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H.R. 4475: National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 9, 2018 (Reported by House Committee).


IB

Union Calendar No. 374

115th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4475

[Report No. 115–501]

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 28, 2017

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

January 9, 2018

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic

For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on November 28, 2017


A BILL

To provide for the establishment of the National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System.


1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the United States Geological Survey.

(2)

System

The term System means the National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System established under section 3(a)(1).

3.

National volcano early warning and monitoring system

(a)

Establishment

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall establish within the United States Geological Survey a system, to be known as the National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System, to monitor, warn, and protect citizens of the United States from undue and avoidable harm from volcanic activity.

(2)

Purposes

The purposes of the System are—

(A)

to organize, modernize, standardize, and stabilize the monitoring systems of the volcano observatories in the United States, which include the Alaska Volcano Observatory, California Volcano Observatory, Cascades Volcano Observatory, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, and other volcano observatories established under subsection (d); and

(B)

to unify the monitoring systems of volcano observatories in the United States into a single interoperative system.

(3)

Objective

The objective of the System is to monitor all the volcanoes in the United States at a level commensurate with the threat posed by the volcanoes by—

(A)

upgrading existing networks on monitored volcanoes;

(B)

installing new networks on unmonitored volcanoes; and

(C)

employing geodetic and other components when applicable.

(b)

System components

(1)

In general

The System shall include—

(A)

a national volcano watch office that is operational 24 hours a day and 7 days a week;

(B)

a national volcano data center; and

(C)

an external grants program to support research in volcano monitoring science and technology.

(2)

Modernization activities

Modernization activities under the System shall include the comprehensive application of emerging technologies, including digital broadband seismometers, real-time continuous Global Positioning System receivers, satellite and airborne radar interferometry, acoustic pressure sensors, and spectrometry to measure gas emissions.

(c)

Management

(1)

Management plan

(A)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a 5-year management plan for establishing and operating the System.

(B)

Inclusions

The management plan submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include—

(i)

annual cost estimates for modernization activities and operation of the System;

(ii)

annual milestones, standards, and performance goals; and

(iii)

recommendations for, and progress towards, establishing new, or enhancing existing, partnerships to leverage resources.

(2)

Advisory committee

The Secretary shall establish an advisory committee to assist the Secretary in implementing the System, to be comprised of representatives of relevant agencies and members of the scientific community, to be appointed by the Secretary.

(3)

Partnerships

The Secretary may enter into cooperative agreements with institutions of higher education and State or territorial agencies designating the institutions of higher education and State or territorial agencies as volcano observatory partners for the System.

(4)

Coordination

The Secretary shall coordinate the activities under this Act with the heads of relevant Federal agencies, including—

(A)

the Secretary of Transportation;

(B)

the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration;

(C)

the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and

(D)

the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

(d)

Volcano Observatory in Pacific U.S. Territories

(1)

Feasibility study

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall conduct a study to assess the feasibility of establishing volcano observatories in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa to monitor volcanic activity across the western and southern Pacific Ocean along the Ring of Fire, including underwater volcanic activity in such region.

(2)

Consultation

The Secretary shall consult with appropriate territorial and local entities in conducting the study.

(3)

Cooperative agreement

If the study required by paragraph (1) determines that such observatories are feasible, then the Secretary, subject to the availability of appropriations, may enter into cooperative agreements under subsection (c)(3) with institutions of higher education or territorial agencies to establish such volcano observatories as part of the National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System.

(e)

Annual report

In each of fiscal years 2018 through 2024, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that describes the activities carried out under this Act.

4.

Funding

(a)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this Act $15,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2024.

(b)

Effect on other sources of Federal funding

Amounts made available under this section shall supplement, and not supplant, Federal funds made available for other United States Geological Survey hazards activities and programs.

January 9, 2018

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed