Alexander, Wamp Letter Leads to Review of Proposed Missionary Ridge Cell Tower

Posted on May 24, 2007

Heeding a letter written by U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, the Federal Communications Commission today announced that it is reconsidering the construction of a 150-foot cell phone tower on the slope of Chattanooga’s Missionary Ridge. “This is very good news for the people of Chattanooga,” Alexander said. “Reconsidering placing a cell tower in the midst of one of the most scenic and historic places in the state is the right thing to do.” “The FCC has made the right decision to reopen this review process. Construction near historic sites must be properly reviewed to ensure the preservation of these significant locations," said Congressman Wamp. In a recent letter to the FCC, Alexander and Wamp had argued that the proposed tower site, adjacent to the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and Missionary Ridge National Historic District, would adversely impact important historic properties. The tower would be located about 850 feet from the park border and about 400 feet from the historic district. Today’s ruling means that federal agencies will reopen a historic preservation review of the proposed site, citing that the review was not completed in accordance with requirements under the National Historic Preservation Act. The initial application for review omitted the cell towers proximity to historic Bragg Reservation. “Missionary Ridge is a beautiful area and a cell phone tower does not belong there,” Alexander said. “I’m glad the FCC has responded to our letter, and I am hopeful that an alternative location will be found.” “The Bragg Reservation is a key site on the National Register of Historic Places, and was a substantial omission that may alter the permitting decision,” Wamp said. “The effects of a proposed cell tower on historic sites should be considered in addition to the needs of area cell phone users during the review process.” Alexander serves on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the Interior Subcommittee of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee. Wamp serves as the ranking Republican on the Legislative Branch subcommittee and is a senior member of the Energy and Water subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. # # #