CSC: Do 306 Opinion

DOCKET NO. 306 – Wireless EDGE Fairfield Group LLC application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance, and operation of a cellular telecommunications facility located at 52 Library Street, Salisbury, Connecticut.








November 17, 2005


On June 24, 2005, Wireless EDGE Fairfield Group LLC (Wireless EDGE) 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 wireless telecommunications facility in the Town of Salisbury, Connecticut. Wireless EDGE’s facility would be located at 52 Library Street on property owned by the Town of Salisbury and used as the maintenance yard for the town’s highway department. It would include a 150-foot monopole tower and be used by New Cingular Wireless (Cingular) to provide wireless service on Routes 44 and 41 and the center of Salisbury. Cingular and the Berkshire Litchfield Environmental Council (BLEC) were intervenors in this proceeding.

Wireless EDGE’s proposed facility would be located in the northeastern corner of the highway department maintenance yard. It would consist of a 3,465 square foot compound within a lease area measuring approximately 35 feet by 110 feet by 88 feet by 35 feet. Local emergency services whip antennas would be located at the top of the proposed 150-foot monopole and would extend 20 feet to an above ground height of 170 feet. Cingular would install 6 antennas at a centerline height of 143 feet. Vehicular access to the facility and utility service would be provided via a new, short access road that would be brought in from Indian Cave Road.

Wireless EDGE’s monopole would be designed with a yield point in order to keep the fall zone within the town property.

The proposed tower would have some visibility year round from approximately 56 acres in the surrounding vicinity. An additional 50 acres would have seasonal views of the tower. The height of the tower and existing vegetation would limit the tower’s visual impact on the Salisbury Historic District. The tower would probably be visible from Lion’s Head, a rock outcropping on the Appalachian Trail. The distance to this location (2.29 miles), however, would make the tower’s presence in the landscape insignificant. Wireless EDGE would seek to reduce the tower’s visibility by painting it dark brown as suggested by the Appalachian Trail Conference. The T-arm mounts proposed by Cingular would help to limit the tower’s visible impact.

No wetlands would be affected by the development of this facility. Wireless EDGE would plant evergreen trees along the south side of the compound perimeter to augment the few existing trees in this area and to provide visual screening of the compound.

There are no known existing populations of state endangered, threatened, or species of special concern at the proposed site. A facility at this location would not have any effect on the state’s cultural resources.

According to a methodology prescribed by the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology Bulletin No. 65E, Edition 97-01 (August 1997), the combined radio frequency power density levels of the antennas proposed to be installed on the tower have been calculated by Council staff to amount to 16.58% of the FCC’s Maximum Permissible Exposure, as measured at the base of the tower. This percentage is well below federal and state standards established for the frequencies used by wireless companies. If federal or state standards change, the Council will require that the tower be brought into compliance with such standards. The Council will require that the power densities be recalculated in the event other carriers add antennas to the tower. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 prohibits any state or local agency from regulating telecommunications towers on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such towers and equipment comply with FCC’s regulations concerning such emissions.

During this proceeding, Wireless EDGE and the intervenor Cingular clearly demonstrated that there was an existing need for a facility to provide wireless coverage in this part of the state. The interest of local emergency service providers in using this site is a further indication of an existing need which this site would provide. The proposed location of the Wireless EDGE’s facility is preferable to a location higher on the side of a hill as suggested by the other intervenor in this proceeding. The approval of this site by the Salisbury Board of Selectman and Planning and Zoning Commission underline the acceptability of the proposed location. When building this facility, Wireless EDGE should allow for the possibility that other carriers may need higher locations on the tower and, therefore, design the tower to be expandable.

Based on the record in this proceeding, the Council finds that the effects associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed telecommunications facility, 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, the Council will issue a Certificate for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a 150-foot monopole tower at the proposed site at 52 Library Street in Salisbury, Connecticut.

Content Last Modified on 11/18/2005 9:48:14 AM