Oil Refinery Seeks Public-Safety Channels for New TETRA System
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 | Comments

Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend filed an application seeking to license three UHF public-safety radio pool channels for use in its radio system in Minnesota. In connection with the application, Flint Hills Resources requested a waiver of the eligibility requirements listed in the FCC’s rules.

Flint Hills Resources operates one of the largest oil refineries in the Unites States in Rosemount, Minnesota. The vendor no longer supports the company’s aging analog radio and seeks to replace it with a new TETRA system. The proposed system will serve plant operations for plant safety, and the refinery maintains its own fire crew and equipment to prevent, manage and mitigate fire-related issues at the refinery, thus relieving local area fire departments of primary responsibility. Flint Hills Resources works closely with local fire, EMS and police departments, and supports those communities when called on by their emergency responders, the company said.

Two sites are needed to ensure reliable coverage, and the company has been unable to secure enough exclusive spectrum for which it is eligible. Consequently, Flint Hills Resources proposed using three 450 – 470 MHz band public-safety pool channels at one location. After the transition to the new system, Flint Hills Resources will cancel any existing channels that are not needed for operational purposes.

The company’s frequency coordinator certified that no appropriate industrial/business channels are available at that location and obtained concurrence from public-safety pool frequency coordinators that the requested channels are unassigned and will not cause interference to existing operations.

Flint Hills Resources said that its proposed operations with directional downtilt antennas and 5 watts effective radiated power will not preclude reuse of the channels by public-safety eligibles in the general area, and that such reuse is not even likely to be needed because there already are a substantial number of unused UHF public-safety pool channels in the vicinity.

The FCC requested comments, which are due March 16. Reply comments are due April 2. The full notice is here.

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