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H.R. 23 (114th): National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act Reauthorization of 2015

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 1, 2015.

(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the Senate on June 11, 2015. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act Reauthorization of 2015

(Sec. 2) Amends the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act of 2004 to revise provisions governing the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program and to reauthorize the Program through FY2017.

Defines the "Director" of the Program to mean the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (currently, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy). Revises the definition of "windstorm" to explicitly include a northeaster.

(Sec. 3) Designates NIST as the entity with primary responsibility for Program planning and coordination and expands the responsibilities of the other Program agencies, which include the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Requires NIST to: (1) ensure that the Program includes the necessary components to promote implementation of windstorm risk reduction measures, (2) support the development of performance-based engineering tools, (3) request the assistance of federal agencies other than the Program agencies as necessary, (4) coordinate all federal post-windstorm investigations to the extent practicable, and (5) issue recommendations to assist in informing the development of model codes.

Requires NSF to support research in economic and social factors influencing windstorm risk reduction measures.

Requires FEMA to: (1) promote the adoption of windstorm preparedness and mitigation measures, including for households, businesses, and communities; and (2) work closely with national standards and model building code organizations to promote the implementation of research results and promote better building practices within the building design and construction industry.

Requires the Directors of the Program agencies to each include in their agency's annual budget request a description of their agency's projected activities under the Program and an assessment of what they plan to spend on those activities.

Replaces provisions establishing an Interagency Working Group with provisions establishing the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction, which shall be composed of the heads or designees of the Program agencies and the Office of Management and Budget. Directs the Committee to oversee Program planning and coordination and to develop and submit to Congress a strategic plan, progress report, and coordinated budget for the Program.

(Sec. 4) Revises provisions providing for the establishment of an Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction (currently, the National Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction), which shall: (1) be composed of at least seven non-federal members; (2) provide recommendations to be considered by federal agencies in implementing the Program; and (3) offer assessments and recommendations on the priorities of the Program's strategic plan, coordination of the Program, effectiveness of the Program in meeting its purposes, and Program revisions. Terminates the Committee on September 30, 2017.