EAS requirements for LPFM stations
Low Power FM (LPFM) stations are exempt from the requirement to purchase an Emergency Alert System (EAS) encoder but may do so on a voluntary basis. All the other rules apply. Analog and digital class D non-commercial educational FM stations, and analog and digital LPTV stations are also exempt from the requirement to install an encoder [§11.11(b) and §11.51(e)].
These are the FCC requirements for decoder-only stations:
The numbers in square brackets above refer to the section of the FCC rules. Links open in a new window.
- Install an EAS decoder and ensure it is available when the station is in operation [§11.35(a)]. The decoder must monitor two sources specified in the state EAS plan [§11.52(d)(1)]. The decoder also must be capable of receiving Common Alert Protocol (CAP) messages from IPAWS [§11.52(d)(2) and §11.56(a)(2)].
- Provide a copy of the EAS Operating Handbook at normal duty positions or EAS equipment locations when an operator is required to be on duty [§11.15].
- Upon receipt of the Required Monthly Test (RMT), read or play on the air, This is a Required Monthly Test..., using the appropriate script for your area as found in the State EAS Plan. [§11.61(a)(1)(i)]. All actions must be logged [§11.51(m)(2)]. The delay time for an RMT message may not exceed 60 minutes [§11.51(n)].
- Log receipt of Required Weekly Tests in the station log [§11.61(a)(2)(ii)].
- Interrupt normal programming when they receive an EAS message in which the header code contains the Event codes for Emergency Action Notification (EAN), the National Periodic Test (NPT), or the Required Monthly Test (RMT) for their State or State/county location and retransmit the EAS message [§11.52(e)]. Log the time of receipt in the station log [§11.54(a)(3)].
- Determine the cause of any failure to receive the Required Monthly Tests or Required Weekly Tests. Make an entry in the station log indicating reasons why any tests were not received [§11.35(a)].
- If EAS equipment becomes defective, the station must log the date and time that the equipment was removed from service and when it was restored. The required monthly test script must be transmitted even though the equipment is not functioning [§11.35(b)]. If repair or replacement is not completed within 60 days, an informal request must be submitted to the local FCC field office for additional time [§11.35(c)].
- Register in the FCC EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) and provide data regarding their participation in National Tests [§11.61(a)(3)(iv)]
John Neuhaus, email@example.com