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New Legislation Establishes Mandatory Registration and Labeling Requirements for Meteorological Evaluation Towers

on Tuesday, 4 August 2015 in Dirt Alert: David C. Levy, Editor

The Nebraska Legislature has established mandatory registration and labeling standards for meteorological evaluation towers that exceed 50 feet and are located outside city limits.

Legislative Bill 469 requires the owner of a meteorological evaluation tower to register with the Department of Aeronautics (the “Department”) at least 10 days before installing a new tower. State law has required registration since 2010, but LB 469 changes the timing requirements. LB 469 also requires owners of previously unregistered towers to register them with the Department by June 18, 2015. The legislation defines a meteorological evaluation tower as “an anchored structure, including all guy wires and accessory facilities, on which one or more meteorological instruments are mounted for the purpose of meteorological data collection.”

The legislation establishes mandatory labeling standards for all new and existing towers. The standards, based on existing voluntary federal standards for towers of less than 200 feet, apply to both new and existing towers as well as all guy wires and accessory facilities.

All new meteorological evaluation towers must conform with the labeling standards upon installation, while all previously unmarked towers must conform to the new labeling requirements by August 28, 2015. All other towers must conform by May 28, 2017.

Legislative Bill 469 provides that evidence of an owner’s failure to meet the registration or labeling requirements may be admissible in any negligence action brought against the owner due to an aerial collision with a meteorological evaluation tower. Failure to comply with the registration and labeling requirements is punishable as a Class III misdemeanor pursuant to Nebraska Revised Statutes section 3-408.

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