(Washington, DC) - Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology passed three bipartisan bills at a full committee markup that will improve our ability to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies and disasters across the country.
“I’m pleased to pass another group of commonsense, bipartisan bills through Committee today, which all progress safety standards and prevent future tragedies,” said Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK). “With the support of NIST’s first-class research, H.R. 369 will help build stronger communication systems for firefighters to use while fighting wildfires, particularly important when facing limited coverage in rural and tribal areas. As we look to prepare, prevent, and mitigate fire-related incidents, H.R. 4090 reauthorizes key programs to ensure fire departments nationwide have the necessary training and equipment to better respond to emergencies. Lastly, H.R. 4143 will enable NIST to expand their investigations beyond building collapses to major structural failures including levees, dikes, and dams. The ability to conduct these technical investigations will contribute to improved design codes and best practices and help avert future catastrophes. I want to thank Ranking Member Lofgren, Rep. Kean, and Rep. Young for their leadership on these important bills. This is straightforward policy that will undeniably save lives.”
“The three bipartisan bills we passed today will make communities across the country safer,” said Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). “These bills will especially make a positive impact in my home state. As the consequences of the climate crisis continue to put our people and infrastructure at great risk, these commonsense bills couldn’t have come at a more important time. I’m glad to have been able to work with Chairman Lucas on these efforts, and I look forward to seeing them advance to the House Floor.”
Requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology to conduct research on public safety communication coordination standards among wildland firefighters and fire management response officials.
Provides a five-year reauthorization for the U.S. Fire Administration, the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program, and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant Program. The current program authorizations expire on September 30, 2023.
Updates the NCST Act to expand the safety team’s authority to investigate failures of infrastructure and structures other than buildings. This authority would include levees, pedestrian bridges, and other structures where the performance of those constructions significantly affects the safety and resilience of U.S. communities.