Tom Ewing’s Regulatory Update

* The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will convene two virtual industry roundtable listening sessions, one next month and one in February, on aspects of the implementation plan of the Secure 5G Strategy.  This starts efforts to implement the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020, signed into law on March 25, 2020.  The Act requires development of a strategy to ensure the security of next generation wireless communications systems and infrastructure.  The January roundtable will focus on market incentives for 5G security. February focuses on principles for fostering global 5G vendor diversity and open, interoperable architectures.  The discussions will advise NTIA with next steps in 5G development.

* Taken: Just a Couple Hundred Bats… US Fish & Wildlife Service is seeking comments on a 57 turbine wind energy project in Jay and Randolph Counties in eastern Indiana.  The project sponsor, Bluff Point Wind Energy, recently filed an “incidental take permit” (ITP) that would okay the unavoidable “taking” (polite word for killing or maiming) of 122 Indiana bats, an endangered species, and 84 northern long-eared bats, a threatened species.  That’s over 30 years.  That take is higher than models would demand: 63 and 32 bats, respectively.  Modeling bat and bird takes, of course, is not an exact science, hence the need for a little wiggle room.  Does the loss of 200 bats over 30 years matter?  Does species loss matter?  Bluff Point has proposed an offset program to protect bat habitat.  F&W wants to know: is this a good deal for the bats?  Or maybe just a feel-good thing for the humans…?  Comments are due by Jan. 15.

* Remember the End of Snow?  Okay, a very unscientific review but it’s hard not to notice (and think about).  On December 16 nearly 40 inches of snow fell in Binghamton, NY, setting a new two-day snowfall record, eclipsing the previous record of 35.3 inches in March 2017 (uh, that’s just 3 years ago).  In Pennsylvania, Williamsport Regional Airport made history reporting 24.7 inches of snow, breaking the previous record of 24.1 inches set in January 1964.  Earlier in December, in Massachusetts, a foot to 18 inches of snow was expected in Worcester and communities surrounding the city, while eight inches to a foot was expected from Fitchburg to Lawrence and Bedford.  And on the west coast, in Oregon, also in early December, a headline reported: Northeastern Oregon’s early snowstorms have mountains recording 100% snowpack.  Wish I knew how to ski…
Have a great holiday season!  I’ll hollah atcha again after January 1.

Tom Ewing “reply

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