The FCC announced today that it has reached a $10 million settlement with Sprint over the carrier's construction on cell sites without completing required environmental and historical reviews. In addition to writing the U.S. Treasury a big fat check, Sprint agreed that in the future, the wireless operator will enhance its environmental and historic preservation reviews before working on its cell towers and other wireless infrastructure facilities.
The National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and FCC rules require that firms applying to build wireless infrastructure produce a study to see whether building on a proposed cell site will negatively impact the environment. This is done to protect wildlife, flood plains, and sites with "historic or cultural significance."
"The law was clear and it is vital that carriers and infrastructure companies alike never duck their responsibilities. Even as our rules are updated over time, companies must abide by the law as it stands whenever they are building infrastructure, operating wireless facilities, or taking other actions under FCC jurisdiction."-Christopher Killion, acting deputy chief of the Enforcement Bureau, FCC
If you're interested in viewing the consent decree that Sprint agreed to, click on the following link