Text: H.R.1674 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 109-424 (12/20/2006)

 
[109th Congress Public Law 424]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ424.109]

[[Page 2901]]

                    TSUNAMI WARNING AND EDUCATION ACT

[[Page 120 STAT. 2902]]

Public Law 109-424
109th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To authorize and strengthen the tsunami detection, forecast, warning, 
     and mitigation program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
 Administration, to be carried out by the National Weather Service, and 
       for other purposes. <<NOTE: Dec. 20, 2006 -  [H.R. 1674]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Tsunami Warning 
and Education Act.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 33 USC 3201 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Tsunami Warning and Education Act''.
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 33 USC 3201.>> DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) The term ``Administration'' means the National Oceanic 
        and Atmospheric Administration.
            (2) The term ``Administrator'' means the Administrator of 
        the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
SEC. 3. <<NOTE: 33 USC 3202.>> PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to improve tsunami detection, forecasting, warnings, 
        notification, outreach, and mitigation to protect life and 
        property in the United States;
            (2) to enhance and modernize the existing Pacific Tsunami 
        Warning System to increase coverage, reduce false alarms, and 
        increase the accuracy of forecasts and warnings, and to expand 
        detection and warning systems to include other vulnerable States 
        and United States territories, including the Atlantic Ocean, 
        Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico areas;
            (3) to improve mapping, modeling, research, and assessment 
        efforts to improve tsunami detection, forecasting, warnings, 
        notification, outreach, mitigation, response, and recovery;
            (4) to improve and increase education and outreach 
        activities and ensure that those receiving tsunami warnings and 
        the at-risk public know what to do when a tsunami is 
        approaching;
            (5) to provide technical and other assistance to speed 
        international efforts to establish regional tsunami warning 
        systems in vulnerable areas worldwide, including the Indian 
        Ocean; and
            (6) to improve Federal, State, and international 
        coordination for detection, warnings, and outreach for tsunami 
        and other coastal impacts.

[[Page 120 STAT. 2903]]

SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 33 USC 3203.>> TSUNAMI FORECASTING AND WARNING 
                    PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--The Administrator, through the National Weather 
Service and in consultation with other relevant Administration offices, 
shall operate a program to provide tsunami detection, forecasting, and 
warnings for the Pacific and Arctic Ocean regions and for the Atlantic 
Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico region.
    (b) Components.--The program under this section shall--
            (1) include the tsunami warning centers established under 
        subsection (d);
            (2) utilize and maintain an array of robust tsunami 
        detection technologies;
            (3) maintain detection equipment in operational condition to 
        fulfill the detection, forecasting, and warning requirements of 
        this Act;
            (4) provide tsunami forecasting capability based on models 
        and measurements, including tsunami inundation models and maps 
        for use in increasing the preparedness of communities, including 
        through the TsunamiReady program;
            (5) maintain data quality and management systems to support 
        the requirements of the program;
            (6) include a cooperative effort among the Administration, 
        the United States Geological Survey, and the National Science 
        Foundation under which the Geological Survey and the National 
        Science Foundation shall provide rapid and reliable seismic 
        information to the Administration from international and 
        domestic seismic networks;
            (7) provide a capability for the dissemination of warnings 
        to at-risk States and tsunami communities through rapid and 
        reliable notification to government officials and the public, 
        including utilization of and coordination with existing Federal 
        warning systems, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration Weather Radio All Hazards Program;
            (8) allow, as practicable, for integration of tsunami 
        detection technologies with other environmental observing 
        technologies; and
            (9) include any technology the Administrator considers 
        appropriate to fulfill the objectives of the program under this 
        section.

    (c) System Areas.--The program under this section shall operate--
            (1) a Pacific tsunami warning system capable of forecasting 
        tsunami anywhere in the Pacific and Arctic Ocean regions and 
        providing adequate warnings; and
            (2) an Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico 
        tsunami warning system capable of forecasting tsunami and 
        providing adequate warnings in areas of the Atlantic Ocean, 
        Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico that are determined--
                    (A) to be geologically active, or to have 
                significant potential for geological activity; and
                    (B) to pose significant risks of tsunami for States 
                along the coastal areas of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean 
                Sea, or Gulf of Mexico.

    (d) Tsunami Warning Centers.--
            (1) In general.-- <<NOTE: Establishment.>> The 
        Administrator, through the National Weather Service, shall 
        maintain or establish--

[[Page 120 STAT. 2904]]

                    (A) a Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii;
                    (B) a West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center 
                in Alaska; and
                    (C) any additional forecast and warning centers 
                determined by the National Weather Service to be 
                necessary.
            (2) Responsibilities.--The responsibilities of each tsunami 
        warning center shall include--
                    (A) continuously monitoring data from seismological, 
                deep ocean, and tidal monitoring stations;
                    (B) evaluating earthquakes that have the potential 
                to generate tsunami;
                    (C) evaluating deep ocean buoy data and tidal 
                monitoring stations for indications of tsunami resulting 
                from earthquakes and other sources;
                    (D) disseminating forecasts and tsunami warning 
                bulletins to Federal, State, and local government 
                officials and the public;
                    (E) coordinating with the tsunami hazard mitigation 
                program described in section 5 to ensure ongoing sharing 
                of information between forecasters and emergency 
                management officials; and
                    (F) making data gathered under this Act and post-
                warning analyses conducted by the National Weather 
                Service or other relevant Administration offices 
                available to researchers.

    (e) Transfer of Technology; Maintenance and Upgrades.--
            (1) In general.--In carrying out this section, the National 
        Weather Service, in consultation with other relevant 
        Administration offices, shall--
                    (A) develop requirements for the equipment used to 
                forecast tsunami, which shall include provisions for 
                multipurpose detection platforms, reliability and 
                performance metrics, and to the maximum extent 
                practicable how the equipment will be integrated with 
                other United States and global ocean and coastal 
                observation systems, the global earth observing system 
                of systems, global seismic networks, and the Advanced 
                National Seismic System;
                    (B) develop and execute a plan for the transfer of 
                technology from ongoing research described in section 6 
                into the program under this section; and
                    (C) ensure that maintaining operational tsunami 
                detection equipment is the highest priority within the 
                program carried out under this Act.
            (2) Report to congress.--
                    (A) Not later than 1 year after the date of 
                enactment of this Act, the National Weather Service, in 
                consultation with other relevant Administration offices, 
                shall transmit to Congress a report on how the tsunami 
                forecast system under this section will be integrated 
                with other United States and global ocean and coastal 
                observation systems, the global earth observing system 
                of systems, global seismic networks, and the Advanced 
                National Seismic System.
                    (B) Not later than 3 years after the date of 
                enactment of this Act, the National Weather Service, in 
                consultation with other relevant Administration offices, 
                shall transmit a report to Congress on how technology 
                developed under

[[Page 120 STAT. 2905]]

                section 6 is being transferred into the program under 
                this section.

    (f) Federal Cooperation.--When deploying and maintaining tsunami 
detection technologies, the Administrator shall seek the assistance and 
assets of other appropriate Federal agencies.
    (g) Annual Equipment Certification.--At the same time Congress 
receives the budget justification documents in support of the 
President's annual budget request for each fiscal year, the 
Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science of the House 
of Representatives a certification that--
            (1) identifies the tsunami detection equipment deployed 
        pursuant to this Act, as of December 31 of the preceding 
        calendar year;
            (2) certifies which equipment is operational as of December 
        31 of the preceding calendar year;
            (3) in the case of any piece of such equipment that is not 
        operational as of such date, identifies that equipment and 
        describes the mitigation strategy that is in place--
                    (A) to repair or replace that piece of equipment 
                within a reasonable period of time; or
                    (B) to otherwise ensure adequate tsunami detection 
                coverage;
            (4) identifies any equipment that is being developed or 
        constructed to carry out this Act but which has not yet been 
        deployed, if the Administration has entered into a contract for 
        that equipment prior to December 31 of the preceding calendar 
        year, and provides a schedule for the deployment of that 
        equipment; and
            (5) certifies that the Administrator expects the equipment 
        described in paragraph (4) to meet the requirements, cost, and 
        schedule provided in that contract.

    (h) Congressional Notifications.-- <<NOTE: Deadline.>> The 
Administrator shall notify the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science of the House 
of Representatives within 30 days of--
            (1) impaired regional forecasting capabilities due to 
        equipment or system failures; and
            (2) significant contractor failures or delays in completing 
        work associated with the tsunami forecasting and warning system.

    (i) Report.--Not later than January 31, 2010, the Comptroller 
General of the United States shall transmit a report to the Committee on 
Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on 
Science of the House of Representatives that--
            (1) evaluates the current status of the tsunami detection, 
        forecasting, and warning system and the tsunami hazard 
        mitigation program established under this Act, including 
        progress toward tsunami inundation mapping of all coastal areas 
        vulnerable to tsunami and whether there has been any degradation 
        of services as a result of the expansion of the program;
            (2) evaluates the National Weather Service's ability to 
        achieve continued improvements in the delivery of tsunami 
        detection, forecasting, and warning services by assessing 
        policies and plans for the evolution of modernization systems,

[[Page 120 STAT. 2906]]

        models, and computational abilities (including the adoption of 
        new technologies); and
            (3) lists the contributions of funding or other resources to 
        the program by other Federal agencies, particularly agencies 
        participating in the program.

    (j) External Review.--The Administrator shall enter into an 
arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences to review the tsunami 
detection, forecast, and warning program established under this Act to 
assess further modernization and coverage needs, as well as long-term 
operational reliability issues, taking into account measures implemented 
under this Act. The review shall also include an assessment of how well 
the forecast equipment has been integrated into other United States and 
global ocean and coastal observation systems and the global earth 
observing system of systems. <<NOTE: Deadline. Reports.>> Not later than 
2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall 
transmit a report containing the National Academy of Sciences' 
recommendations, the Administrator's responses to the recommendations, 
including those where the Administrator disagrees with the Academy, a 
timetable to implement the accepted recommendations, and the cost of 
implementing all the Academy's recommendations, to the Committee on 
Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on 
Science of the House of Representatives.

    (k) Report.--Not later than 3 months after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Administrator shall establish a process for monitoring and 
certifying contractor performance in carrying out the requirements of 
any contract to construct or deploy tsunami detection equipment, 
including procedures and penalties to be imposed in cases of significant 
contractor failure or negligence.
SEC. 5. <<NOTE: 33 USC 3204.>> NATIONAL TSUNAMI HAZARD MITIGATION 
                    PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--The Administrator, through the National Weather 
Service and in consultation with other relevant Administration offices, 
shall conduct a community-based tsunami hazard mitigation program to 
improve tsunami preparedness of at-risk areas in the United States and 
its territories.
    (b) Coordinating Committee.-- <<NOTE: Establishment.>> In conducting 
the program under this section, the Administrator shall establish a 
coordinating committee comprising representatives of Federal, State, 
local, and tribal government officials. The Administrator may establish 
subcommittees to address region-specific issues. The committee shall--
            (1) recommend how funds appropriated for carrying out the 
        program under this section will be allocated;
            (2) ensure that areas described in section 4(c) in the 
        United States and its territories can have the opportunity to 
        participate in the program;
            (3) provide recommendations to the National Weather Service 
        on how to improve the TsunamiReady program, particularly on ways 
        to make communities more tsunami resilient through the use of 
        inundation maps and other mitigation practices; and
            (4) ensure that all components of the program are integrated 
        with ongoing hazard warning and risk management activities, 
        emergency response plans, and mitigation programs in affected 
        areas, including integrating information to assist in tsunami 
        evacuation route planning.

[[Page 120 STAT. 2907]]

    (c) Program Components.--The program under this section shall--
            (1) use inundation models that meet a standard of accuracy 
        defined by the Administration to improve the quality and extent 
        of inundation mapping, including assessment of vulnerable inner 
        coastal and nearshore areas, in a coordinated and standardized 
        fashion to maximize resources and the utility of data collected;
            (2) promote and improve community outreach and education 
        networks and programs to ensure community readiness, including 
        the development of comprehensive coastal risk and vulnerability 
        assessment training and decision support tools, implementation 
        of technical training and public education programs, and 
        providing for certification of prepared communities;
            (3) integrate tsunami preparedness and mitigation programs 
        into ongoing hazard warning and risk management activities, 
        emergency response plans, and mitigation programs in affected 
        areas, including integrating information to assist in tsunami 
        evacuation route planning;
            (4) promote the adoption of tsunami warning and mitigation 
        measures by Federal, State, tribal, and local governments and 
        nongovernmental entities, including educational programs to 
        discourage development in high-risk areas; and
            (5) provide for periodic external review of the program.

    (d) Savings Clause.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to 
require a change in the chair of any existing tsunami hazard mitigation 
program subcommittee.
SEC. 6. <<NOTE: 33 USC 3205.>> TSUNAMI RESEARCH PROGRAM.

    The Administrator shall, in consultation with other agencies and 
academic institutions, and with the coordinating committee established 
under section 5(b), establish or maintain a tsunami research program to 
develop detection, forecast, communication, and mitigation science and 
technology, including advanced sensing techniques, information and 
communication technology, data collection, analysis, and assessment for 
tsunami tracking and numerical forecast modeling. Such research program 
shall--
            (1) consider other appropriate research to mitigate the 
        impact of tsunami;
            (2) coordinate with the National Weather Service on 
        technology to be transferred to operations;
            (3) include social science research to develop and assess 
        community warning, education, and evacuation materials; and
            (4) ensure that research and findings are available to the 
        scientific community.
SEC. 7. <<NOTE: 33 USC 3206.>>  GLOBAL TSUNAMI WARNING AND 
                    MITIGATION NETWORK.

    (a) International Tsunami Warning System.--The Administrator, 
through the National Weather Service and in consultation with other 
relevant Administration offices, in coordination with other members of 
the United States Interagency Committee of the National Tsunami Hazard 
Mitigation Program, shall provide technical assistance and training to 
the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the World Meteorological 
Organization, and other international entities, as part of international 
efforts to develop a fully functional global tsunami forecast and 
warning system comprising regional tsunami warning networks, modeled on 
the International Tsunami Warning System of the Pacific.

[[Page 120 STAT. 2908]]

    (b) International Tsunami Information Center.--The Administrator, 
through the National Weather Service and in consultation with other 
relevant Administration offices, in cooperation with the 
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, shall operate an 
International Tsunami Information Center to improve tsunami preparedness 
for all Pacific Ocean nations participating in the International Tsunami 
Warning System of the Pacific, and may also provide such assistance to 
other nations participating in a global tsunami warning system 
established through the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. As 
part of its responsibilities around the world, the Center shall--
            (1) monitor international tsunami warning activities around 
        the world;
            (2) assist member states in establishing national warning 
        systems, and make information available on current technologies 
        for tsunami warning systems;
            (3) maintain a library of materials to promulgate knowledge 
        about tsunami in general and for use by the scientific 
        community; and
            (4) disseminate information, including educational materials 
        and research reports.

    (c) Detection Equipment; Technical Advice and Training.--In carrying 
out this section, the National Weather Service--
            (1) shall give priority to assisting nations in identifying 
        vulnerable coastal areas, creating inundation maps, obtaining or 
        designing real-time detection and reporting equipment, and 
        establishing communication and warning networks and contact 
        points in each vulnerable nation;
            (2) may establish a process for transfer of detection and 
        communication technology to affected nations for the purposes of 
        establishing the international tsunami warning system; and
            (3) shall provide technical and other assistance to support 
        international tsunami programs.

    (d) Data-Sharing Requirement.--The National Weather Service, when 
deciding to provide assistance under this section, may take into 
consideration the data sharing policies and practices of nations 
proposed to receive such assistance, with a goal to encourage all 
nations to support full and open exchange of data.
SEC. 8. <<NOTE: 33 USC 3207.>> AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator to 
carry out this Act--
            (1) $25,000,000 for fiscal year 2008, of which--
                    (A) not less than 27 percent of the amount 
                appropriated shall be for the tsunami hazard mitigation 
                program under section 5; and
                    (B) not less than 8 percent of the amount 
                appropriated shall be for the tsunami research program 
                under section 6;
            (2) $26,000,000 for fiscal year 2009, of which--
                    (A) not less than 27 percent of the amount 
                appropriated shall be for the tsunami hazard mitigation 
                program under section 5; and
                    (B) not less than 8 percent of the amount 
                appropriated shall be for the tsunami research program 
                under section 6;
            (3) $27,000,000 for fiscal year 2010, of which--

[[Page 120 STAT. 2909]]

                    (A) not less than 27 percent of the amount 
                appropriated shall be for the tsunami hazard mitigation 
                program under section 5; and
                    (B) not less than 8 percent of the amount 
                appropriated shall be for the tsunami research program 
                under section 6;
            (4) $28,000,000 for fiscal year 2011, of which--
                    (A) not less than 27 percent of the amount 
                appropriated shall be for the tsunami hazard mitigation 
                program under section 5; and
                    (B) not less than 8 percent of the amount 
                appropriated shall be for the tsunami research program 
                under section 6; and
            (5) $29,000,000 for fiscal year 2012, of which--
                    (A) not less than 27 percent of the amount 
                appropriated shall be for the tsunami hazard mitigation 
                program under section 5; and
                    (B) not less than 8 percent of the amount 
                appropriated shall be for the tsunami research program 
                under section 6.

    Approved December 20, 2006.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 1674 (S. 50):
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 109-698 (Comm. on Science).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 109-59 accompanying S. 50 (Comm. on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 152 (2006):
            Dec. 6, considered and passed House.
            Dec. 8, considered and passed Senate.

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