United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jan 29, 2023

§ 7704.
National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program
(a)
Establishment
(1)
In general

There is established the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.

(2)
Program activities
The activities of the Program shall be designed to—
(A)
develop effective measures for earthquake hazards reduction;
(B)
promote the adoption of earthquake hazards reduction measures by Federal, State, and local governments, national standards and model code organizations, architects and engineers, building owners, and others with a role in planning and constructing buildings, structures, and lifeline infrastructure through—
(i)
grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and technical assistance;
(ii)
development of standards, guidelines, and voluntary consensus codes for earthquake hazards reduction for buildings, structures, and lifeline infrastructure;
(iii)
development and maintenance of a repository of information, including technical data, on seismic risk, community resilience, and hazards reduction; and
(iv)
publishing a systematic set of maps of active faults and folds, liquefaction susceptibility, susceptibility for earthquake induced landslides, and other seismically induced hazards; and 1
1
 So in original. The word “and” probably should not appear.
(C)
improve the understanding of earthquakes and their effects on communities, buildings, structures, and lifeline infrastructure, through interdisciplinary research that involves engineering, natural sciences, and social, economic, and decisions sciences; and
(D)
continue the development of the Advanced National Seismic System, including earthquake early warning capabilities and the Global Seismographic Network.
(3)
Interagency Coordinating Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction
(A)
In general

There is established an Interagency Coordinating Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction chaired by the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (referred to in this subsection as the “Director”).

(B)
Membership
In addition to the Director, the committee shall be composed of—
(i)
the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency;
(ii)
the Director of the United States Geological Survey;
(iii)
the Director of the National Science Foundation;
(iv)
the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and
(v)
the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
(C)
Meetings

The Committee shall meet not less frequently than once each year at the call of the Director.

(D)
Duties
(i)
General duty

The Interagency Coordinating Committee shall oversee the planning, management, and coordination of the Program.

(ii)
Specific duties
The duties of the Interagency Coordinating Committee include the following:
(I)
Developing, not later than 6 months after October 25, 2004, and updating periodically—
(aa)
a strategic plan that establishes goals and priorities for the Program activities described under subsection (a)(2); and
(bb)
a detailed management plan to implement such strategic plan.
(II)
Developing a coordinated interagency budget for the Program that will ensure appropriate balance among the Program activities described under subsection (a)(2), and, in accordance with the plans developed under subclause (I), submitting such budget to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget at the time designated by the Director for agencies to submit biennial budgets.
(III)
Developing interagency memorandums of understanding with any relevant Federal agencies on data sharing and resource commitment in the event of an earthquake disaster.
(IV)
Coordinating with the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction and other natural hazards coordination committees as the Director determines appropriate to share data and best practices.
(V)
Coordinating with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on data sharing and resource allocation to ensure judicious use of Government resources and the free-flowing exchange of information related to earthquakes.
(VI)
Coordinating with the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior on the use of public lands for earthquake monitoring and research stations, and related data collection.
(VII)
Coordinating with the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development on the effects of earthquakes on transportation and housing stocks.
(iii)
Assistance from Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of the Interior

To the extent practicable, the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior shall expedite any request for a permit to use public land under clause (ii)(VI).

(4)
Biennial report
(A)
In general
Not less frequently than once every two years, the Interagency Coordinating Committee shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Committee on Natural Resources, and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives a report on the Program. Such report shall include—
(i)
the Program budget for the current fiscal year for each agency that participates in the Program, and for each major goal established for the Program activities under paragraph (3)(D)(i)(I); 2
2
 See References in Text note below.
(ii)
the proposed Program budget for the next fiscal year for each agency that participates in the Program, and for each major goal established for the Program activities under paragraph (3)(D)(i)(I); 2
(iii)
a description of the activities and results of the Program during the previous year, including an assessment of the effectiveness of the Program in furthering the goals established in the strategic plan under paragraph (3)(D)(i)(I); 2
(iv)
a description of the extent to which the Program has incorporated the recommendations of the Advisory Committee;
(v)
a description of activities, including budgets for the current fiscal year and proposed budgets for the next fiscal year, that are carried out by Program agencies and contribute to the Program, but are not included in the Program;
(vi)
a description of the activities, including budgets for the current fiscal year and proposed budgets for the following fiscal year, related to the grant program carried out under subsection (b)(2)(A)(i); and
(vii)
a statement regarding whether the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency has lowered or waived the cost share requirement for assistance provided under subsection (b)(2)(A)(i).
(B)
Support for preparation of report

Each head of a Program agency shall submit to the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology such information as the Director may request for the preparation of a report under subparagraph (A) not later than 90 days after the date on which the Director requests such information.

(5)
Advisory Committee
(A)
In general

The Director shall establish an Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction of at least 11 members, none of whom may be an employee (as defined in subparagraphs (A) through (F) of section 7342(a)(1) of title 53

3
 So in original. Probably should be followed by a closing parenthesis.
including representatives of research and academic institutions, industry standards development organizations, State and local government, and financial communities who are qualified to provide advice on earthquake hazards reduction and represent all related scientific, architectural, and engineering disciplines. The recommendations of the Advisory Committee shall be considered by Federal agencies in implementing the Program.

(B)
Assessment
The Advisory Committee shall assess—
(i)
trends and developments in the science and engineering of earthquake hazards reduction;
(ii)
effectiveness of the Program in carrying out the activities under (a)(2) 4
4
 So in original. Probably should be preceded by “subsection”.
;
(iii)
the need to revise the Program; and
(iv)
the management, coordination, implementation, and activities of the Program.
(C)
Report

Not later than 1 year after October 25, 2004, and at least once every 2 years thereafter, the Advisory Committee shall report to the Director on its findings of the assessment carried out under subparagraph (B) and its recommendations for ways to improve the Program. In developing recommendations, the Committee shall consider the recommendations of the United States Geological Survey Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee.

(D)
Federal Advisory Committee Act application

Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 App. U.S.C. 14) shall not apply to the Advisory Committee.

(b)
Responsibilities of Program agencies
(1)
Lead agency
The National Institute of Standards and Technology shall have the primary responsibility for planning and coordinating the Program. In carrying out this paragraph, the Director of the Institute shall—
(A)
ensure that the Program includes the necessary steps to promote the implementation of earthquake hazard reduction measures by Federal, State, and local governments, national standards and model building code organizations, architects and engineers, and others with a role in planning 5
5
 So in original. Probably should be followed by a comma.
constructing, evaluating, and retrofitting buildings and lifeline infrastructure;
(B)
support the development of performance-based seismic engineering tools, and work with appropriate groups to promote the commercial application of such tools, through earthquake-related building codes, standards, and construction practices;
(C)
request the assistance of Federal agencies other than the Program agencies, as necessary to assist in carrying out this chapter; and
(D)
work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Geological Survey, to develop a comprehensive plan for earthquake engineering research to provide new and effectively use existing testing facilities and laboratories (existing at the time of the development of the plan), upgrade facilities and equipment as needed, and integrate new, innovative testing approaches to the research infrastructure in a systematic manner.
(2)
Department of Homeland Security; Federal Emergency Management Agency
(A)
Program responsibilities
The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency—
(i)
shall operate a program of grants and assistance to enable States to develop mitigation, preparedness, and response plans, purchase necessary instrumentation, prepare inventories and conduct seismic safety inspections of critical structures and lifeline infrastructure, update building, land use planning, and zoning codes and ordinances to enhance seismic safety, increase earthquake awareness and education, and provide assistance to multi-State groups for such purposes;
(ii)
shall support the implementation of a comprehensive earthquake education, outreach, and public awareness program, including development of materials and their wide dissemination to all appropriate audiences and support public access to locality-specific information that may assist the public in preparing for, mitigating against, responding to and recovering from earthquakes and related disasters;
(iii)
shall, in conjunction with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, other Federal agencies, and private sector groups, use research results to support the preparation, maintenance, and wide dissemination of seismic resistant design guidance and related information on building codes, standards, and practices for new and existing buildings, structures, and lifeline infrastructure, aid in the development of performance-based design guidelines and methodologies, and support model codes that are cost effective and affordable in order to promote better practices within the design and construction industry and reduce losses from earthquakes;
(iv)
shall enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with States and local jurisdictions and other Federal agencies to establish demonstration projects on earthquake hazard mitigation, to link earthquake research and mitigation efforts with emergency management programs, or to prepare educational materials for national distribution; and
(v)
shall support the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the completion of programmatic goals.
(B)
State assistance program criteria
In order to qualify for assistance under subparagraph (A)(i), a State must—
(i)
demonstrate that the assistance will result in enhanced seismic safety in the State;
(ii)
provide 25 percent of the costs of the activities for which assistance is being given, except that the Administrator may lower or waive the cost-share requirement for these activities for a small impoverished community, as defined in section 5133 of this title; and
(iii)
meet such other requirements as the Administrator shall prescribe.
(3)
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey shall report on significant domestic and international earthquakes and conduct research and other activities necessary to characterize and identify earthquake hazards, assess earthquake risks, monitor seismic activity, and improve earthquake forecasts. In carrying out this paragraph, the Director of the United States Geological Survey shall—
(A)
conduct a systematic assessment of the seismic risks in each region of the Nation prone to earthquakes, including, where appropriate, the establishment and operation of intensive monitoring projects on hazardous faults, seismic microzonation studies in urban and other developed areas where earthquake risk is determined to be significant, and engineering seismology studies;
(B)
work with officials of State and local governments to ensure that they are knowledgeable about the specific seismic risks in their areas;
(C)
develop standard procedures, in consultation with the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, for issuing earthquake alerts and early warnings;
(D)
issue when necessary and feasible, and notify the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and State and local officials, an alert and an earthquake warning;
(E)
operate, including the National Earthquake Information Center, a forum for the international exchange of earthquake information which shall—
(i)
promote the exchange of information on earthquake research and earthquake preparedness between the United States and other nations;
(ii)
maintain a library containing selected reports, research papers, and data produced through the Program;
(iii)
answer requests from other nations for information on United States earthquake research and earthquake preparedness programs; and
(iv)
direct foreign requests to the agency involved in the Program which is best able to respond to the request;
(F)
operate a National Seismic System;
(G)
support regional seismic networks, which shall complement the National Seismic Network; and 1
(H)
work with the National Science Foundation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop a comprehensive plan for earthquake engineering research to effectively use existing testing facilities and laboratories (in existence at the time of the development of the plan), upgrade facilities and equipment as needed, and integrate new, innovative testing approaches to the research infrastructure in a systematic manner.6
6
 So in original. The period probably should be a semicolon.
(I)
work with other Program agencies to coordinate Program activities with similar earthquake hazards reduction efforts in other countries, to ensure that the Program benefits from relevant information and advances in those countries;
(J)
maintain suitable seismic hazard maps and data in support of building codes for structures and lifeline infrastructure, including additional maps needed for performance-based design approaches; and
(K)
support the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the completion of programmatic goals.
(4)
National Science Foundation
(A)
In general
The National Science Foundation shall be responsible for funding research on earth sciences to improve the understanding of the causes and behavior of earthquakes, on earthquake engineering, and on human response to earthquakes. In carrying out this paragraph, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall—
(i)
encourage prompt dissemination of significant findings, sharing of data, samples, physical collections, and other supporting materials, and development of intellectual property so research results can be used by appropriate organizations to mitigate earthquake damage;
(ii)
in addition to supporting individual investigators, support university research consortia, State agencies, State geological surveys, and centers for research in geosciences and in earthquake engineering;
(iii)
work closely with the United States Geological Survey to support applied science in the production of a systematic series of earthquake-related geologic hazard maps, and to identify geographic regions of national concern that should be the focus of targeted solicitations for earthquake-related research proposals;
(iv)
support research that improves the safety and performance of buildings, structures, and lifeline systems using experimental and computational facilities;
(v)
emphasize, in earthquake engineering research, development of economically feasible methods to retrofit existing buildings and to protect lifeline infrastructure to mitigate earthquake damage;
(vi)
support research that studies the political, economic, and social factors that influence the implementation of hazard reduction measures;
(vii)
include to the maximum extent practicable diverse institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and those serving large proportions of Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, and other underrepresented populations;
(viii)
develop, in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the United States Geological Survey, a comprehensive plan for earthquake engineering research to effectively use existing testing facilities and laboratories (in existence at the time of the development of the plan), upgrade facilities and equipment as needed, and integrate new, innovative testing approaches to the research infrastructure in a systematic manner; and
(ix)
support the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the completion of programmatic goals.
(B)
Identification of funding
The National Science Foundation shall—
(i)
(ii)
to the extent practicable, track the awarding of Federal funds through the Program; and
(iii)
not less frequently than once every 2 years, submit to the director of the Program a report specifying the amount of Federal funds awarded to conduct research that enhances the understanding of earthquake science.
(5)
National Institute of Standards and Technology
In addition to the lead agency responsibilities described under paragraph (1), the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall be responsible for carrying out research and development to improve community resilience through building codes and standards and practices for structures and lifeline infrastructure. In carrying out this paragraph, the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall—
(A)
work closely with national standards and model building code organizations, in conjunction with the Agency, to promote the implementation of research results;
(B)
promote better building practices among architects and engineers;
(C)
work closely with national standards organizations to develop seismic safety standards and practices for new and existing lifeline infrastructure;
(D)
support the development and commercial application of cost effective and affordable performance-based seismic engineering by providing technical support for seismic engineering practices and related building code, standards, and practices development; and
(E)
work with the National Science Foundation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the United States Geological Survey to develop a comprehensive plan for earthquake engineering research to effectively use existing testing facilities and laboratories (in existence at the time of the development of the plan), upgrade facilities and equipment as needed, and integrate new, innovative testing approaches to the research infrastructure in a systematic manner.
(c)
Budget coordination
(1)
Guidance

The Interagency Coordinating Committee shall each year provide guidance to the other Program agencies concerning the preparation of requests for appropriations for activities related to the Program, and shall prepare, in conjunction with the other Program agencies, an annual Program budget to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget.

(2)
Reports
Each Program agency shall include with its annual request for appropriations submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a report that—
(A)
identifies each element of the proposed Program activities of the agency;
(B)
specifies how each of these activities contributes to the Program; and
(C)
states the portion of its request for appropriations allocated to each element of the Program.
(Pub. L. 95–124, § 5, Oct. 7, 1977, 91 Stat. 1099; Pub. L. 96–472, title I, § 101, Oct. 19, 1980, 94 Stat. 2257; Pub. L. 99–105, §§ 5, 6, Sept. 30, 1985, 99 Stat. 475; Pub. L. 100–252, § 2, Feb. 29, 1988, 102 Stat. 18; Pub. L. 100–418, title V, § 5115(c), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1433; Pub. L. 100–707, title I, § 109(u), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4710; Pub. L. 101–614, § 5, Nov. 16, 1990, 104 Stat. 3232; Pub. L. 105–47, § 3, Oct. 1, 1997, 111 Stat. 1162; Pub. L. 106–503, title II, §§ 206, 208, Nov. 13, 2000, 114 Stat. 2307; Pub. L. 108–360, title I, § 103, Oct. 25, 2004, 118 Stat. 1669; Pub. L. 115–307, §§ 2(c)(1)(B), 3(a)–(b)(4)(A), (c)–(f), 8(a)(1), (c), Dec. 11, 2018, 132 Stat. 4409–4413, 4417.)
cite as: 42 USC 7704