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S. 3053 (117th): PRECIP Act


The text of the bill below is as of Dec 7, 2022 (Reported by Senate Committee). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

Calendar No. 596

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3053

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

October 21, 2021

(for himself and Mr. Wicker) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

December 7, 2022

Reported by , with an amendment

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

A BILL

To amend the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 to require the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to develop a plan and national guidance document to improve precipitation estimates, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Providing Research and Estimates of Changes In Precipitation Act or the PRECIP Act.

2.

Amendment to the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 to improve Federal precipitation information

(a)

In general

The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (15 U.S.C. 8501 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

VI

Improvement of Federal precipitation information

601.

Study on precipitation estimation

(a)

In general

Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of the PRECIP Act, the Administrator, in consultation with other Federal agencies as appropriate, shall seek to enter an agreement with the National Academies under which the National Academies shall—

(1)

conduct a study on the state of practice and research needs for precipitation estimation, including probable maximum precipitation estimation; and

(2)

not later than 2 years after the date on which such agreement is finalized—

(A)

submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives a report on the results of the study conducted under paragraph (1); and

(B)

make the report submitted under subparagraph (A) publicly available on a website.

(b)

Report on study

The report submitted under subsection (a)(2)(A) shall include the following:

(1)

An examination of the current state of practice for precipitation estimation at scales appropriate for the needs of decisionmakers, and rationale for further evolution of that field.

(2)

An evaluation of best practices for precipitation estimation that—

(A)

are based on the best available science, including assumptions of non-sta­tion­arity; and

(B)

can be utilized by the user community.

(3)

A framework for—

(A)

the development of a national guidance document for estimating extreme precipitation; and

(B)

evaluation of the strengths and challenges of the full spectrum of approaches for such estimation, including for probable maximum precipitation studies.

(4)

A description of existing research needs in the field of precipitation estimation in order to modernize current methodologies and incorporate the best available science.

(5)

A description of in-situ, airborne, and space-based observation requirements that could enhance precipitation estimation and development of models, including an examination of the use of geographic information systems and geospatial technology for integration, analysis, and visualization of precipitation data.

(6)

A recommended plan for a Federal research and development program, including specifications for costs, timeframes, and responsible agencies for addressing identified research needs.

(7)

An analysis of the respective roles in precipitation estimation of various Federal agencies, academia, State, tribal, territorial, and local governments, and other public and private stakeholders.

(8)

Recommendations for data management to promote long-term needs such as enabling retrospective analyses and data discoverability, interoperability, and reuse.

(9)

Recommendations for how data and services from the entire enterprise can be best leveraged by the Federal Government.

(10)

Such other topics as the Administrator or the National Academies consider appropriate.

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration $1,500,000 to carry out the study under this section.

602.

Improving probable maximum precipitation estimates

(a)

In general

Not later than 90 days after the date on which the National Academies makes publicly available the report under section 601, the Administrator, shall, in consideration of the recommendations included in the report and in consultation with relevant partners, including users of the data, develop a plan to—

(1)

not later than 6 years after the completion of the report submitted under section 601 and not less frequently than once every 10 years thereafter, update probable maximum precipitation estimates for the United States, such that each update includes estimates that incorporate assumptions of non-stationarity;

(2)

coordinate with partners to conduct research in the field of extreme precipitation estimation, in accordance with the research needs identified in the report submitted under section 601;

(3)

make publicly available, in a searchable, interoperable format, all probable maximum precipitation studies developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that the Administrator has the legal right to redistribute and considers to be at an appropriate state of development on an internet website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and

(4)

ensure all probable maximum precipitation estimate data, products, and supporting documentation and metadata developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are preserved, curated, and served by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as appropriate.

(b)

National guidance document for the development of probable maximum precipitation estimates

The Administrator, in collaboration with Federal agencies, State, territorial, tribal and local governments, academia, and other partners the Administrator considers appropriate, shall develop a national guidance document that—

(1)

provides best practices that can be followed by Federal and State regulatory agencies, private meteorological consultants, and other users that perform probable maximum precipitation studies;

(2)

considers the recommendations included in the report submitted under section 601;

(3)

facilitates review of probable maximum precipitation studies by regulatory agencies;

(4)

provides confidence in regional and site-specific probable maximum precipitation estimates; and

(5)

includes such other topics as the Administrator considers appropriate.

(c)

Publication

Not later than 2 years after the date on which the National Academies makes publicly available the report under section 601, the Administrator shall make publicly available the national guidance document developed under subsection (b) on an internet website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(d)

Updates

The Administrator shall update the national guidance document developed under subsection (b) not less frequently than once every 10 years after the publication of the document under subsection (c) and make such updates publicly available in accordance with such subsection.

(e)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to carry out this section amounts as follows:

(1)

$13,000,000 for fiscal year 2022.

(2)

$14,000,000 for fiscal year 2023.

(3)

$14,000,000 for fiscal year 2024.

(4)

$2,000,000 for fiscal year 2025.

(5)

$2,000,000 for fiscal year 2026.

(6)

$2,000,000 for fiscal year 2027.

603.

Definitions

In this title:

(1)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(2)

National Academies

The term National Academies means the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

(3)

United States

The term United States means, collectively, each State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and any other territory or possession of the United States.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

The table of contents in section 1(b) of the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (Public Law 115–25; 131 Stat. 91) is amended by adding at the end the following:

Title VI—Improvement of Federal precipitation information

Sec. 601. Study on precipitation estimation.

Sec. 602. Improving probable maximum precipitation estimates.

Sec. 603. Definitions.

.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Providing Research and Estimates of Changes In Precipitation Act or the PRECIP Act.

2.

Amendment to the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 relating to improving Federal precipitation information

(a)

In general

The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (15 U.S.C. 8501 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

VI

Improving Federal Precipitation Information

601.

Study on precipitation estimation

(a)

In general

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of the PRECIP Act, the Administrator, in consultation with other Federal agencies as appropriate, shall seek to enter an agreement with the National Academies—

(1)

to conduct a study on the state of practice and research needs for precipitation estimation, including probable maximum precipitation estimation; and

(2)

to submit, not later than 24 months after the date on which such agreement is finalized, to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, and make publicly available on a website, a report on the results of the study under paragraph (1).

(b)

Study

The report under subsection (a) shall include the following:

(1)

An examination of the current state of practice for precipitation estimation at scales appropriate for decisionmaker needs, and rationale for further evolution of this field.

(2)

An evaluation of best practices for precipitation estimation that are based on the best-available science, include considerations of non-stationarity, and can be utilized by the user community.

(3)

A framework for—

(A)

the development of a National Guidance Document for estimating extreme precipitation in future conditions; and

(B)

evaluation of the strengths and challenges of the full spectrum of approaches, including for probable maximum precipitation studies.

(4)

A description of existing research needs in the field of precipitation estimation in order to modernize current methodologies and consider non-stationarity.

(5)

A description of in-situ, airborne, and space-based observation requirements, that could enhance precipitation estimation and development of models, including an examination of the use of geographic information systems and geospatial technology for integration, analysis, and visualization of precipitation data.

(6)

A recommended plan for a Federal research and development program, including specifications for costs, timeframes, and responsible agencies for addressing identified research needs.

(7)

An analysis of the respective roles in precipitation estimation of various Federal agencies, academia, State, tribal, territorial, and local governments, and other public and private stakeholders.

(8)

Recommendations for data management to promote long-term needs such as enabling retrospective analyses and data discoverability, interoperability, and reuse.

(9)

Recommendations for how data and services from the entire enterprise can be best leveraged by the Federal Government.

(10)

A description of non-Federal precipitation data, its accessibility by the Federal Government, and ways for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to improve or expand such datasets.

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized $1,500,000 to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to carry out this study.

602.

Improving probable maximum precipitation estimates

(a)

In General

Not later than 90 days after the date on which the National Academies makes public the report under section 601, the Administrator, in consideration of the report recommendations, shall consult with relevant partners, including users of the data, on the development of a plan to—

(1)

not later than 6 years after the completion of such report and not less than every 10 years thereafter, update probable maximum precipitation estimates for the United States, such that each update considers non-stationarity;

(2)

coordinate with partners to conduct research in the field of extreme precipitation estimation, in accordance with the research needs identified in such report;

(3)

make publicly available, in a searchable, interoperable format, all probable maximum precipitation studies developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that the Administrator has the legal right to redistribute and deemed to be at an appropriate state of development on an internet website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and

(4)

ensure all probable maximum precipitation estimate data, products, and supporting documentation and metadata developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are preserved, curated, and served by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as appropriate.

(b)

National Guidance Document for the Development of Probable Maximum Precipitation Estimates

The Administrator, in collaboration with Federal agencies, State, territorial, Tribal and local governments, academia, and other partners the Administrator deems appropriate, shall develop a National Guidance Document that—

(1)

provides best practices that can be followed by Federal and State regulatory agencies, private meteorological consultants, and other users that perform probable maximum precipitation studies;

(2)

considers the recommendations provided in the National Academies study under section 601;

(3)

facilitates review of probable maximum precipitation studies by regulatory agencies; and

(4)

provides confidence in regional and site-specific probable maximum precipitation estimates.

(c)

Publication

Not later than 2 years after the date on which the National Academies makes public the report under section 601, the Administrator shall make publicly available the National Guidance Document under subsection (b) on an internet website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(d)

Updates

The Administrator shall update the National Guidance Document not less than once every 10 years after the publication of the National Guidance Document under subsection (c) and publish such updates in accordance with such subsection.

(e)

Funding

Amounts available to carry out this section shall be derived from existing funds otherwise appropriated to the Administrator.

603.

Definitions

In this title:

(1)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(2)

National Academies

The term National Academies means the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

(3)

United States

The term United States means, collectively, each State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and any other territory or possession of the United States.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

Section 1(b) of the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (15 U.S.C. 8501 note) is amended in the table of contents by adding at the end the following:

Title VI—Improving Federal Precipitation Information

Sec. 601. Study on precipitation estimation.

Sec. 602. Improving probable maximum precipitation estimates.

Sec. 603. Definitions.

.

December 7, 2022

Reported with an amendment