise be sold, leased, or redeveloped.

( Pub. L. 115–334, title VIII, §8705, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4878 .)

References in Text

Section 606 of the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act of 2018, referred to in subsec. (b), is section 606 of div. P of Pub. L. 115–141, which amended section 1455 of Title 47, Telecommunications, and enacted provisions set out as notes under section 1455 of Title 47.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, and not as part of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 which comprises this chapter.

Definition of "Secretary"

"Secretary" as meaning the Secretary of Agriculture, see section 2 of Pub. L. 115–334, set out as a note under section 9001 of Title 7, Agriculture.