IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
October 21, 2021
Mr. Booker (for himself and Mr. Wicker) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
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.
This Act may be cited as the
Providing Research and Estimates of Changes In Precipitation Act or the
Amendment to the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 to improve Federal precipitation information
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:
Improvement of Federal precipitation information
Study on precipitation estimation
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—
conduct a study on the state of practice and research needs for precipitation estimation, including probable maximum precipitation estimation; and
not later than 2 years after the date on which such agreement is finalized—
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
make the report submitted under subparagraph (A) publicly available on a website.
Report on study
The report submitted under subsection (a)(2)(A) shall include the following:
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.
An evaluation of best practices for precipitation estimation that—
are based on the best available science, including assumptions of non-stationarity; and
can be utilized by the user community.
A framework for—
the development of a national guidance document for estimating extreme precipitation; and
evaluation of the strengths and challenges of the full spectrum of approaches for such estimation, including for probable maximum precipitation studies.
A description of existing research needs in the field of precipitation estimation in order to modernize current methodologies and incorporate the best available science.
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.
A recommended plan for a Federal research and development program, including specifications for costs, timeframes, and responsible agencies for addressing identified research needs.
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.
Recommendations for data management to promote long-term needs such as enabling retrospective analyses and data discoverability, interoperability, and reuse.
Recommendations for how data and services from the entire enterprise can be best leveraged by the Federal Government.
Such other topics as the Administrator or the National Academies consider appropriate.
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.
Improving probable maximum precipitation estimates
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—
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;
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;
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
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.
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—
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;
considers the recommendations included in the report submitted under section 601;
facilitates review of probable maximum precipitation studies by regulatory agencies;
provides confidence in regional and site-specific probable maximum precipitation estimates; and
includes such other topics as the Administrator considers appropriate.
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.
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.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to carry out this section amounts as follows:
$13,000,000 for fiscal year 2022.
$14,000,000 for fiscal year 2023.
$14,000,000 for fiscal year 2024.
$2,000,000 for fiscal year 2025.
$2,000,000 for fiscal year 2026.
$2,000,000 for fiscal year 2027.
In this title:
The term Administrator means the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The term National Academies means the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
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.
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.