FCC Releases Emissions Exposure Rules Orders/NPRM

On Wednesday, December 4, 2019, the Commission released a Resolution of Notice of Inquiry, Second Report and Order, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Memorandum Opinion and Order (“NOI”, “R&O”, “NPRM” and “MO&O”) in the Radiofrequency Exposure proceedings, revising and streamlining the radiofrequency (“RF”) emission exposure rules (ET Docket No. 19-226).

The Commission first resolves an NOI that sought comment on amending the existing RF emissions exposure limits, and declines to initiate a rulemaking to reevaluate the existing limits at this time. The R&O revises the exemption and evaluation rules for compliance with the existing RF exposure limits. The Commission streamlines the criteria for determining when a licensee is exempt from RF exposure evaluation criteria, replacing the prior service-based exemptions with formulas for calculating minimal risk of RF exposure. For licensees that do not qualify for an exemption, the Commission provides more flexibility to establish compliance with the RF exposure limits with clarified methodologies and calculations. Additionally, the Commission specifies methods that RF equipment operators can use to mitigate risks of excess exposure.

The NPRM proposes targeted approaches on the application of the RF exposure limits for future uses of wireless technologies. Specifically, it proposes to formalize an additional limit for localized RF exposure and the associated methodology for compliance for devices operating at high frequencies, and proposes to allow wireless power transfer equipment under Part 15 and 18 of the Commission’s rules with specific exposure limits. Lastly, the MO&O denies a pending petition for reconsideration and affirms the Commission’s prior findings on measuring extremities in determining compliance with exposure limits.

The rule revisions in the R&O will be effective 60 days after publication, with the exception of Section 2.1091(d)(3) (regarding using time averaging provisions to determine RF emissions limits for mobile devices) which requires OMB approval and will be effective at a later date.

Comments are due 30 days from publication in the Federal Register.

Reply comments are due 60 days from publication in the Federal Register.

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