IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 18, 2021
Mrs. Blackburn introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
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.
This Act may be cited as the
Connecting Communities Post Disasters Act of 2021.
Application of NEPA and NHPA to covered communications projects
In this section:
The term Commission means the Federal Communications Commission.
The term communications facility includes—
any wireless or wireline infrastructure for the transmission of writing, signs, signals, data, images, pictures, or sounds of all kinds;
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
any antenna or apparatus that—
is designed for the purpose of emitting radio frequency;
is designed to be operated, or is operating, from a fixed location; and
is added to a tower, building, or other structure.
The term communications service means a service for the transmission of writing, signs, signals, data, images, pictures, or sounds of all kinds.
The term covered project means a project that—
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.);
is to be carried out not later than 5 years after the date on which the President made the declaration; and
replaces a communications facility damaged by the disaster or emergency; or
makes improvements to a communications facility—
that could reasonably be considered as necessary for recovery from the disaster or emergency; or
to prevent or mitigate damage to the communications facility from a future disaster or emergency.
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).
National historic preservation considerations
Section 306108 of title 54, United States Code, shall not apply with respect to a covered project—
for which the Commission is required to issue a permit; or
that is otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission.