Del. Walter E. Fauntroy (D-D.C.) has introduced a bill to block a controversial proposal to build an FBI Washington field office and counterintelligence operation next to the Columbia Hospital for Women.

The bill, the subject of a public hearing today before a House District subcommittee, would transfer ownership of the property -- an office building and parking lot at 2400 M St. NW -- from the General Services Administration to the hospital at no cost.

Columbia Hospital administrators have proposed using the property to build a National Women's Health Resources Center, including special clinics for prenatal care and the research and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

In arguing against the GSA plan to use the site for an FBI facility, hospital officials warned in May that sophisticated FBI radio or microwave equipment could disrupt sensitive hospital monitors and pose other hazards. The concern stems from an incident seven years ago, when a hospital consultant concluded that microwave intelligence-gathering equipment used by nearby foreign embassies had somehow thrown off infant monitors in the intensive care nursery and other equipment.

G. Patrick Kane, president and chief executive of the hospital, also has expressed concern that the area might become a target of terrorists if the FBI moved into the block.

Under the GSA proposal, the FBI Washington field office, now in the remote Southwest Washington corner of Buzzard Point, would be moved to a 250,000-square-foot office building to be built in the same block as the hospital. The new office would house nearly 1,000 FBI agents and support personnel and a counterintelligence unit.

Fauntroy, who met with FBI officials last week, said he was assured that the communications equipment in the proposed FBI facility differed from microwave equipment used by embassies and would not pose a threat to hospital monitors. However, Columbia Hospital officials made a more compelling argument for using the adjacent property for a health resources center, according to Fauntroy, who was born at the hospital.

"I believe that with the infant mortality problem we have as a city and with the problems that women have in the Washington area because they are delaying pregnancies . . . and undergoing the stress of managing both homes and careers, that what {Columbia} proposes to do will be of unestimable value to the public," he said.

Witnesses scheduled to testify in favor of the bill before the subcommittee on fiscal affairs and health include Kane; Brainard Warner III, a lawyer and member of the hospital board; Dr. John Herbert Niles, a member of Columbia's medical staff, and D.C. Council member John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2), whose ward includes the hospital.

Representatives of the FBI and the GSA are expected to testify against the measure.

Rodgers Stewart, the GSA's director of real estate for the National Capital Region, said he recommended the federally owned M Street site over a far more costly alternative proposal to lease space in an office building planned for construction on New York Avenue near 14th Street NW.

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration already is using a six-story building on the M Street site.