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House Lawmakers Ask FCC to Delay Consideration of Potential Orbital Debris Mitigation Rules

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A group of bipartisan House lawmakers sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission to postpone consideration of potential rules to mitigate the risk of orbital space debris at its upcoming meeting on Thursday.

As leaders of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, we understand the importance of supporting a safe, sustainable space environment. However, we are concerned that the Commission’s proposal to promulgate rules on this matter could create uncertainty and potentially conflicting guidance,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter dated Tuesday.

According to the letter, the FCC does not have clear congressional authority to implement regulations with regard to orbital debris mitigation and NASA is tasked with reviewing the country’s standards and practices for such matters.

Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas; Frank Lucas, R-Okla.; Don Beyer, D-Va.; and Brian Babin, R-Texas, signed the Sept. 27 letter, which was addressed to FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

Johnson and Lucas respectively serve as chairwoman and ranking member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. Beyer acts as chairman and Babin as ranking member of the House subcommittee on space and aeronautics.