Coal Company Fined $25,000 for Transferring PLMRS Licenses Without Consent
Thursday, February 07, 2019 | Comments

The FCC proposed a penalty of $25,000 against Lexington Coal Co., a licensee of 23 private LMR service (PLMRS) stations for its apparent willful and repeated violation of the Communications Act of 1934 and FCC rules. The commission said Lexington engaged in a substantial transfer of control of its stations from Alpha Natural Resources in October 2017 without prior FCC consent.

“Our action today advances the commission’s longstanding goals of ensuring that the transfer, assignment and operation of wireless authorizations are limited to instances where there has been a prior determination that such transfer, assignment and operation are in the public interest, convenience and necessity,” the FCC said in its notice.

Lexington engages in the reclamation and transfer of coal properties in Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana. Alpha maintains affiliate mining operations in West Virginia and supplies metallurgical coal to the steel industry as well as thermal coal to generate power.

On Oct. 23, 2017, Lexington and Alpha completed a transaction whereby Alpha conveyed real and personal properties located in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia to Lexington. These assets included licensed stations held by Alpha subsidiaries. On Feb. 1, 2018, the parties filed a remedial assignment of authorization application for consent to transfer control of the PLMRS licenses to Lexington. The application additionally sought a waiver for failure to obtain prior commission approval for the transaction.

The FCC granted consent to the transfer of control Feb. 12, 2018, subject to the special condition that the grant does not preclude or prejudice any enforcement action related to the unauthorized assignment of authorization.

The full notice is here.

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