CSC: Sterling Docket No 216 Opinion

DOCKET NO. 216 - MCF Communications bg, Inc. application 
for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need 
for the construction, maintenance, and operation of a cellular 
telecommunications facility off of Exeter Drive, Sterling, 






April 3, 2002


On October 12, 2001, MCF Communications bg, Inc. (MCF) applied to the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) for the construction, maintenance and operation of a telecommunications facility off of Exeter Drive, Sterling, Connecticut.  The primary purpose of the proposed facility is to provide wireless telecommunications coverage to existing gaps in coverage for both 880 MHz and 1900 MHz signal frequencies in the region especially along Route 14 and Route 14a in the Sterling area. The proposed site is within the Town-owned Sterling Industrial Park next to the existing Exeter Energy tire-burning plant.

Construction of the proposed site access drive would require the removal of 53 trees during construction of the access drive and tower compound.  No wetlands were identified within the proposed lease area, but the access easement leading to the proposed site contains small wetland areas.  The proposed site does not contain known extant populations of Federal or State Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern Species; nor would the proposed construction of the site affect the state's archaeological heritage.  Furthermore, construction of the proposed tower would have no effects on historic, architectural, or archaeological sites listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

The proposed site is level, no homes are visible, and the Exeter Energy Plant and a 400,000-gallon water tank owned by the Town of Sterling are the only structures visible from the proposed site.  The nearest residence is approximately one-half mile away, and the tower would not be prominently visible from most local roads.

Electromagnetic radio frequency power density levels are a concern of the Council.  However, the radio frequency power density at the base of the proposed tower would be well below federal and State standards for the frequency used by Sprint.  If new carriers are added or federal or state standards change, we will require that all carriers comply with such standards.

Based on the record in this proceeding, we find that the effects associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the telecommunications facility at the proposed site, including effects on the natural environment; ecological integrity and balance; public health and safety; scenic, historic, and recreational values; forests and parks; air and water purity; and fish and wildlife are not disproportionate either alone or cumulatively with other effects when compared to need, are not in conflict with policies of the State concerning such effects, and are not sufficient reason to deny this application.  Therefore, we will issue a Certificate for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a telecommunications facility at the proposed site located off of Exeter Drive in Sterling, Connecticut including the construction of a tower no greater than 130 feet above ground level.

The Council will order that utilities be installed underground, and that if the tower ceases to provide wireless service, the Certificate Holder shall dismantle the tower and remove the associated equipment within 60 days or reapply for any continued or new use by the Council.

Our decision will be conditioned upon the Certificate Holder submitting a Development and Management Plan for approval by the Council prior to commencement of any construction at the facility site.  If a tower height greater than 130 feet is needed to accommodate the requirements of additional carriers on this tower, the Certificate Holder may petition the Council for such a determination.

Content Last Modified on 10/9/2002 1:03:46 PM