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Bill Improving National Earthquake Preparedness Sent to President’s Desk

Nov 27, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) praised today’s House passage of S. 1768, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act of 2018, for the President’s signature. 

Incorporating the version of the legislation authored by Rohrabacher, the bill reauthorizes a federal program to improve the nation’s earthquake preparedness for five years. The legislation is the first reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program in 15 years. 

The bill modernizes earthquake-safety programs that help states prepare for and respond to earthquakes. Rep. Rohrabacher led efforts to authorize an additional $25 million over the Senate proposal to improve earthquake monitoring and early warning.

The legislation removes outdated language related to earthquake prediction and instead emphasizes the continued development of earthquake early warning systems through the Advanced National Seismic System. It also enhances coordination and data sharing among federal agencies and with state agencies.

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act is the result of bipartisan collaboration and coordination with the United States Geological Survey, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, and private sector and State agency stakeholders. 

Chairman Smith:

“The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program has helped improve earthquake research and infrastructure preparedness since 1977. This bill modernizes the program and enhances our ability to monitor earthquakes and provide early warning. These reforms will directly benefit communities by enabling them to protect themselves from earthquakes. Dana Rohrabacher has long championed these important program improvements and I thank him for his work on this bill.”

Rep. Rohrabacher:

"In my home state of California we could face the next big earthquake at any moment.  According to the USGS, California has a 99% chance of experiencing a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years. This reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction (NEHRP) program will help states like California prepare for earthquakes, reduce risk, and protect lives.  Modernizing the NEHRP program has been long overdue, and I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for working with me to reform and improve this important program."

The full text of the bill is available here.

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115th Congress