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Senate, House introduce landslide bills to promote research, save lives

from American Geosciences Institute

Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced the bipartisan National Landslide Preparation Act (S. 698) on March 22.

The bill directs the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to establish a National Landslide Hazards Reduction Program. This program would identify and characterize landslide risks, and work to improve emergency preparedness. USGS would also establish a Cooperative Landslide Hazard Mapping and Assessment Program to provide grants to state, local, and tribal governments to study landslide hazards. The bill reauthorizes the USGS 3-D elevation program (3DEP) to better characterize landslide-prone regions. The 3DEP initiative collects high-resolution topographic data covering the U.S. that would be used to create and inform city planning and hazard risk assessment activities.

S. 698 is being reviewed by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. It is matched on the House side by H.R.1675, which was introduced by Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1) on March 22. The House bill is being reviewed by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

AEG connection: Members Ken Neal and Mark Molinari provided comments on drafts provided by Ben Barasky, Legislative Director for Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) who has submitted a companion bill in the House. more

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