On April 29, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission solicited comment concerning a Petition for Expedited Rulemaking and Other Relief, filed by the American Bird Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife and the National Audubon Society (collectively, the Petitioners). The Petitioners ask the Commission to adopt, on an expedited basis, new rules that the Petitioners assert are necessary to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the implementing regulations for these statutes and a federal court mandate. Comments were filed on May 29, 2009, and reply comments are due by June 15, 2009. Initial comments were filed by industry groups representing tower erectors and users. These parties generally oppose expedited action and state that the Commission should instead study the matter further to determine if new rules are warranted.

This action is the latest step in a long, complex consideration of the impact of communications towers on migratory birds both by the FCC and the federal courts.

A copy of the Notice soliciting comment is available here.