compliance news

Amateur Radio Operator Fined for Interfering with Fire Suppression Communications

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a record fine against an amateur radio operator for interfering with radio communications supporting fire suppression efforts in a 2021 massive wildfire in an Idaho national forest.

According to a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) for Forfeiture, Jason M. Frawley of Lewiston, Idaho used his amateur hand-held radio to intentionally interfere with radio communications directing fire suppression aircraft that were combatting the “Johnson Fire,” a 1000-acre wildfire near Elk River, Idaho. Frawley allegedly transmitted multiple times over two separate days on frequencies expressly allocated and authorized for government use, causing harmful interference with essential emergency communications.

The FCC has proposed a monetary forfeiture of $34,000, the maximum fine allowable in such cases. Frawley will be given an opportunity to respond to the FCC’s NAL before a final Commission action is determined.

EU Commission Seeks to Expand Scope of REACH
The Commission of the European Union (EU) is reportedly seeking to expand the provisions of the EU’s chemical restriction regulations to include the use of lead and lead compounds in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) polymers and copolymers.

According to a Notification filed with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Commission has issued a Draft Commission Regulation that would amend a portion of Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, “Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals,” also known as the REACH Regulation. The specific changes proposed in the Draft Regulation would prohibit the use of lead and lead compounds in PVC articles and prohibit the placing on the market of PVC articles containing a concentration of lead equal to or greater than 0.1% of the PVC.

According to the Notification filed with the WTO, the Commission estimates that the Draft Regulation will be adopted in late 2022, with an application of the restrictions deferred until late 2024.

FCC Steps Up Notices to Pirate Radio Broadcasters
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently issued notices to several individuals as part of its ongoing effort to restrict unlicensed radio operations and illegal, so-called pirate, radio broadcasts.

Officials of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued two separate notices to individuals linked to illegal pirate radio broadcasting, one for an unlicensed FM broadcast station operating from a location in Newark, NJ, and the other for an unlicensed broadcast traced to a location in Queens, NY.

In a separate case, the Enforcement Bureau issued a notice to a car service operator in Far Rockaway, NY for continuing to operate under the terms of a land mobile radio station license that had expired and was not renewed.

In the pirate radio cases, the recipients of the notices were reminded that they face financial penalties of up to $2 million for failing to cease their illegal broadcasts. The car service operator was instructed to immediately cease their unlicensed radio operation and to respond to the FCC’s notice within 10 days with any evidence of their authority to continue operations.

MIT Researchers Develop AI Chip That Can Reduce Electronic Waste
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a unique approach to configurable technology chipware that could help reduce electronic waste, partially adopting a model used in a universally popular children’s toy.

According to an article posted on the website of Interesting Engineering, the researchers explored the idea that electronic chips could be connected without hardwiring but instead with stackable and reconfigurable connections similar to those used in LEGO-style building bricks. Their design experiments included alternating layers of sensing and processing elements, combined with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that allow different chips to interact optically.

The use of LEDs to transmit data between chips in a given configuration would enable developers to swap out legacy chips and reinstall newer chip technology without the need to rewire the design. Ultimately, this approach could increase the useful life of many chip-based technologies and reduce the amount of waste generated from the disposal of outdated electronics.

Ukraine Revises Toy Safety Regulations to Align with the EU
The war in Ukraine goes on. But the process of governing in that country continues apace, as evidenced by a recent action to amend Ukraine’s toy safety regulations.

According to a news item recently posted on the website of SGS, the Ukraine government issued Resolution No 557. The Resolution revises Annex 2 of that country’s Technical Regulations on the Safety of Toys to better align its regulations with those detailed in the European Union’s (EU’s) Directive 2009/48/EC, which addresses toy safety.

Most notable among the changes detailed in the revision is the restriction on the use of aniline in toys that are intended for use by children under 36 months of age, and in other toys that are intended to be placed in the mouth. In addition, the revision incorporates the allergenic fragrance limits set forth in the Directives (EU) 2020/2088 and (EU) 2020/2089.

The changes to Ukraine’s Technical Regulations on the Safety of Toys will enter into force on November 14, 2022.

In our July issue, our news item “EU Commission Updates Harmonized Standards for Certain Electrical Equipment,” incorrectly refers to Directive 2014/35/EU as the Radio Equipment Directive (RED). Directive 2014/35/EU is the EU’s Directive on electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits, also known as the Low Voltage Directive (LVD). We apologize for the error.
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