Text: H.R.3980 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (07/12/2004)


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[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 3980 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 3980


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 12, 2004

    Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, 
                      Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
      To establish a National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``National Windstorm Impact Reduction 
Act of 2004''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) Hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, and 
        thunderstorms can cause significant loss of life, injury, 
        destruction of property, and economic and social disruption. 
        All States and regions are vulnerable to these hazards.
            (2) The United States currently sustains several billion 
        dollars in economic damages each year due to these windstorms. 
        In recent decades, rapid development and population growth in 
        high-risk areas has greatly increased overall vulnerability to 
        windstorms.
            (3) Improved windstorm impact reduction measures have the 
        potential to reduce these losses through--
                    (A) cost-effective and affordable design and 
                construction methods and practices;
                    (B) effective mitigation programs at the local, 
                State, and national level;
                    (C) improved data collection and analysis and 
                impact prediction methodologies;
                    (D) engineering research on improving new 
                structures and retrofitting existing ones to better 
                withstand windstorms, atmospheric-related research to 
                better understand the behavior and impact of windstorms 
                on the built environment, and subsequent application of 
                those research results; and
                    (E) public education and outreach.
            (4) There is an appropriate role for the Federal Government 
        in supporting windstorm impact reduction. An effective Federal 
        program in windstorm impact reduction will require interagency 
        coordination, and input from individuals, academia, the private 
        sector, and other interested non-Federal entities.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) The term ``Director'' means the Director of the Office 
        of Science and Technology Policy.
            (2) The term ``State'' means each of the States of the 
        United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of 
        Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American 
        Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and 
        any other territory or possession of the United States.
            (3) The term ``windstorm'' means any storm with a damaging 
        or destructive wind component, such as a hurricane, tropical 
        storm, tornado, or thunderstorm.

SEC. 4. NATIONAL WINDSTORM IMPACT REDUCTION PROGRAM.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established the National Windstorm 
Impact Reduction Program (in this Act referred to as the ``Program'').
    (b) Objective.--The objective of the Program is the achievement of 
major measurable reductions in losses of life and property from 
windstorms. The objective is to be achieved through a coordinated 
Federal effort, in cooperation with other levels of government, 
academia, and the private sector, aimed at improving the understanding 
of windstorms and their impacts and developing and encouraging 
implementation of cost-effective mitigation measures to reduce those 
impacts.
    (c) Interagency Working Group.--Not later than 90 days after the 
date of enactment of this Act, the Director shall establish an 
Interagency Working Group consisting of representatives of the National 
Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other Federal agencies as 
appropriate. The Director shall designate an agency to serve as Chair 
of the Working Group and be responsible for the planning, management, 
and coordination of the Program, including budget coordination. 
Specific agency roles and responsibilities under the Program shall be 
defined in the implementation plan required under subsection (e). 
General agency responsibilities shall include the following:
            (1) The National Institute of Standards and Technology 
        shall support research and development to improve building 
        codes and standards and practices for design and construction 
        of buildings, structures, and lifelines.
            (2) The National Science Foundation shall support research 
        in engineering and the atmospheric sciences to improve the 
        understanding of the behavior of windstorms and their impact on 
        buildings, structures, and lifelines.
            (3) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
        shall support atmospheric sciences research to improve the 
        understanding of the behavior of windstorms and their impact on 
        buildings, structures, and lifelines.
            (4) The Federal Emergency Management Agency shall support 
        the development of risk assessment tools and effective 
        mitigation techniques, windstorm-related data collection and 
        analysis, public outreach, information dissemination, and 
        implementation of mitigation measures consistent with the 
        Agency's all-hazards approach.
    (d) Program Components.--
            (1) In general.--The Program shall consist of three primary 
        mitigation components: improved understanding of windstorms, 
        windstorm impact assessment, and windstorm impact reduction. 
        The components shall be implemented through activities such as 
        data collection and analysis, risk assessment, outreach, 
        technology transfer, and research and development. To the 
        extent practicable, research activities authorized under this 
        Act shall be peer-reviewed, and the components shall be 
        designed to be complementary to, and avoid duplication of, 
        other public and private hazard reduction efforts.
            (2) Understanding of windstorms.--Activities to enhance the 
        understanding of windstorms shall include research to improve 
        knowledge of and data collection on the impact of severe wind 
        on buildings, structures, and infrastructure.
            (3) Windstorm impact assessment.--Activities to improve 
        windstorm impact assessment shall include--
                    (A) development of mechanisms for collecting and 
                inventorying information on the performance of 
                buildings, structures, and infrastructure in windstorms 
                and improved collection of pertinent information from 
                sources, including the design and construction 
                industry, insurance companies, and building officials;
                    (B) research, development, and technology transfer 
                to improve loss estimation and risk assessment systems; 
                and
                    (C) research, development, and technology transfer 
                to improve simulation and computational modeling of 
                windstorm impacts.
            (4) Windstorm impact reduction.--Activities to reduce 
        windstorm impacts shall include--
                    (A) development of improved outreach and 
                implementation mechanisms to translate existing 
                information and research findings into cost-effective 
                and affordable practices for design and construction 
                professionals, and State and local officials;
                    (B) development of cost-effective and affordable 
                windstorm-resistant systems, structures, and materials 
                for use in new construction and retrofit of existing 
                construction; and
                    (C) outreach and information dissemination related 
                to cost-effective and affordable construction 
                techniques, loss estimation and risk assessment 
                methodologies, and other pertinent information 
                regarding windstorm phenomena to Federal, State, and 
                local officials, the construction industry, and the 
                general public.
    (e) Implementation Plan.--Not later than 1 year after date of 
enactment of this Act, the Interagency Working Group shall develop and 
transmit to the Congress an implementation plan for achieving the 
objectives of the Program. The plan shall include--
            (1) an assessment of past and current public and private 
        efforts to reduce windstorm impacts, including a comprehensive 
        review and analysis of windstorm mitigation activities 
        supported by the Federal Government;
            (2) a description of plans for technology transfer and 
        coordination with natural hazard mitigation activities 
        supported by the Federal Government;
            (3) a statement of strategic goals and priorities for each 
        Program component area;
            (4) a description of how the Program will achieve such 
        goals, including detailed responsibilities for each agency; and
            (5) a description of plans for cooperation and coordination 
        with interested public and private sector entities in each 
        program component area.
    (f) Biennial Report.--The Interagency Working Group shall, on a 
biennial basis, and not later than 180 days after the end of the 
preceding 2 fiscal years, transmit a report to the Congress describing 
the status of the windstorm impact reduction program, including 
progress achieved during the preceding two fiscal years. Each such 
report shall include any recommendations for legislative and other 
action the Interagency Working Group considers necessary and 
appropriate. In developing the biennial report, the Interagency Working 
Group shall consider the recommendations of the Advisory Committee 
established under section 5.

SEC. 5. NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON WINDSTORM IMPACT REDUCTION.

    (a) Establishment.--The Director shall establish a National 
Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction, consisting of not 
less than 11 and not more than 15 non-Federal members representing a 
broad cross section of interests such as the research, technology 
transfer, design and construction, and financial communities; materials 
and systems suppliers; State, county, and local governments; the 
insurance industry; and other representatives as designated by the 
Director.
    (b) Assessment.--The Advisory Committee shall assess--
            (1) trends and developments in the science and engineering 
        of windstorm impact reduction;
            (2) the effectiveness of the Program in carrying out the 
        activities under section 4(d);
            (3) the need to revise the Program; and
            (4) the management, coordination, implementation, and 
        activities of the Program.
    (c) Biennial Report.--At least once every two years, the Advisory 
Committee shall report to Congress and the Interagency Working Group on 
the assessment carried out under subsection (b).
    (d) Sunset Exemption.--Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee 
Act shall not apply to the Advisory Committee established under this 
section.

SEC. 6. SAVINGS CLAUSE.

    Nothing in this Act supersedes any provision of the National 
Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974. No 
design, construction method, practice, technology, material, mitigation 
methodology, or hazard reduction measure of any kind developed under 
this Act shall be required for a home certified under section 616 of 
the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act 
of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5415), pursuant to standards issued under such Act, 
without being subject to the consensus development process and 
rulemaking procedures of that Act.

SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) Federal Emergency Management Agency.--There are authorized to 
be appropriated to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for carrying 
out this Act--
            (1) $8,700,000 for fiscal year 2006; and
            (2) $9,400,000 for fiscal year 2007.
    (b) National Science Foundation.--From sums otherwise authorized to 
be appropriated, there are authorized to be appropriated to the 
National Science Foundation for carrying out this Act--
            (1) $8,700,000 for fiscal year 2006; and
            (2) $9,400,000 for fiscal year 2007.
    (c) National Institute of Standards and Technology.--From sums 
otherwise authorized to be appropriated, there are authorized to be 
appropriated to the National Institute of Standards and Technology for 
carrying out this Act--
            (1) $3,000,000 for fiscal year 2006; and
            (2) $4,000,000 for fiscal year 2007.
    (d) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.--From sums 
otherwise authorized to be appropriated, there are authorized to be 
appropriated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for 
carrying out this Act--
            (1) $2,100,000 for fiscal year 2006; and
            (2) $2,200,000 for fiscal year 2007.

SEC. 8. BIENNIAL REPORT.

    Section 37(a) of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities 
Act (42 U.S.C. 1885d(a)) is amended by striking ``By January 30, 1982, 
and biennially thereafter'' and inserting ``By January 30 of each odd-
numbered year''.

            Passed the House of Representatives July 7, 2004.

            Attest:

                                                 JEFF TRANDAHL,

                                                                 Clerk.