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J.E. “Sam” Ryan, CBO

5280 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, Washington 98226
Telephone: (360) 676-6907

KRPI AM Radio Transmitter Site / BBC Broadcasting Inc. - CUP2013-00004

Status Update from the Project Planner:

11/05/2014 - Parties of Record - Appeal Information

10/30/2014 - Hearing Examiner's Decision:

10/27/2014 - Hearing Cancelled:

10/21/2014 -Hearing Cancelled:

10/3/2014 - Staff Report:

The Whatcom County Planning and Development Services Staff Report for CUP2013-00004 permit has been completed.

Click this link to view the CUP2013-00004 Staff Report.

8/11/2014 - SEPA Appeal:

An appeal of the SEPA Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) was filed with Whatcom County on 8/8/2014. A copy of this appeal can be found below.

7/29/2014 - Update:

New Information: It has come to our attention that some documents and/or correspondence may have been inadvertently omitted from the web page. The information is now available and can be found at the bottom of this page.

SEPA: A SEPA Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) has been issued. Please scroll below to the SEPA link to locate the following four documents:

Letter to the Parties of Record
SEPA Determination
Changes to the SEPA Checklist
Revised Site Plan

7/16/2014 - Update:

New Information: As requested, BBC Broadcasting Inc., provided Whatcom County with the required information requested in the November 6, 2013 Notice of Additional Requirements. Please scroll to the bottom of the page to the link that reads, "Supplemental Information - Revised Narrative". This is the beginning of 27 separate links of new information.

Public Comments: As most of you are aware, staff has been receiving comments daily since the closing of the comment period more than eleven months ago. In order to review the newly submitted information and write the staff report, it is recommended that no further comments be submitted in response to this new information. If you elect to submit comments, they likely will not be addressed in the staff report. However, they will become part of the record and will be forwarded to the Hearing Examiner.

Hearing Date: The following dates and times have been reserved for the conditional use permit public hearing for BBC Broadcasting, Inc. The hearing is open to the public.

Whatcom County Courthouse
  First Floor, Council Chambers
  311 Grand Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225

Hearing Dates:
October 27, 2014
10:30 am - 5:00 pm
October 28, 2014
*No Hearing
October 29, 2014
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
October 30, 2014
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
October 31, 2014
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
November 3, 2014
10:30 am - ?

6/10/2014 Update: On June 4, 2014, Whatcom County sent a letter to the agent representing BBC Broadcasting, Inc., informing the applicant the CUP application will expire on July 10, 2014 if the information requested in the November 6, 2013 Notice of Additional Requirements (NOAR) is not received. Please scroll to the bottom of the page to view the letter(s). The county had been told the requested information will be submitted within the next few weeks. Once received, the information/studies will be placed on the website for public viewing.

10/10/2013 – New Information:  Please scroll to the bottom of the page to see the most recent letters and documents provided to the County from BBC Broadcasting, Inc. These documents were voluntarly submitted and not a result of information requested by the County.

10/10/2013 – Public Comments: Staff will continue to receive comments up until the date of the hearing.  Since the public has had two additional months to comment on the proposal, staff recommends that only pertinent information be sent to the County that may assist them in making an informative decision regarding approval or denial of the proposal. Based on the public comments received, here are a few, but not all of the concerns the County has identified: 

  • Environmental: What information and/or studies are available regarding the effect of radiation/electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) on the migratory and nesting patterns of birds (specifically the Blue Heron) and what effects will EMF’s play in reducing the likelihood the Blue Herons will return to the abandoned Pt. Roberts Rookery.
  • Health:  Are there any associated health risks regarding RF radiation exposure.  What studies, if any are available to show there are no inherent risks?
  • Interference:  How will BBC Broadcasting Inc., ensure that Radio Frequency (RF) can be fully mitigated to prevent interference with electronic devices such as radios used by Ham radio operators, cable television, satellite systems, cordless phones, cell phones, computers, faxing and Skyping capabilities and to personal medical devices?  Will RF from the towers adversely affect emergency response communications systems for Pt. Roberts, Washington and/or Tsawwassen, British Columbia?
  • Aesthetics:  Comments from those living in Pt. Roberts are concerned that the appearance of five large radio antennas will take away from the aesthetically pleasing surroundings that make Pt. Roberts a pleasurable place to live and visit.  Staff will be researching the Whatcom County Zoning Ordinance, Title 20, the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan, the Whatcom County Point Roberts Subarea Plan and the Point Roberts Character Plan to confirm compliance with these regulations.

9/19/2013 – SEPA:  The County utilized the optional DNS process to receive comments in conjunction with the CUP application for the proposed AM radio antennas in Pt. Roberts.  A final SEPA determination is on hold until staff can read the comments and confidently determine that additional studies are not required.  When a SEPA determination has been issued it will be posted on this website.

9/19/2013 – Public Comments: Staff appreciates all the comments submitted by members of the public both in Pt. Roberts and Canada.  Public comments will continue to be accepted until the date of the hearing.   However, since the “official” comment period ended last month, staff would appreciate receiving comments pertaining specifically to the subarea or comprehensive plan, and/or studies, links or other valuable information which may be informative for staff to use in making our final determination.  Please forward comments to

Thank you!

KRPI AM Radio Transmitter Site / BBC Broadcasting Inc.

BBC Broadcasting Inc. is requesting zoning conditional use approval to install a radio communication facility consisting of five ~150’ vertical lattice AM signal antennas, a driveway, parking area, and a 600 square foot equipment shelter.  The five antennas will create a broadcast signal for KRPI radio station 1550 AM.

The 10.62 acre parcel, APN 415334221100, is located at 1563 McKenzie Way in Pt. Roberts, Washington.  The subject site is zoned Rural (R5A).  Pursuant to WCC 20.97.329(1), a radio communication facility is a public utility.  Public utilities and equipment structures are permitted with zoning conditional use approval pursuant to WCC 20.82.030(5) and WCC 20.82.030(7). 

A National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) checklist was completed for the project in compliance with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) NEPA rules.  Several professional studies were done for NEPA and were submitted with the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application.  Scroll below to locate the links to the CUP application and associated studies relating to this project.  

Whatcom County Planning and Development Services has reviewed the proposed project for probable adverse impacts and expects to issue a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) for this project.  The Optional DNS process described in WAC 197-11-355 is being used.

The County invites you to comment on this proposal.  Comments will be accepted up until the date of the hearing.  However, to ensure your comments are addressed in the staff report, your comments are legally required to be submitted to our department by no later than August 16, 2013.

You have the right to receive notice of and participate in any hearings, request a copy of the decision once made, and to appeal a decision when allowed by law.  If you wish to receive notice of any hearings you must notify the Hearing Examiner’s office in writing at 311 Grand Avenue, Suite 401, Bellingham, WA 98225, or by telephone at (360) 676-6794 or in person at 1000 North Forest, Suite 100, Bellingham, WA 98225 within 15 days of the notice of application.  Notices of public hearings are mailed to interested parties three weeks prior to the hearing date.

Any questions regarding the review process or regarding the project proposal should be directed to the Project Planner, Suzanne Bosman at or by telephone at (360) 676-6907.

CUP2013-00004 Application

  • CUP Application
    • Project Narrative & Additional Application Materials
  • Preliminary Traffic & Concurrency Information
  • Preliminary Stormwater Proposal
  • Land Disturbance Permit Application
  • Revocable Encroachment Permit Application
  • Visual Resource Technical Report - URS, June 2013

Appendix C - Existing Conditions from Key Observation Points

  • Visual Resource Technical Report Continued, Simulation of Project Features

Appendix D - Contrast Rating Forms

  • Visual Resource Technical Report Continued
  • KRPI Antenna Height Analysis - Hatfield & Dawson, January 2013
  • RF Exposure Standards for KRPI - Hatfield & Dawson, January 2013
  • Blanketing Interference Mitigation Plan - Hatfield & Dawson, January 2013
  • Eliminating Radio Frequency Interference Handbook - Hatfield & Dawson, January 2013
  • Avian Risk Evaluation Letter - Kerlinger, July 2012
  • FAA Determination of No Hazard to Air Navigation, August 2010
  • NEPA Checklist
    • Biological Assessment - ATSI, June 2010
    • Washington Dept. of Archaeology & Historic Preservation Letter, June 2010
    • Wetlands Assessment - ATSI, June 2010
    • Wetland/Fish and Wildlife Assessment, ATSI, June 2010
    • FCC Form 620 (Including Documents, Letters, & Photographs)
    • National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Review - ADAPT, May 2010
    • The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation - Letter, September 2005

Coville Confederated Tribes

  • Colville Traditional Territories in Washington State - Maps

Attachment E - Indian Tribe Second Notification

  • FCC Form 620 (Misc. E-mail Correspondence)
  • Drayton Archaeological Research Report, May 2010
  • FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Submission Packet

Site Plan

Clearing Site Plan

  • Conceptural Floor Plans, Shelter
  • Conceptual Antenna Elevation

SEPA Checklist

  • Infrastructure Photo Examples
  • SEPA Checklist

Notice of Application

Letter Sent June 4, 2014 - Permit Expiration

Letter Sent November 6, 2013 - Notice of Additional Requirements

Letter Received January 15, 2013 - Hatfield & Dawson Consulting Electrical Engineers

Letter Received September 30, 2013 - Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Letter Received October 1, 2013 - Davis Wright Tremine LLP

FCC Guidelines - RF Emmission Safety

FCC Q&A - Biological Effects of EMF's

FCC Guidelines - Human Exposure to EMF

FCC - Supplemental Human Exposure to EMF

Table of Contents for the Supplemental Information

Supplemental Information - Revised Narrative

Revision to Visual Resources Technical Report - June 26, 2014

BBC Broadcasting Visual Resources Tech Report - June 2014

Addendum to the June 2010 Wetland/Fish and Wildlife Report - April 24, 2014

Amended Cultural Resource Review - May 26, 2014

Amended Changes to the SEPA Checklist - June 25, 2014

URS Review of Visual Simulation Report - June 26, 2014

Response to the County's Notice of Additional Requirements

Addendum to Avian Risk Assessment Letter - June 2, 2014

Health Risks RE: Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation Exposure

Biological Effects of RF Fields

Health Effects from RF Electromagnetic Fields

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection

Sweden's Radiation Safety Authority - Report

Radiofrequency EMF's and Risk of Disease

Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans from EMF's

Druze Isifya Village Study EMF's and Cancer

Health Evaluation Exposure to Radiofrequency - March 31, 2014

AM Antenna Facilities and KRPI Photo Exhibit

License Renewal and Radio Interference - Hatfield and Dawson - April 2006

Response from FCC - Objection to License Renewal - February 19, 2008

Radio Frequency Spectrum - Hatfield and Dawson - November 20, 2013

Interference to Medical Devices - Hatfield and Dawson - June 10, 2014

Proposed Antenna System and Canadian Safety Code - June 10, 2014

Radio Transmitter Population Counts - Chart and Vicinity Maps

Letter dated October 25, 2013 regarding the Ferndale Transmitter Site

Station History Report for KRPI

Engineering Statement regarding informal objection to the license renewal

FCC 2008 Response & Rejection of Residents -Objection & Granting Ferndale License Application

Decision by Whatcom County Council on KNTR granting CUP for 4th Antenna Structure

Freeman v Burlington Broadcasters

Broyde v Gotham Tower

Re: Anne Arundel County Zoning Ordinance

Re: 960 Radio

Public Notice Re: FCCs Role Regarding RFI Matters

Letter dated June 30, 2014 explaining KRPI's response to the county's Notice of Additional Requirements

Cover Letter to Parties of Record Re: SEPA Determination of Non-Significance (DNS)

SEPA Determination of Non-Significance

Amendments to the SEPA Checklist

Revised Site Plan

Appeal of SEPA Determination of Non-Significance