skip to main content

S. 835: Connecting Communities Post Disasters Act of 2021


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 18, 2021 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 835

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 18, 2021

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works

A BILL

To provide that the Federal Communications Commission and communications service providers regulated by the Commission under the Communications Act of 1934 shall not be subject to certain provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the National Historic Preservation Act with respect to the construction, rebuilding, or hardening of communications facilities following a major disaster or an emergency declared by the President, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Connecting Communities Post Disasters Act of 2021.

2.

Application of NEPA and NHPA to covered communications projects

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Commission

The term Commission means the Federal Communications Commission.

(2)

Communications facility

The term communications facility includes—

(A)

any wireless or wireline infrastructure for the transmission of writing, signs, signals, data, images, pictures, or sounds of all kinds;

(B)

any transmitting device, tower, or support structure, and any equipment, switches, wiring, cabling, power sources, shelters, or cabinets, associated with the provision of communications services; and

(C)

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; and

(iii)

is added to a tower, building, or other structure.

(3)

Communications service

The term communications service means a service for the transmission of writing, signs, signals, data, images, pictures, or sounds of all kinds.

(4)

Covered project

The term covered project means a project that—

(A)

is to be carried out within an area for which the President has declared a major disaster or an emergency under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.);

(B)

is to be carried out not later than 5 years after the date on which the President made the declaration; and

(C)
(i)

replaces a communications facility damaged by the disaster or emergency; or

(ii)

makes improvements to a communications facility—

(I)

that could reasonably be considered as necessary for recovery from the disaster or emergency; or

(II)

to prevent or mitigate damage to the communications facility from a future disaster or emergency.

(b)

NEPA considerations

The Commission shall treat a covered project as a class of action categorically excluded from any requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)) in accordance with section 1501.4 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation).

(c)

National historic preservation considerations

Section 306108 of title 54, United States Code, shall not apply with respect to a covered project—

(1)

for which the Commission is required to issue a permit; or

(2)

that is otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission.